The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Lesson 1 - Intro to English and ideas of Tragedy (An example of a good scribe post)

In this lesson we completed a student survey and discussed our reasons for chosing English as as an A level course as well as our favourite books. These ranged from books studied at school (such as Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and Wilde's A Picture of Dorian Gray) to books chosen and read independently. We were also introduced to our teacher's expectations in English and the make up of the course for AS. The first unit is called Dramatic Genres: Tragedy and entails the study of a Shakespearean tragedy - Othello (click on link for a synopsis of the play and other information) and a modern tragedy.

Following this we discussed/brainstormed the concept of tragedy in general terms, coming up with assosiations of sadness, melancholy, death, revenge, depression etc. This informed a discussion of what we might consider 'tragic' and whether things such as the BP oil spill could be deemed 'tragic'. With a general understanding of some ideas of what tragedy might mean we looked at several poems which could be considered to espouse a 'tragic' view of the world or an event. We discussed Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold and the sound of an ebbing sadness Arnold percieves in a world ''where neither joy, nor love, nor light... nor peace' are possible. Key to this discussion was the meeting of WHAT the poem said to us and HOW the poet had shaped his meaning. Here is an animation of Arnold reading his poem.

This led to an analysis of three futher poems which groups will need to get to know well for homework in preparation for teaching them to the class next lesson (Thursday). Futher Homework was to research a definition of tragedy and bring it to the next lesson.

Mr S

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