HHW #2 High Ability Y10 Creation of Introductions

Student Feedback from Hexagon Introductions Lesson

The above image typifies the  responses I recieved after using hexagons with Y10 today. Well actually, one boy stated that I could improve my teaching by “demonstrating through interpretive dance” rather than hexagons. You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

The following reflection comes from a lesson taught today; I wanted pupils to develop their own building blocks to create essay introductions. I wanted them to be confident that they could apply these methods to any essay (not just our current topic An Inspector Calls), requiring an introduction of this kind.

Previous to the lesson, pupils have explored both the play and its context. They have also created a plan for their own essays using our three point plan method; we apply this to any essay that we are preparing for so pupils get used to planning in this way.

The Three Point Plan for An Inspector Calls Essay

Connect

Pupils were shown an example of how I had converted my main ideas from my plan into unistructural statements on five hexagons.

My Unistructural Hexagons

They were asked to do the same with their plans. I checked that pupils had not gone into multistructural detail as this would miss the point of what we needed to achieve with these statements.

I provided pupils with eight hexagons (knowing that they had around five paragraph topics to cover) and asked them to leave three blank for later use. We then put all of the hexagons to one side for the moment.

New Information

I wanted pupils to know what a good introduction looks like and so I provided them with both a poor introduction:

An Inspector Calls is set in 1912. 1912 was before the world wars had taken place. There had been no woman Prime minister at that time and women were not allowed to vote meaning it was an extremely sexist time to live. In this essay I am going to show you how there is a development in the relationships between the older generation and the younger generation. The inspector helps this to happen as he says: “In fire and blood and anguish”. Sheila knows what he means and she cannot forget that he said those words. She has become a socialist; whereas, the older generations remain in their high society bubble. They remain happy in the knowledge that the Titanic will never sink and that there will be no war.

 As well as a good introduction:

JB Priestly’s An Inspector Calls, represents all that is wrong with a society which is ruled by higher classes. The play was written post war but is set in the nostalgic time of 1912; a time of prosperity for capitalists but also a time of impending change. Seemingly, the characters represent both capitalism and the newly emerging socialists. I will explore how, through the driving force of the Inspector, the once happy Birlings are suddenly ripped apart socially by the opposing ideals of generations. I also want to discover how Eva Smith, either as a representation of the lower classes or as an individual unfortunate, also develops this change within them. How does the inspector drive forward this change through his investigation?

Search for Meaning

I asked them to first, spot the differences between the introductions and second, create a list of what to do and what not to do when creating an introduction. Pupils came up with the following:

Do:

  • Use your introductory sentence to set the scene
  • Add Contextual evidence that is relevant
  • Include the main points from your essay (unistructural only)
  • Finish with a lead into the essay

Do Not:

  • Add too much detail,
  • Say the words “in this essay I am writing about” or state the obvious
  • Add contextual evidence that is not relevant to the essay that is about to follow.

Once they were clear with the type of information that they should use, I wanted them to see that the information could be labelled and transferred to any introduction. I showed them the building blocks to my introduction by colour coding them.

JB Priestly’s An Inspector Calls, represents all that is wrong with a society which is ruled by higher classes. The play was written post war but is set in the nostalgic time of 1912; a time of prosperity for capitalists but also a time of impending change. Seemingly, the characters represent both capitalism and the newly emerging socialists. I will explore how, through the driving force of the Inspector, the once happy Birlings are suddenly ripped apart socially by the opposing ideals of generations. I also want to discover how Eva Smith, either as a representation of the lower classes or as an individual unfortunate, also develops this change within them. How does the inspector drive forward this change through his investigation?

They worked out that the building blocks that I had used were: RED: Introduce using a relevant but interesting one liner. GREEN: Relevant contextual evidence. ORANGE: My ideas in unistructural format (the hexagons). PURPLE: A lead into my first paragraph. When discussing the purple, we discussed how questions, if carefully linked to the original question, can help pupils to use their expert knowledge to take their work to a more extended abstract level.

Demonstrate

Pupils then went back to their hexagons to demonstrate what they had learned. They already had their orange information written as unistructural statements from the connect activity. Each person’s statements were different as each pupil had created their own paragraph topics in a previous lesson (see plan above for example). I asked them to use their three left over hexagons to complete their introduction. They needed to create an interesting one liner, relevant contextual; evidence and a lead into their first paragraph.

Pupils had to create individual statements that were personal to their work. They were all using the same method but were thinking for themselves. The hexagons worked brilliantly to separate their “building blocks” of ideas and, once they had their ideas written onto them, they were able to play about with their order and think about how best to arrange ideas to lead into their essays.

 

Example of Pupil Response 1

Example of Pupil Response 2

Review

Although I had set out to use hexagons as a way of explicitly getting all pupils in this class to extended abstract, I am quite pleased with the lesson I ended up delivering. Pupils find it difficult to create introductions of their own. I have shown pupils introduction examples in the past, only to have them copied exactly with no thought into the method of production.

Using the hexagons made the stages of an introduction visible and adaptable. It helped to get pupils thinking for themselves and applying their own ideas in their own way. Most pupils ended the lesson having related their learning to their own work. One pupil told me that she was going to attempt to have her interesting one liner (red) as a metaphor related to the context, the inspector and the essay question; she has evaluated what I have done and created her own interpretation of it and, if she pulls it off, has reached extended abstract in her introduction.

Overall, I’d say hexagons to teach high ability were a success. Next stop, using hexagons to link Media theory to practice (Y13 OCR G323/4)

2 thoughts on “HHW #2 High Ability Y10 Creation of Introductions

  1. Pingback: HHW #2 High Ability Y10 Creation of Introductions | Reflections of a Learning Geek

  2. Pingback: Linking Practical and Theory Hexagons and Media | Reflections of a Learning Geek

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