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The Turn of the Screw Teaching Ideas and Study Guide

mandy_lloyd | Tuesday March 19, 2013

Categories: Hot Entries, Prose, Analysing Prose, The Turn of the Screw, Writing, Analytical Writing, Literary Analysis, Prose Analysis, OCR A Level English Literature, F661, KS5 Archive, OCR A Level

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OCR AS Unit F661: Poetry and Prose 1800-1945 (Closed Text)

The focus of this section is the study of a prose set text from the period 1800-1945. There is a choice of two questions on each set text and candidates answer one question on the text they have studied.

Candidates should be able to:

  • respond to a proposition offered in the question demonstrating understanding of the text in relation to the view presented;
  • explore how themes and issues are presented, taking into account the effects of language, form and structure.

Teaching Ideas

Before the first lesson it is recommended that all students have completed their reading of The Turn of the Screw and have made brief reminder notes of characters and plot structure.

Note: an excellent free sample lesson plan is available for download from the OCR website.

Additional Lesson Activities

These 10-minute activities could be used as a starter or plenary to help consolidate learning:

Activity 1

The notion of what a governess is and does can be usefully reinforced through reading an extract from Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre, where Bronte explores her protagonist’s role as the governess of Thornfield Hall. This will help with the main section of this lesson when the role of the governess is considered in more depth. When Bronte chose the profession of governess for Jane, she allowed her readers to view a little of life below stairs from a servant’s perspective. You might choose an extract from chapter 11 and/or 17 as these would be useful to employ with this starter. Jane Eyre provides an example of the model of the governess character which James himself might well be contrasting or parodying in The Turn of the Screw.

Activity 2

Using the opening section of the novella p3-10 (note James himself does not refer to this as a ‘prologue’) pupils are to create a list of all the things (both factual and opinion) we learn about the governess before the main story begins. For example,...


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