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AQA Paper 1 Question 4 Comparison of Levels Activity

Richard Gent | Thursday April 19, 2018

Categories: KS4, AQA GCSE, AQA GCSE English Language 2015, Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing Schemes, Mocks, Mock Exams


Question Four is such a pickle of a question. Students are thrown by the idea of writing about ‘methods’, thrown by the statement (should I agree? Should I disagree?) and then thrown by the bullet points. If you have students producing responses that are lacking in detail, I prescribe this treatment.

Please use this document for this activity

  • Please use this document for this activity

Here is an activity I use to help students write more detailed answers.

  1. Read all the answers, and rank them 1-4. This sorts the sheep from the goats from the off; weaker students often think the bottom right hand corner is better than the top left. It isn’t. It is mostly quotation. Spotting this early on will help you identify who needs more help.
  2. Explain that there are four things we look for: quotations, methods, response to statement, and analysis/evaluation. I then make a key for highlighting colours.
  3. With a highlighter/pen to underline, ask them to highlight all the quotations. Expect shock when they arrive at bottom left. At this point I warn students against copying huge chunks of text, and we look at how if they had just narrowed it down to ‘Fire waved up inside’ then their analysis would have been far superior, and they might have actually thought more about the imagery created through the metaphor etc.
  4. Switch colours and highlight response to statement. Here, we consider how in the bottom left, they don’t even deal with the statement, and in top right, they return to it later on. ‘That statement is your saviour,’ I tell them. ‘Use it to hang your analysis on, go back to it and consider what you’ve said in light of that statement.’ The difference between the L3, and L4 is mostly how they use that statement to improve their evaluation.
  5. Now time to highlight ‘Method’. Description and symbol. And the incorrect ‘twist’. Time to have a giggle over the idea that it is a twist that the older one dies. Why would anyone...

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