Close analysis coursework at A level: New OCR

close reading ideas with direct reference to Reading Reconsidered by Doug Lemov et al.

I have never got on with recreative tasks – probably my fault, but there it is….  I am about to prepare year 12 for their close analysis/recreative coursework element as part of the new OCR A level in English Literature.

Students will be be focused on Jerusalem (Butterworth) for this task.  This post gives some ideas for approach to the tasks as well as the OCR materials relevant to this study.

It is clear that 3 or 4 pages are needed and I wanted to tie in with straightforward questions regarding either Writer’s craft per se, or characterization in this task.  The final choice of passages and questions should be made by the students themselves, but my current thinking identifies good sections as follows:

Act 1: pp5-9 (top): the prologue and opening

Act 2: pp47-51 (top) opening of the act to “departure of Lee”

Act 2: pp78-82 Johnny/Troy confrontation

Act 3: pp100-104 Phaedra and Johnny

Act 3: pp106-109 Marky/Johnny/conclusion.

There are many more…

Questions will take the following form:

How does Butterworth use language to create and develop character?

How do the dramatic methods used by Butterworth shape the ending of the play?

How do the dramatic methods used by Butterworth create an effective opening to the play?

Students will be reminded of the word limit:  3000 across 2 pieces of work, requiring this piece to hit as near as possible 1000 words.  The structure is necessarily tight:  a short opening to place the extract in context and to focus the thesis. Then close critical analysis of the extract with clear regard to the fact that only AO1 and AO2 are assessed in this piece of work.

OCR have published the following document to assist teachers: