Teaching and Practising Big Ideas: Jekyll and Hyde

Students who get the highest grades at GCSE literature write essays that are focused on abstract and conceptual ideas. Teaching and practising analytical introductions is one way of ensuring that their writing is pitched at such a level. Teaching them an efficient process for answering an examination question is also crucial.

Here is a list of some of the big ideas that students can write about in response to Jekyll and Hyde:

Here is a downloadable word doc version

I usually use this at the end of a unit and from then onwards as a revision tool. Each of the bullet points is a potential paragraph or section of an essay. Here is a list of some useful approaches:

Building Understanding

  1. I annotate it under a visualiser, asking students to copy my annotations onto their copy or asking student to suggest annotations.

2. I ask them questions about the annotations using think-pair-share

3. I ask students to turn the annotations into extended writing, focussing on one row.

4. We discuss them. What does this mean? Which is the most important bullet point for answering the question words in the left hand column? Is there a big idea that is missing here? Do you disagree with any of these? If you were writing an essay using these bullet points, which order would you write the paragraphs in and why? (this gets students thinking about connections between big ideas)

5. Ask them to write an analytical introduction using the bullet points

Retrieval Practice: Strengthening Memories and Recall

  1. Ask students to annotate it themselves from memory
  2. Ask them to think of quotations that fit each bullet point
  3. Ask them to write an explanation of a bullet point or section
  4. Ask them to list the bullet points that fit specific question words
  5. Ask them to write an analytical introduction from memory
  6. Ask them which question words the bullet points match (can they remember the stuff in the left hand column)

All of the retrieval activities should be accompanied with instant corrective feedback so that students can plug the gaps in their knowledge; additionally, teachers can use information from these retrieval activities to ascertain which topics the class need additional help with.

Once we have finished the initial teaching unit for Jekyll, we can then keep returning to these big ideas, using the approaches above to ensure that students are able to recall and apply what they have learned.

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