PETAL paragraphs

Analysing language is difficult. Analysing language and commenting on effect is even more difficult. Analysing language, form, structure, commenting on effect, using subject terminology and linking to contextual factors all within one response is pretty terrifying for a class just starting Year 10.

We are currently working on answering the Section B part of Literature Paper 1. This is the 19th Century text extract question which requires analysis of the extract and then the text as a whole. In order to prepare my class for the analytical skills involved we are looking at a range of 19th Century extracts and trying to analyse just the extract in detail before we move onto anything else.

I’ve been using the sample papers on the AQA website to provide extracts to teach with so we have covered Oliver Twist and Frankenstein so far with The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and The Sign of Four coming up.

Here is my latest acronym to help students remember what to include:

petal

So far we have done two lessons covering contextual factors that might influence a text or the reading of it and we have begun looking at how a response may look. The example above is clearly a very basic start but it has the ingredients that the examiners will look for.

We are using starters to cover subject terminology each lesson and then analysing an extract in pairs and groups before moving onto a more detailed response and peer or self assessment. A starter might be: list as many verbs to suggest fast movement as you possible or list as many adjectives to describe a busy town as possible. Again, just getting students used to using the basic terminology before we step it up a level.

In our lesson today we looked at the extract on Frankenstein and I broke it down into smaller questions for them to answer in pairs before we moved onto synthesising information and constructing a full PETAL paragraph. The questions I used were:

How does Shelley present Frankenstein’s monster as needing to be loved and accepted?

 

  1. Why do we feel sorry for the monster when he wants to ‘claim protection and kindness?’

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. How does the verb ‘yearned’ show loneliness?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Why does he describe their looks as ‘sweet’?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Why do we feel pity when he says the ‘utmost limit of (his) ambition’ is to be looked at kindly?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Why might people treat the monster with ‘disdain and horror’?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. He describes kindness and sympathy as something he ‘requires’. What does this suggest about how he feels?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. The monster describes his ‘unnatural hideousness’. How does this suggest he feels about himself and the way people react to him?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. He wishes to be ‘tolerated’ – do you think he has a good opinion of himself? Explain your thoughts.

 

This is what a first attempt at a PETAL paragraph looked like:

Picture1

Not a bad start for 3 lessons in! We are looking at the difference between understanding, examining and exploring next. Hoping to use exampro to give some great examples of written responses and make use of target tasks and DIRT to extend answers in books.

Any tips or suggested extracts for me?

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