Revision Links: Macbeth

As part of your revision for Macbeth, watch these videos:

Full audio book:

Film: Royal Shakespeare Company, Macbeth:

60 Second Recap playlist:

Thug notes:

These websites are also excellent:

Bitesize: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/dramamacbeth/

Sparknotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/macbeth/

Litcharts: http://www.litcharts.com/lit/macbeth

Revision Links: A Christmas Carol

As part of your revision for a Christmas Carol, watch these videos:

Full audio book with text:

2009 Disney Film:

Plot Summary:

Thug Notes:

Mr Bruff’s playlist:

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These websites are also excellent:

Bitesize: http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zcs8qty

Sparknotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/christmascarol/

Litcharts: http://www.litcharts.com/lit/a-christmas-carol

 

Of Mice and Men – Chapter One Recap: by Nikita

Thank you to Nikita for writing up this comprehensive set of notes from our lesson revising chapter 1:

Description of the Brush- page 1

  • “path beaten hard by boys coming down from the ranches”
  • “limb is worn smooth by men who have sat on it”
  • “leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among”

The brush only appears in Chapter 1&6 where George and Lennie are alone together. It’s a place where they feel safe. There are a lot of links and symbols of animals that Steinbeck presents in his cyclical novel.

The Two Protagonists- George and Lennie

George: “dark of face”, “restless eyes”, “sharp, strong features”, “small, quick”, “strong hands, thin”.

Lennie: “his opposite”, “huge man”, “large, pale eyes”, “wide sloping shoulders”, “dragging his feet, the way a bear drags his paws”.

Similarities with both: “denim trousers and denim coats with brass buttons”, “shapeless hats”, “carried tight blanket rolls slung over their shoulders”.

It is ironic how Lennie – who is the bigger person- isn’t as strong as we may think he is at first impression as his mental capability is the very opposite.

Their First Conversation

  • George leads, Lennie follows.
  • Their back story which is given in Chapter 1 foreshadows everything that is to come in the book.
  • In Weed “they run us outta Weed”– foreshadows trouble they’ve been in before.
  • Aunt Clara “Lady huh? That was your own aunt Clara” – foreshadows dangers with women.
  • The Bus “Bastard bus driver” – presents George’s angry nature and explicit language.
  • Mouse “What you want of a dead mouse anyways” – foreshadows the deaths.

Steinbeck from the very start of the book presents a naïve and vulnerable character for Lennie which makes the reader very fond of him so that even in the later part of the book, where he commits murders, we don’t despise his character. Every character in the book is a typical stereotype in this microcosmic world.

The Murders

  • Mouse dead Chapter 1
  • Dog dead Chapter 5
  • Curley’s wife dead Chapter 5

As the story continues each murder by Lennie (in size) gets bigger from mouse, dog, a human. The mouse is extremely small compared to Lennie however his mental capacity is the same as a mouse. Steinbeck may even be trying to show that Lennie kills things he loves therefore he is a real threat to everyone.

During the time the book was set everyone was suffering from the Great Depression so when they were eating the tin of beans it was very relieving as they wouldn’t know when the next time for them to eat would come.

Lennie and George’s Relationship

“If I was alone I could live so easily”– says George but as readers we know he doesn’t really mean this as he loves Lennie’s company even though he is hard work to put up with. If George didn’t have Lennie as his companion he would be as lonely and bitter as the other men on the ranch that we later learn about in the book.

However, Lennie isn’t as daft as we initially think he is as he quite cleverly says “George, you want I should go away and leave you alone?” – Lennie tries to manipulate George to make him feel guilty and realise that his life wouldn’t be the same without him. Lennie doesn’t manipulate him in a bad intention but in a rather child-like manner which reflects his persona on the whole too.

Towards the end on Chapter One George tells Lennie about what life is like for “Guys like us” as he is reassuring Lennie that they’re both doing things together and have each other’s back. It shows how sad and lonely life was like for ranch men and makes readers sympathise for them.

Chapter One’s Significance

  • Shows man’s place in nature and how everything around is really safe as we humans originate from nature too.
  • Animalism is a common theme in Chapter One when describing Lennie also.
  • Gives the reader background information of the two protagonists and that information foreshadows the coming events in the book.
  • Addresses George’s tentativeness with Lennie and the fear of him getting them both in trouble.

English Language Exam – Writing

You are tested on your writing skills in Section B of the exam. Firstly, ensure that you allow enough time to complete this part of the exam – one hour. Don’t overrun during the reading section!

There are two questions to respond to – question 5 asking you to inform/explain/describe, and question 6 asking you to persuade/advise. Read the questions closely to find out the purpose and audience for your writing. For example, in this question: Write a letter to your local MP persuading them to improve the facilities for young people in your area, you are being asked to write a letter (you should adopt the form by using an address and Dear Sir/Madam) to your MP (which suggests that it should be formal) persuading (use persuasive techniques).

Once you have established purpose and audience, you are ready to plan. It’s worth spending a little time planning so that you don’t ‘burn out of ideas’ half way through writing. Decide what the main points of your description/argument are going to be. These can be developed and will become your paragraphs.

Now you are ready to write! For both questions, you are being tested on your communication, organisation and accuracy:

Writing Overview

Here are some ideas to help the organisation of your writing:

writing paragraphs

Writing features

Here is a writing toolbox with a reminder of what to include:

writing toolboxAnd finally, the all important mark scheme. Aim high!

writing grades

Question 4 – Comparing Language: Part Two

This is a very short post with prompts for comparison between the two articles we looked at in class today. The two articles can be found here and here.

Here are some of the language comparisons we made today. Can you write one or two up as comparative paragraphs then make some more of your own?

q4

English Language Exam: Writing Tips

The best way to prepare for the writing section is to practise writing! (Obviously) But if you’re looking for some tips or inspiration, hopefully this post will help you out.

Firstly, you should consider what is required of you in the exam. It’s important that your writing is fluent, accurate and interesting. You need to prove that the last 11 years of learning literacy at school were not in vain. Here is a simplified overview of the assessment criteria for the writing questions (Questions 5 and 6)

GCSE Writing Criteria

You need to show that you can write confidently for a range of purposes and audiences. The exam has two writing tasks; firstly question 5 asks you to write to explain/describe; secondly question 6 asks you to argue/persuade.

In order to achieve full marks in the communication and organisation criteria, you should make sure that ideas are organised into logical, flowing paragraphs and that you use a range of techniques appropriate to the purpose of the writing. Below, you will find two examples of each writing type with various techniques that can be used in the exam. Both responses are from past paper questions:

Question 5 – Explain/Describe

Description Techniques

Question 6 – Argue/Persuade

Persuasion

In addition to using relevant techniques and organising your ideas, you must ensure that your writing is grammatically correct. The focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar is high on all English exams this year. Take a closer look at the assessment criteria for SPaG:

spag focus

 

Remember to use a range of sentences in your response. Recall the methods that you have learnt in class, including the slow writing technique where we varied sentences by using ‘Simple/Compound/Complex/Repeat’. Here is a reminder of the three  major sentence types:

Sentence Types

You should also vary your vocabulary to try and impress your reader. The best way to develop your vocabulary is by reading a wide and varied range of sources; you could also include vocabulary that you have learnt during your study of the poems. As an extra task, why not use these word clouds to revise new vocabulary and add new words to your repertoire:

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Happy revising 🙂