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iGCSE Literature: Unseen Poetry

Scheme of Work / Revision Aid for Year 10/11 AQA iGCSE English Literature

craig ennew

on 22 May 2016

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Transcript of iGCSE Literature: Unseen Poetry

iGCSE Literature: Unseen Poetry
About the Exam
part 'a' of the Literature exam
there is no choice - only one poem
most poems so far have been post-1914
45 minutes to complete the essay
answer any of the questions on set poets
So what sort of poems crop up in the exam?
all poems so far have been
; no guarantee of this though!
most have been around
30 lines long
(one exception that was 18 lines long and more difficult to understand)
poems with
regular and irregular
forms and schemes have been used
in general, poems
aren't difficult on a surface level
; and difficult references are explained . But all have
deeper meanings and ideas!
...And what do the questions look like?
There have been TWO main types of question:
of (insert theme / character etc) does poet create? OR
What does the narrator / poet
about (insert theme, character etc.)?
So, in terms of structuring your answer:
1. Identify 5 or 6 main impressions or feelings and think about how the poet moves between them; and
2. for each, think about the techniques (and you HAVE to refer to LANGUAGE and STRUCTURE here) that are used to convey each.
What the examiners said about last year's answers:
the best answers
'focused on the questions being asked'
weaker answered just 'listed poetic devices' being used in the poem
responses to
the way ideas were being expressed
(i.e. to techniques) distinguished the better answers
the best students had
ways to manage words or meanings they didn't understand
best answers were written by students who had read and
thought about the poem as a whole
before picking details out
What You Are Showing Examiners
Can Do
(Assessment Objectives)
AO1 Respond to texts


evaluate relevant textual detail

illustrate and

language, structure


contribute to

writers’ presentation

ideas, themes


Those all-important grade descriptions!
-Insightful, critical, imaginative & evaluative
response to texts and task
-Insightful /impressive engagement with writers
’ ideas and attitudes
-Insightful interpretations using
imaginatively selected supporting textual detail
-Impressive analysis of aspects of language
and structure; perceptive and imaginative

-assured critical and/or imaginative and/or
evaluative response to texts and task
-sustained and developed appreciation of
writers’ ideas and attitudes
-confident convincing interpretations
using precisely selected supporting textual
-analysis of aspects of language and
structure in convincing detail.
-considered/thoughtful response to
text and/or task
-thoughtful consideration of writers’
ideas and attitudes
-considered interpretations using
thoughtfully selected supporting textual
-thoughtful consideration of aspects
of language and structure with
thoughtfully selected
There are signs that you've thought about it!
You write confidently about the poem
There is a real sense of you understanding the deeper implications of the poem and what the poet is trying to convey
You analyse choices of words, images and poetic
technique with a real sense of detail and appreciation.
You explore a variety of interpretations of the poem as a whole and parts of the poem.
You show your personal appreciation of the poet's skill, and explore a range of emotional responses to the poem.
A sense that you're really interested in and appreciating the poem
You're picking quotations that are subtle, not obvious; and sometimes blending them into your answer
You're really looking in detai at the poet's choices of words and images; and you're commenting on how and why the poem is formed and ordered in the way it is.
BOTH types are then followed up with the second question:
does the poet convey these feelings / impressions to the reader?
What impressions of 'x' are created in this poem
Impression 1
Technique that is
used to convey it
Impression 2
Technique(s) used
to convey it
Impression 3
Technique(s) used
to convey it
Impression 4
Technique(s) used
to convey it
Impression 5
Technique(s) used
to convey it
to include comments on how
the poet moves BETWEEN the
impressions; IE how the poem is
What does the poet FEEL
about 'x' ?
Feeling 1
Technique(s) used to
convey that feeling
Feeling 2
Technique(s) used to
convey that
Feeling 3
Technique(s) used
to convey that
Feeling 4
Technique(s) used
to convey
that feeling
Feeling 5
Technique(s) used
to convey that
, through the overall
, the poet / narrator moves between different feelings
this should be a whole poem (form / structure) point
Help Sheets
Glossary of Poetic Terms
Poems with Questions
Exam Board Related
Planning: So what 'points' go into those five circles?
(this could be your intro -
relate to question though)
They have to be...
This could be your
first point : structure related!
This could be the
second main point
of your essay
This could be the third main essay point; or integrated throughout in analyses
Your fourth
main point..?
your conclusion?
Subject : in groups of five, one working on each...
-clues as to why the narrator is the poet
-highlighting: identifying characters - who /what / where
-what are the settings and how do they compare / contrast?
-is there a sense of a story? If so, what? If not, why not?
-is there any point or message to the overall poem?

NOW... Put all of your points together, and include them ALL in a three sentence essay introduction INVOLVING the terms of the title:
What impression of the connections with his father and his grandfather does Heaney give us in this poem? How does he convey these to the reader?
Movement of Ideas
stanzas: how
they're divided /
length /
content of stanzas
rhyme - any use
or unifying scheme?
why it is / isn't used
Links between
the start / end
of poem
Heaney's connections
with father /
TASK - Find ways to link each of the four speech
bubbles to the central theme. Turn this into a paragraph.
KEY WORDS TO USE: structure / form / irregular / rhyme scheme
Annotate the poem, thinking specifically about imagery. Then write a full P-E-A chain about imagery incorporating the words above, using at least
blended quotations.
TASK: Come up with THREE ORIGINAL whole poem statements about the way that language is used in the poem.

Turn each into a full PEA chain, using blended quotations and evaluative adverbs and adjectives.
[alliteration ; assonance ; sibilance ; repetition ; rhyme ; rhythm]
Task: identify three main emotions the poet expresses. Set them out as headings and group all words and phrases that carry that emotion under the appropriate heading
Turn into a full P-E-A chain
RESPONSE: In PAIRS, complete statements
This is a moving poem because
This poem surprises because
This poem is unusual because
A unique quality of this poem is
Combine these to create a four-sentence conclusion to the essay title
What impression of the connections with his father and his grandfather does Heaney give us in this poem? How does he convey these to the reader?
Subject: consider the following introduction to the essay and try to improve it:
'Quickdraw' is about Carol Ann Duffy having a row with her lover, then waiting for him to phone. The setting is a saloon, where they battle out their points of view like cowboys in a western. There is no real message in the poem.
KEY WORDS: insightful / imaginative / evaluative / critical
- Has everyone understood the poem in the same way?
- How succint is the introduction?
Additional Idea
Get together in groups of three - with people who also have three introductions on the same poem as you - and judge which one is the best! Think 'clear', 'insightful' and 'evaluative'!

Link to Simon Armitage discussing his poem, followed by a reading
What impressions of childhood does the writer present in 'Lippy Kids'?

How does he create these impressions to the reader?
In Pairs:

Individually, try to group words under headings (i.e. 'senses' , 'westerns') in as many ways as you can. Swap headings with your partner, and see if they come up with the same words.

Together, look at the words that appear in more than one heading and think about how words carry more than one meaning. Then work some of these ideas into two P-E-A chains about imagery in the poem.
Look at the feedback your teacher has given you. According to where most areas for development lie, visit one of the following tables, where an appointed 'expert' will be on hand to answer your questions about how to improve:

Table 1: understanding the writer's ideas
Table 2: being evaluative
Table 3: blending quotations successfully
Table 4: writing about language
Table 5: other / general (ie applying SMILER, blended quotations, getting tone and style right etc)

Identify your main area in need of improvement. Your teacher will pair you up with someone who has done well in that area.

Together, focus on improving those areas of your essay...
Look at comments and highlighted areas of your work. Construct three questions that you would like answered about how to improve.

These will be used as a basis for class feedback...
Area 1: understanding the writer's ideas
Area 2: being evaluative
Area 3: blending quotations successfully
Area4: writing about language
Area 5: other / general (ie applying SMILER, blended quotations, getting tone and style right etc)
it's not much of a planet
that everybody leaves
there's not a lot of faith about
but I am someone who believes
that what we need without a doubt
is more of Jimmy Greaves
imagine Jimmy's picture in every picture frame
imagine all religion praising Jimmy's name
the world is just a candle
and Jimmy Greavse is the flame
won't you gimme Jimmy
it used to be his turn of speed.
he left defences in a daze
now he rents his turn of phrase
and when I turn on the TV
and Jimmy's there
my spirits raise
and when I'm in a blazing row
and I'm in the process of rolling up my sleeves
I just think of Greavsie and he relieves me
more and more of Greavsie
is what this counrty needs
he's the man to sow the seeds of sanity
he's off the boooze he's on the ball
he's got a message for us all
he can help humanity
to heal itself
to haul itself
from this self-destructive stupor
he's what you call a trooper
I think he's blinking super
he's a tooper super duper
so please don't give me Henry Cooper
he isn't Jimmy Greaves
people say that I'm loopy
they think I'm nothing
but a Greavsie groupie
but I tell them
you're not fit to wash
Jimmy Greaves' moustache.
Sawn in Twain

Sawn in twain, forlorn lies he,
The once incumbent Christmas tree.
O how of stay-fast needles he boasted,
As those chestnuts gently roasted;
Then, having been dragged through room and hall,
Bald as the proverbial billiard ball.
Once jewelled, be-decked, lit up at night;
Now sawn in half, put out of sight -
Beneath the garden potting shelf,
Where neighbour's cats relieve themselves.

Shivers he at the very mention
Of the Garden Waste Collection.

O tree, once proud, aloof, erect;
You're now - to put it mildy - fecked.

How does Duffy use language effects to put across the impact of her lover's words on her? Pick TWO of the clues below, and use them to make bullet point notes about language use in the poem... (5 minutes)
physical verbs
repetition to echo gunshots
rhyme to create the final ultimate feeling
Try writing at least one of these idea out, as it would appear like a paragraph within your essay...
Movement of Ideas
Use the following terms to help you with (as well as including them) in this section of your response:
sequence of events
not separated into stanzas
irregular line-length
Identify where the narrator's emotions change in the poem, then complete the table:
Line No.
Technique used to convey & how?
not at all
Focus on what you think the writer intends rather than what you actually feel!
10 1
Write a conlcusion based around your responses
combining imagery associated with the senses and weapons, Duffy conveys the violent nature of the feelings and the exchange between them. The voice is a '
', the tongue a '
' and kisses a '
silver bullet
'. The
of this final
suggests that she can be both wounded and charmed by the quick and unexpected responses of her lover.
Furthermore, Duffy uses sporadic internal rhyme to propel the poem forward - 'alone', 'groan', 'tone' and 'phone' all serve to quicken the pace of the poem as the exchanges between them heat up...
Activity 1:

- In silence, annotate the poem in the light of a) the SMILER prompt points, and b) the terms of the question

- While you are doing this, a piece of paper will be passed around your table. On the exposed section, write a) your name b) what you think the poem is about on a surface level c) what you think it is really about (concept / message / theme etc.) One sentence for each only
Was there a concensus on what the literal meaning was about?

How much did opinions on deeper meanings vary?

How far were you from the common concensus of the group; and why do you think that is?
Activity 2: Writing about difficult poetry

Write an intro for this Unseen Poetry title, by answering the SUBJECT questions for the SMILER technique. Use the following words / phrases in your paragraph:
'drowned child'
could be exploring
'lost things'
open to interpretation
These words describe the different phases of the poem. Put them in the right order, then use them to write a paragraph about Gillian Clarke's Movement of Ideas through the poem...
Activity 3
straightforward, blunt description of the key event
captures the moment of anticipation
sense of life and relief
turning point of the poem
reflects Clarke's doubt over the clarity of her memories
ambiguous closure
Misc. Resources
Using AQA '2008' Anthology
Getting to the heart of the poem...quickly!
1. Subject
• Who is the narrator (the poet, fictional first person, third person)?
• Are there other characters in the poem?
• Is there a distinctive setting or sense of place?
• Does the poem tell a story?
• Is there a message, moral or conclusion?

TASK: over 30 minutes, you will be given the title of a poem every ten minutes.
For each poem:
Read question / poem, and annotate in the light of the question
Read through 'S' for SMILER
Write an intro to the essay! (One paragraph, 2-3 sentences, answering all 'S' questions.
Poem 1: 'Before You Were Mine' by Carol Ann Duffy (p.35)

Q: How does the poet feel about her mother in the poem? How does she present these feelings?
Poem 2: 'Hitcher' by Simon Armitage (p.45).

What feelings does the narrator have towards his victim in 'Hitcher'? How does the poet convey these feelings?
Poem 3: 'Sonnet' by John Clare (p.58)

What feelings does the poet have about the season of Summer in the poem? How does he convey these feelings?

I love to see the summer beaming forth

And white wool sack clouds sailing to the north

I love to see the wild flowers come again

And mare blobs stain with gold the meadow drain

And water lillies whiten on the floods

Where reed clumps rustle like a wind shook wood

Where from her hiding place the Moor Hen pushes

And seeks her flag nest floating in bull rushes

I like the willow leaning half way o’er

The clear deep lake to stand upon its shore

I love the hay grass when the flower head swings

To summer winds and insects happy wings

That sport about the meadow the bright day

And see bright beetles in the clear lake play

John Clare, 1841

Response 'template'

'Ultimately, this is a _______ poem. The expressions of _______ and __________ are something that most people have felt at some time in their lives. In particular, the nth line: " ____________" captures this sense of __________ . (Poet's name) writes a _______ piece of verse that leaves the reader feeling _________________ .
Introduction to Unseen Poetry: Creating a Metaphor
How does the thought of studying poetry or writing an essay about a poem you have never seen before make you feel?
Initial feelings:
Think of a particular emotion you feel. Share it with your table and let them help you come up with an beeter word. It need to be an ABSTRACT NOUN eg. 'fear'.

Think of the emotion that you would
to feel everytime you faced poetry or upon completing a poetry essay or scheme of work.

Write your two words at the top and the bottom of the card, with an arrow between. Stick this into your book.
Around the top word write down reasons and experiences that make you feel that way at the start of the process. Try to be as specific as you can. You will need to have room to write a second sentence underneath each of these, so leave some room...
Around the bottom word, write down all of the things you need or would like to have to get you to that word instead of the top word. Again, leave some space beneath each, but be as specific as you can
You are going to turn these ideas into A METAPHOR - something that will represent your Unseen Poem. Pick one of the following:
The Unseen-Poem Monster

The Unseen-Poem Chamber

An Unseen-Poetry Terrain (or Landscape)
Now, try to turn each of your statements into an element of the metaphor...
Example: The Unseen-Poetry Terrain
You might have written 'boredom' as your top word. Around that word, you might have written 'don't get / understand the language, so find boring'

Your metaphor could be 'without a map' or the terrain being 'deceptively dull' or 'featureless'.

A bottom word might be 'discovery' and you may have written 'understanding the poem'. a metaphor could be finding small signs of colourful plantlife and finding a pathway through...
...start to craft some of these ideas into a poem...

Inital Exercise

On your own, take the shuffled stanzas of the poem and put them into the right order.

Compare them with another person nearby. Are they the same? Write down what sort of clues you used to get there.

Stick the poem - 'Follower' by Seamus Heaney - into a blank page of your exercise book.
Extension: did you notice any other technical details about the poem as you completed these exercises?
The title is often the key to a poem. To what extent does that apply here?
Answer the other questions under 'S' for SMILER
Work these ideas into a 2-3 sentence intro to an essay on the following question:
What are the poet's feelings about his father in the poem 'Follower'. How does he convey these feelings to the reader?
Movement of Ideas
Complete with words or phrases:

Essentially, the poem is structured into ____ main sections. The first, where [blended quotation], concerns ______________ ; whereas the second moves into Heaney ______________________ . Heaney then goes on to _______ . This movement of ideas enables the reader to understand how ____________ .
Use the prompt words below to make TWO P-E-A chains about IMAGERY...
the land / soil
strength / weakness
expertise / precision
juxtapositioning / contrasting
Are there any words in the poem that you don't understand? Ask your teacher or use a dictionary!
1. Name two key functions of language in this poem.
2. Identify three or four examples for each function.
3. In each case identify either a) specific language technique used or b) specific part of speech used

Go on to use this material to write up a language section response for the question on 'Follower'
• Are feeling s expressed explicitly in the poem? If so, how?
• If feelings are not expressed explicitly, how are they communicated?
• How does the language of the poem and its imagery contribute to the expression of feelings?

He moves from feeling __________ to feeling _________________; how is this shown?
Subtle ways in which emotions are revealed?
• What do you like about the poem?
• Can you identify with the feelings expressed?
• Which line, phrase or image do you find most powerful or effective in the poem?
• If there are parts of the poem that you find difficult, can you think of alternative interpretations?
• How would you describe the effect of the poem? Is it powerful, moving, provocative, disturbing, entertaining?

Ultimately, this is a very ______ poem. What stands out in particular is the way that
(poet's name) ___________ . The phrase, '_____________ ' captures this very well, because______. However, there are challenging areas to the poem: the line _______ could mean ________ ; or (the poet) could also be implying that ________ . The overall effect of the piece, though, is to have a _________ and _________ effect upon the reader.
" In Carol Ann Duffy's 'Before You Were Mine', the poet explores her mother's life as a 'bold girl' on the streets of Scotland, enjoying life with her 'pals'. Through a series of often funny stanzas, Duffy imagines the life of someone close before they bcame the person she know knows."
"Armitage's disturbing
centres around the psychopathic thoughts of a disillusioned narrator, as he describes attacking an innocent 'hitcher' from the roadside. Set in the North of the UK, the poem's realistic settings and details are a chilling indictment of the effects of boredom and disillusionment in modern Britain."
Rhyme Scheme
Rhyme Scheme
Last Minute Tips
Time Management!
Draw Up a Game Plan!
In the first 10 minutes I will...
In the next ten minutes I will...
In the third ten minutes I will...
In the final 15 minutes, I will...
Base you ideas around SMILER
Put Yourself
Under the Microscope!
As you work, imagine what you look like to an observer:
what is your writing posture like?
how often do you 'drift off'?
is your body language positive or defeatist?
how often are you writing; how often thinking?
Film yourself, the next time you do a practice question in your own space - you might be surprised by what you see!
The more detailed and thorough your planning,the less you need to stop and think while writing!
Full transcript