Lesson video

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Our focus today, is to analyse the writer's use of language and to complete our reading of our extracts from Isabella Bird's text, "The Hawaiian Archipelago." You will need a pen and paper.

Take a moment to make sure you've cleared any distractions away and have everything you need to hand.

To begin with then, just a quick reminder of our subject terminology for non-fiction texts.

Let's give you a moment to glance down the screen.

And then we'll begin our reading.

So as we read this final part of the extract, we're going to look at it from a language perspective.

So we have our question on the screen right now.

"How does the writer use language to share the dangers of the environment?" We're going to read the passage once and during this reading, I would like you to concentrate on the focus of the question, which is the dangers of the environment.

As you're doing that, you are likely to begin to start thinking about relevant evidence and also considering word class.

But your primary focus is just to get a feel for the passage and to think about the focal point, which is the dangers of the environment.

So it's over to you to have a read through and control the screen.

And I will be waiting for you in a few minutes to continue with our secondary reading.

Welcome back then.

So first reading done.

On our secondary reading, what we're now going to do is to actually start to visualise the final response.

And we're going to be thinking about selecting three relevant quotations with an anchor quotation, remember that richest of rich quotation at the heart of our response, that best answers the question, i.

e the focus of dangers of the environment.

And then two additional quotations that further strengthen the argument that we want to make about how language is being used in the passage.

So on this second reading, you are going to aim to select three relevant quotations.

And you're also going to be thinking about how you are going to link those quotations.

Remember our skills, demonstrating and understanding of the text in relation to the passage as a whole.

And let's just pause for a moment and remember Isabella Bird, full well knows the dangers of this environment because she's gone there a second time.

Why is she there? She wants to be there.

She wants to have this sublime experience.

So keep that within your mind.

That's a point that we want to be able to communicate.

We're going to have a selection of two to three key quotations.

We've always worked with three, and within those three quotations, we're going to make sure that we can control them, that we can actually unpick them and do something with the language we've talked previously too about trying to show some sort of range in the different types of language features we're selecting.

And the most important part is the linking of the evidence showing how each individual selection is working collaboratively, working together to make the meaning.

They're not three random things we've just picked.

This is how the language is working together.

And we know how we set it out, don't we? We're going to have our piece of paper, landscape with our three clouds ready to populate.

In the middle we will pop our rich anchor quotation.

You will then mine that quotation.

You will zoom in on pick explode al of those details, thinking about connotations in relation to the passage.

And then move through quotation one into quotation two, thinking about how an idea or concept or thoughts or feeling is reinforced or contrasted with another language choice.

And then think about how the third quotation adds to the overall impact of the language.

Okay? So reminder of what we do and why we do it.

And I'm really hoping now that this is becoming quite second nature and you're thinking, "Yep, I know exactly what I'm doing, and I know it's going to get easier and easier." Remember, it's the quality of your plan that will lead to the ease of writing up when that comes next.

Over to you.

Welcome back.

So, final step then, the quality of the plan will lead to the quality of the response.

That's where we're at now.

I will as ever give you some supporting sentence starters and a reminder of the framework that we will use.

And we will do this as a slow write where we do a little bit at a time constantly now, checking that we are thinking about the links between each section and really making sure that we are digging into our response and really grappling with the language, and then considering those big picture ideas.

Before we begin, I will share with you my three quotations and my quotation plan, so that you've got this as a little check in point at this stage.

And also, because I wanted to make a really particular point actually, my rich quotation is from the very last line of the text, "Hell itself seemed opening at our feet." And I think that is the ultimate understanding of the dangers of her environment.

I think that the fact that she likens it to how, is really clear.

So I've put that down as my most powerful quotation.

But I've had to qualify it a little bit because I know that she's chosen to be here.

And when she describes it as how she isn't frightened, and I've got this qualifying sort of additional bracketed comment underneath, "Lured as often back by the fascination of the horrors below." And what I want to do is to work with those two ideas.

That's my central arguments that it is hell and she wants to be there, that she wants to have this sublime experience.

So that's my selection and I need to grapple with the second part in the bracket as to how I'm going to use it.

My second comment is that I noticed when I was trying to select that the sentences are quite complex, they are quite lengthy sentences, and therefore I've found that I've needed to clip parts of a quotation and run some ideas together.

So that's fine too.

It might be that you need to do that.

And in my two additional selections, I have gone for rich quotations that further add to the atmosphere and the descriptive detail and the impact of this scene, because she's so good recording the feelings, the sensations of being in this moment.

So that there's lots of sound, that there's lots of almost like smell and sites before you.

So I wanted to get those in the final two quotations.

So that was my thinking.

In terms of what you're going to do then, I have given you an overview statement to get you started.

So Bird uses language to emphasise the perilous nature of the vantage point she has taken to observe the activity of the volcano.

And I've deliberately used perilous, selecting that as a little sneaky additional quotation, that it is a perilous situation.

She knows that, but I've put here the nature of the vantage points she has taken.

She has chosen to be there.

And I wanted to get that in my overview statement.

She hasn't just accidentally turned up there.

This hasn't taken her by surprise.

This is a deliberate choice.

And she is placing herself in this position.

And that's central to my argument.

You will then put in your quotation.

Remember we then structure the sentence so that we fall ground the technical aspect.

And that way we make sure we retain the focus on language and we don't stray into interpreting ideas.

We then don't leave that quotation alone.

We zoom in, we unpick a particular word or a particular technique.

We then, if we can go back and mine and look at another word and it's connection build as comprehensive and analysis as we possibly can so that we really do squeeze out every detail of our rich quotations.

We constantly make sure that our explanations are linking back to the bigger picture of the passage and what the overall feelings are, so that we're not making any random comments about words and their effects.

That everything is jelling together and linking.

So that's our first phase and quite a detailed reminder there for you.

And I will now hand over to you.

As soon as you are ready we'll move on to the next step.

Welcome back.

So next step is, to now work through our second and third quotation.

So not much explanation needed from me.

We did that in quite a lot of depth.

Really, I want you to think about the links.

I really want you to think about creating this overall analysis.

If you think about the models we've been working with in the last few weeks, we've increasingly looked to blend together one piece of evidence into another so it almost become seamless and that's what we're aiming for.

So the reminder is, that we've got these key words of, this is reinforced by all.

This is contrasted by as a focal point as we move between one piece of evidence and another.

You're working through point 2 quotation, subject terminology into the language focus into the zoom in, explanation, then into point 3 and repeat once more.


So again, over to you.

Your time.

And now we're ready for our conclusions.

So what you now need to do is to think about how you're going to bring this whole piece together.

And in particular, this is where we're going to try and give a big picture overview at the end.

Thinking about what we said at the beginning as our overview statement, we are now going to give the final concluding comments and bringing the whole response together, capturing the essence of the relationship between Isabella Bird and this dangerous moment.

So somewhere in there, I want to see the word sublime.

I want you to think about those ideas.


Over to you.

And welcome back.

So we're on to reading our model answer, and ask we have been getting used to this as a process, we're going to repeat the same thing here when we're reading the model.

So within the model, I have picked out three key skills.

We have got all of our evidence picked out in pink, and it is the evidence that I shared with you from my quotation plan.

I've picked out the subject terminology in purple.

And then I've picked out the sort of linking, bridging sentences that are helping me build my arguments in orange.

So that's the colour coding that we're going to be working with.

On the first reading I want you to mark yourself every time you demonstrate one of those skills because that means you are making progress with your analysis.

And that is fantastic.

So that's what we're really wanting to see.

I will then give you opportunity to read the whole response for yourselves at your own pace.

And that way you can then bring in any additional ideas you might want to take, phrasing that you think is particularly good because you might have a little bit of a sticky bit of analysis where the wording's not quite working as you would want it to.

So you'll get an opportunity to then really finesse your answer so you have the very best model possible in response to this question.

Okay, let's have a look together.


Always there, so we know what we're working towards.

And then here we go.

Bird uses language to emphasise the perilous nature of the vantage point she has taken to observe the activity of the volcano.

Her final conclusion that, "Hell itself seemed opening at our feet," underlines that this is a place like no other on earth, a point of abyss.

So I've acknowledged that this is from the end of the text.

And I've also started to introduce a little bit of wider thinking with this phrasing of the points of abyss.

And I'm referencing journey narratives that somehow it's almost as if Isabella Bird is on a quest and that word, abyss means that she's either going to return from the abyss with the new enlightenment or you fall into an abyss.

So we've got that idea being generated of a point of conflict, a point of friction.

The noun, hell suggests a malignity about the location that is actively opening up at her feet.

The present participle verb underlines the ongoing threat.

However, look at the way that I am bringing in that additional point that I said was really crucial and I wanted to get it in.

However, Bird also acknowledges that she is lured back to her spot and I've picked out just one single word, the verb, lured.

And I've used that as a little cheeky, additional quotation, but I think that's allowed.

There is a suggestion of temptation in this verb choice and also the hint of an accompanying reward to being in this location.

So we've got this really now explicitly explained.

For Isabella Bird, being at the abyss is actually a location where she is going to be rewarded in some way, and that's where that sublime idea comes in.

And that's what I've put next.

Here, Bird is showing the reader the sublimity of the situation.

This is a place of awe, and wonder as much as it is fear.

So the question asked about danger and I'm saying, yes, it's dangerous, but that's why it's exciting too.

It's the danger that adds to the whole experience.

And that really captures the essence of the passage.

The description of the environment focuses on creating a sensory image of sound and sites that presents Bird as envelops in the moments.

I've tried to get that overall feeling that I got from the descriptive detail, that it was really quite powerful and appealing to the senses.

The smoke and clouds are described as a sulphurous canopy, with the noun canopy, holding connotations of both the natural process.

If you reference the canopy of trees form a covering, but also the idea of an ornamental man-made covering.

So I'm really going to turn on this word canopy now, and this is another skill that I want you to think about specific words that have quite an unusual connotation.

And because I knew that you could have a canopy of trees, but also that canopies things that are quite.

that are used as a point of celebration, use a stand-alone canopy, if you're going to get married, for example.

I had those two concepts in my mind and I've combined them in this interpretation.

This is an interesting choice of word, as it suggests a level of natural majesty that hints at Bird's fascination, as well as fear of the situation.

So again, I'm bringing in this idea that yes, it's dangerous.

Yes, she's scared, but she also thinks it's incredible.

The air asyndetic list in the rest of the line, fearful sounds rose, crashings, thunderings, detonations, gives the reader a reminder of the volatile nature of the environment.

As the passage draws to a close, this sense of fascination despite the dangers is further shown in the description of, "A central whirlpool of fire wallowing at unknown depths." I've taken the bigger quotation.

That's my third quotation, and I've linked the idea.

So I've put in, "As the passage draws to a close, this sense of fascination, despite dangerous." I'm still working with that central premise, that central idea that this is what the language is doing.

And now what I'm going to do is to break down the individual components.

I wanted to show you how you can mine a quotation and really take your time over it.

The concrete noun, whirlpool holds connotations of drawing objects into its core.

In this case, not just physically, but mentally when observing the influence of the environment on Bird.

The verb, wallowing suggests contrasting slow, patient movement.

Nature is biding its time.

And I'm building in, I mean, that sentence nature is biding its time, it's more of a stylistic thing.

I'm deliberately slowing down the pace of my analysis and bringing in these additional comments that nature has this ability to increase and decrease the pace.

And I've picked all of that out of one line, but wallowing really is massively in contrast what you imagined a whirlpool to be, that in and amongst all of this chaos, we've got this image as being really quite slow.

And I thought that was incredibly powerful.

The final imagery of a vortex, again, returns to the idea of an irresistible force.

So the word vortex links back in with whirlpool of something being sucked in.

And then my final conclusion, that Isabella Bird, this moment will be life changing and despite the obvious dangers, she cannot resist.

And that is what my big learning point from this whole thing was.

This is her moment of the abyss.

However, it is a moment of opportunity and revelation, and it is that sublimity of it all that she wants to experience.

I hope that's been useful.

I've tried to really unpick some core skills now that we can use to extend our analytical work.

What I'm going to do is to hand over the control to you, take it back to the beginning and give you the opportunity to really reflect on your own response and to see why you're getting close to the model and areas where you could still extend those skills.

Is it, for example, how much you are mining one individual quotation and it's that perhaps because you haven't selected a good quotation in the first place.

So there are lots of things that we can do to adjust, but take your time, work through and get down any extra ideas.

If there is a phrasing that you really like, if there is an example, for example.

for example, the one that I've just shared with you from the end, where from one quotation, I am picked three different details of the vortex and also wallowing and also the whirlpool, take that as a little section, and you can have that up as how to really mine a quotation, whatever it is that you need, take out it, add your own work and get yourself the very best model that you can.

It's over to you.

I'll be waiting for you when you finished.

Thank you for your focus today.

I hope as we keep working on our analysis, it's becoming more natural.

It's becoming more second nature, and you are really starting to see those improvements in your own work.

All there is for me to say, is thank you for your focus again, and enjoy the rest of your learning today.