"It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching."
Portia, The Merchant of Venice, Act I, Scene II.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Year 13 - Unit: Chapter One

My Year 13s are working on analysing genre and style in the first chapters of novels.  The unit is based on the assessment task "Chapter One" for AS 90720, which you can find on Te Kete Ipurangi at http://www.tki.org.nz/r/ncea/eng3_1Bv2_25jan06.doc  We have read and analysed Chapter One of The Last Ride by Thomas Eidson (Western), Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell (Crime/Thriller), The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan (Fantasy) and Tongue in Chic by Christina Dodd (Romance) using the templates in the tki resource.

My students are now choosing the genre they want to write in and they have to find three novels from that genre and analyse their first chapters using the same template.  The aim of this is to get them 'in the zone' for their genre - familiar with the vocabulary and style so that they are ready to write their own piece in the style of their chosen genre.

Each year I have some students who have trouble choosing their genre.  I tell them to go with what they like reading, as they will be more familiar with the style.  There is usually some bright spark (yes, even in the 'top' English class!) who says they don't like reading; I ask them what kind of movies they like and tell them to choose novels in that genre.

Most of the Year 13 class are heading off to camp for three days this week with the Year 9 students they are mentoring this year, so progress on the unit will be slow.

HoD life: I spent a frustrating couple of hours this morning trying to work out how to catalogue departmental resources and print barcodes for them - moving to automating our textbook management, which has been all manual card systems up until now.  Hopefully once I have my head around it this process will speed up!

Teacher life: PPTA meeting in Palmerston North this afternoon.

Life, the big L: eleven of us (staff, significant others and a couple of parents) had a team in the Great Lake Relay over the weekend - 155 km around Lake Taupo.  An awesome weekend!

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