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?

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The lesson began with Mr.Sadgrove 's review of some of the pieces of coursework he briefly read. Overall he evaluated that the small sample he had read did not go into enough detail to get high marks. In order to help us improve our essays he then gave everyone a piece of coursework that was written 2 years ago that had received 26/30 marks. The class then analysed this essay and discussed what made it so good.

After this, we then went onto the second lesson of our new unit (narrative) and discussed the difference between poetry and prose. To help us with this discussion we looked at a quote from Sylvia Plath:

If a poem is concentrated, a closed fist, then a novel is relaxed and expansive, an open hand: it has roads, detours, destinations; a heart line, a head line; morals and money come into it. Where the fist excludes and stuns, the open hand can touch and encompass a great deal in its travels.”

Following this, various members of the class gave their views on this statement and overall there was a mixed response as some agreed whereas others disagreed. We then went onto a slightly different discussion and debated "Why would a writer tell a story in poetry rather than prose?" Overall it was concluded that when writing poetry, writers had much more "tools in their toolkit" to use opposed to the limited options of prose.

Different types of narrative:

Narrative: The recounting of an event or collection of events. Narrative technique is the method/ways in which a story is told

Narrative poetry: The telling of a story in poetry. In the case of narrative poetry, the writer has available many of the techniques of the narrative prose writer (voice, structure, manipulation of time, lexis & imagery) + all the techniques available to a poet

Forms of poetry:

Dramatic Monologue: Imaginary speaker addressing an imaginary audience, usually imitates natural speech (often iambic pentameter)

Lyrics: Having the form and musical quality of a song, can involve an out pouring of emotions of poets/characters own thoughts and feelings in a personal manner

Narrative / Ballad: A longer poem that tells a story usually with dialogue , often tragic and can be lyrical.

^ (If you don't have those definitions copied, it would be a good idea to copy now) ^

Next, Mr Sadgrove revealed some background information about the poem which was essential to understand it. We discussed the myth of King Arthur and Camelot. After this, Sir told us to draw a picture in our book of a long river, a castle, a island, a road & many more. When reading the poem (The Lady of Shallot) the activity of drawing the picture became clear, it aided us in understanding the poem.

Background information & the actual poem can be found here:

After reading the poem we discussed what form the narrative was in and briefly analysed the language structure and form of the poem.


Mark the coursework essay we were given at the beginning of the lesson using colour codes to highlight the different AO's e.g. blue for AO1, green for AO2, red for AO3, yellow for AO4. Evaluate what made it a good essay (success) and also how it could be improved (target).
Look at your own essay and see how it could be improved by completing the success/target sheet

Research: King Artur, Camelot, Sir Lancelot

Research: Role of women in Victorian society

Also if you haven't already, research Alfred, Lord Tennyson write 10 bullet points about his life.

Comment on this post

Homework due next lesson (11/1/12)



  1. Poems & Prose

    My Example

    the opening of the hand suggests the "unlocking" of certain things you cannot use. Whereas closed fist would mean limited amount of techniques.

  2. Thanks sonny, good details of the lesson almost as if i was there,:)

  3. good blog Sonny it helped me as i wasn`t in

  4. Drawing the picture before reading the poem made me understand the piece much more easily. Hopefully we will do the same for future poetry.

    Chris W

  5. I enjoyed drawing the picture, however mine didnt turn out that well.

    Awesome blog Sonny :)

    Esmeralda ;)

  6. Nice one Sonny. This King Arthur stuff is a good myth, I'd love to know who made it up.


  7. Good blog Sonny,

    I agree as well drawing the picture beforehand made it easier for me to understand the poem.

  8. good blog sonny...well done

    i have nothing else to say

    Saways xx

  9. I totally agree with everyone that drawing a picture before reading the actual poem was useful, because it made me understand and visualise the journey from Shallot to Camelott and imagine what the lady felt like.

    Like your detailed blog post alot Sonny :)


  10. Great blog sonny drawing the picture was really a challenge but still helped me have an imagination of what Lady Shalott is seeing. Reading the poem made the picture come to life.