Lesson video

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I'm Mrs. Crompton and welcome to today's English lesson.

It's week seven, lesson five.

Our focus today is to compare writers' perspectives and methods.

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.

So, to begin with let's just have a little bit of a warmup and a refreshing of our knowledge on our two gentlemen.

So the first question, context.

What's the background information to their accidents? And start to think about any similarities or differences.

So think about the background.

Where were they? How were they there? What were they doing? And then number two.

What's the purpose audience and form of the text that they have written? See if you can answer that question.

Why did they write the text? Who were they writing them for? What type of texts are they? Two minutes, just to jot down your ideas to those two questions, please.

A little bit of additional information in case you struggled with any of that.

In terms of the purpose audience and form, both of them wrote autobiographies about their experiences.

And you can understand why, they both went through an extreme circumstance and they both survived.

So it's an interesting story for a reader.

In fact, both of their stories were also turned into films. In terms of purpose, then, it's to communicate what happened.

But I think, you know, there's also that whole idea of entertainment that's involved when you write a book, that you are engaging your reader.

So we've got to bear that in mind.

And I think particularly when we read Joe Simpson's account and the way that he was communicating with Simon Yates, he wanted it to be a very truthful account.

And that was very important to him.

So background information, there's a quick recap on the screen.

So I'm just going to give you control of this to add in any further details in case you had any gaps in terms of what and when.

So, control is over with you.

Have a read through and get this background context really secure in your minds.

Oh, I'll come back.

So our final little bit of warmup thinking is to think about synthesising ideas.

So synthesis is about working with two texts and thinking about them together.

So what we want to do is the following.

I've given you some examples.

What literal comparisons can you make across the two texts? For example, both men are adventurous is a literal comparison.

It's a very surface, obvious detail, a little bit like summarising an idea.

However, let's push it a little bit further.

And what big picture inferences can you make? The two texts teach us about.

What do they teach us about? And I've just put the visual of the four types of conflict there just to give you another sort of way of getting into that idea of big picture.

So there's another little leverage point there.

Is that useful to you? So this is your next little reflection.

We're going to be working with all of these elements as we progress through the lesson, but I would like you to record your initial responses.

So number one.

What literal comparisons can you make? And number two.

How can you push that to a big picture inference? Control is with you.

As soon as you're happy, then you can move on.

Welcome back.

So our focus today is to compare our two texts.

And we have a question that we're going to be working with.

So we are going to be comparing how the writers convey their different attitudes to being trapped.

So we're going to compare their different attitudes to the accident, compare the methods the writers used to convey their attitudes.

And we're going to make sure that we support our response with reference to both texts.

How does that look in reality? Well let's have a little look at the question broken down into success criteria.

So when we are comparing attitudes, we need to give a thoughtful overview of the perspectives.

So taking on board those different circumstances, the way in which they came to their situations and giving the perspective.

We're going to consider the differences in attitudes and take into account any similarities, and that is allowed.

We're going to take into account any change within the extract.

And that's quite an important point because it might be that there's a certain attitude at the beginning that evolves as the passage develops.

And we need to make sure that if that happens in an extract that we're looking at, that we address that.

And we're going to make sure that we've got a synthesis of ideas moving out to a big picture comment.

We're going to select two to three pieces of evidence from across the text, so from each text aiming for a mix of supporting and rich quotations.

And from the rich quotations we'll form the basis of our analysis.

And we're also going to consider any other features of the writers' style, for example, points where there are internal and external thoughts happening, or the use of dialogue, which is definitely the case with the Aaron Ralston text.

So all the methods could come into it there, and it might not come out of your evidence, but it might be a very worthy point that you want to make sure that you include in your response.

Okay, so, that's the criteria we're going to be working with.

Let's have a look at how to break this down.

So, what we're going to do, initially, is to draw up the following table.

And you might want to take your time and get all of the details down.

Mainly, you're going to need the headings at this point.

And I'm going to show you the table again.

But what we're going to aim for is for Source A, to think about a clear statement identifying the viewpoints.

We're going to get our supporting evidence.

We're going to make sure we can explain that.

We're then going to have our rich evidence, make sure that we can unpick the method.

And then we're going to explain the method.

We're then going to think about the comparison and how we're going to link similarly, in contrast, whereas, although.

And then we're going to do the same with Source B, the Joe Simpson extract.

And the best way to really do this is to think about the points you would want to make about Source A and then immediately on reading Source B, to look at those points of comparison and generate your statement accordingly.

However, my first bit of advice would be to get your table drawn up.

And you might want to get the complete table with all of the instructions written in, first of all, and then create a new one so that you've got the original table with the details in, and you can miss off Aaron Ralston, just have Source A, Source B, Comparing Two Texts as you're heading so that you've that as a reference point for the future.

So what I'm going to do is hand over control to you and give you opportunity to get that table down.

Soon as you're happy that you've got the table and a blank grid to be working in, then resume the video and we'll be ready to look at the extracts.

Welcome back.

So we're going to start beginning to look at our extracts.

What we're going to do, first of all, is to have a look at Source A, the Aaron Ralston extract, and you're going to make notes using your planning frame.

So in the left hand column, you're going to start making notes, starting to think about what you would do, and it might be that you make notes initially, and then you'll refine the statement, et cetera.

Constant focus on the question, compare how the writers convey their different attitudes to being trapped.

And you're going to aim for a minimum of two pieces of evidence.

And within that, make sure that you've got supporting and rich evidence to comment upon.

Okay? So the extract is set out with the question running along the bottom, and I will hand over control to you.

Decide what you're going to do.

Don't worry if you can't write everything into the planning frame.

Get a spare piece of paper, and we can use the planning grid at the end, just for the final detail, but make sure that you have got as much evidence as you need.

And you might even at this point want to just pause and have a look at some of the previous ideas you've had about the extract.

So have a look back through your notes and make sure that you're approaching this question feeling confident, that you've very strong on your own personal response to it.

Control is over to you.

We are aiming to make notes that answer the question, compare how the writers convey their different attitudes to being trapped.

I will see you very soon.

Welcome back then.

So we are now going to look at the second part.

And we're going to look at the extract from Joe Simpson and make notes thinking about comparison.

So your grid will look like this at the moment.

You've hopefully filled in some key points, a clear statement about the viewpoint and picked out two bits of evidence.

If you haven't, pause and do that now, because that will help you think about how you're going to respond to Source B.

When we get to Source B, we have an advantage.

We've kind of got a line of argument that we're generating already from Source A.

And then we're going to add to that by then shaping our answer to specifically think of points of difference as we move on.

So take that time now.

If you ended up having lots of notes in lots of different places, do actually sift through that, get the grid filled into this stage, and then you are ready to read through Source B, aiming to fill in your Source B column so that the whole thing will be completed by the end.

So it's over to you to work through this nice and steadily, making sure that you are beginning to shape your response.

Over to you.

Welcome back.

So, we're ready to write our response now to compare how the writers convey their different attitudes to being trapped.

And what we're going to do is to have a look at the response and the criteria again.

And I will once again, hand over control to you.

You've got a lot of piecing together to do here.

So doing a slow write with you is probably not the best idea right now.

So what I am going to do is to let you work at your own pace, but make sure that you're absolutely clear, and comfortable with what's expected before you begin.

So we've got the question.

You now should have your planning grid filled in, and you're basically going to use this to shape your response.

So we're going to have a statement identifying a viewpoint in text A, in contrast, in Source B, et cetera.

And you work across your grid, using it, ticking things off as you go.

And this is going to be a really useful exercise for you to see how well a good plan can help you when it comes to the writing up stage.

I've put in a reminder of your criteria so that you can check that you're covering everything.

Have you got the thought flow overview? Have you thought about any changes within the extract? If you haven't then you might need to switch some of your evidence, et cetera.

And then what I've given you here are some sentence starters.

So when we're thinking about perspective, we're going to start by actually giving an overview statement of what the writer wants to communicate and how the writer does this.

The writer's perspective are different because in Source A he wants to do this, whereas in Source B.

Now it might be that you want to put their perspectives are different, however, their method of communication is the same.

We know that don't we, because they've both written an autobiography.

So it might be that you need to adjust some of the sentence starters, accordingly.

The writer of Source A says, this suggests he feels or thinks.

So we're getting the attitude coming through.

The writer uses a certain method.

This makes the reader see or imagine, or understand.

On the other hand, similarly, the writer of Source B said.

I've tried to give you various sentence starters, just to get your thinking about the comparative language.

And then finally, in terms of concluding, Ralston and Simpson both endure a conflict with nature.

The reader learns that.

And here a reminder to go to your big picture ideas.

All right, your turn.

So, it is now over to you to try and piece together that response, to think about the shape and remember those really high expectations of yourself to be as detailed and precise as possible the first time, because if you give me that, then when it comes to looking at a model response at the end of the session, you're going to have a really good gauge of the progress that you've made and the areas that you still need to address.

So take your time.

Look at everything, review things if you need to.

Be really ambitious, be critical of yourself, really concentrate on precision and good luck.

I will see you very soon.

We are ready to have a look at how we've done together.

So on the screen, we have our success criteria and a reminder of the question.

So this is one way of judging how you have done.

And I would suggest that you take a different coloured pen and you mark where you have covered different things.

Have you got your overview statement? Have you managed to pick out clear differences? Have you got your two to three quotations? Have you mentioned the methods? So think about assessing yourself against the criteria.

The other way that we can assess ourselves is to have a look at a model response.

So what I'm going to do is to read through the model response with you once.

Then, as I usually do, I will give control over to you so that you can be super critical and super precise with your own work and have a little look through, adding in details, recognising all the things that you've done well.

So we've got the colour coding going on.

We've got the phrasing, comparative phrasing working through.

We have got our evidence picked out in pink.

And then we've got subject terminology in purple.

So again, reward, when you have achieved those things.

Have you got your comparative phrasing in? have you got your quotations in? Have you got the subject terminology in? Those are all success criteria.

So we'll work through it together.

Have a little look at the answer.

And then I will go right back to the beginning and leave it with you to do that deeper reflection.

Although both accounts are autobiographical and detail the events of a life/death situation there are some distinct differences between Ralston and Simpson's situations and perspectives.

Ralston, although familiar with trekking and canyon climbing enters into this situation spontaneously and without anyone knowing where he is or what he is doing.

In contrast, Simpson is accompanied by Yates and has been preparing for the ascent.

Not only that, they have been successful in their mission to climb the Siula Grande and suffer a misfortune on their descent.

Simpson could quite rightly feel abandoned by Yates, whereas it has to be conceded by Ralston that he is the engineer of his situation.

So that is my opening, starting off with differences in perspective and how they have come to their situations.

So I've tried to give as much detail as possible.

Initially, Ralston appears despondent, I'm no longer living, no longer surviving, I'm just waiting.

So this is his response to being trapped.

Without needing to elaborate any further, we know that the final simple sentence, I'm just waiting, is Ralston talking about his death.

At this point, he does not see any way out.

So, I'm making sure that I'm really clear about how he's feeling about being trapped in that particular moment.

And you can tell by the language that I've used at this point that it's not going to stay that way.

Simpson, on the other hand, and look at how I'm weaving in one text into the other, although initially presented as surrounded by obstacles and clearly at his point of abyss, presents a more measured tone.

The writer establishes the spatial dimensions with great care, the original position before falling into the crevasse is 20 feet above and the ice wall on the other side 10 feet away.

The precise use of dimensions and prepositional phrases of, above, below, established Simpson's physical status as cornered by his natural surroundings.

But he does not demonstrate the same anger as Ralston to his predicament.

So moving from one text to the other, thinking about the methods naturally coming out of my selections to try and support what I'm saying about their feelings of being trapped.

And now we've got this idea that Ralston seems to be far angrier at the beginning.

Bonk, I strike the Boulder.

Thwock! Carrunch! Ralston introduces speech.

And throughout the extract, there is a verbalization of his internal thoughts versus his physical actions.

The use of self dialogue and quite infantile language underlines the very different approaches of the two men.

Ralston views nature as his direct adversary while Simpson is trying to find a way of working with his environment.

So I'm trying to build my inferences from the evidence that I have before me.

We learn more about why this is when Ralston explains, only in action does my life approximate anything more than existence.

This is interesting as the reader is informed that it was not the physical injury that was frightening to Ralston, but the fact that he could not do anything about his situation.

Being active is what gives Ralston his sense of identity.

And his passive status is what ascribes him his victim status.

Simpson too, has moments of losing composure.

I let out a cry of delight and relief and yelled again and again.

Here he discovers a snow covered floor only to then observe more closely and realise that it wasn't a floor after all.

The simple sentence underlines his calm acceptance of the situation as he recalculates his position.

Both men eventually overcome their tests.

Ralston resolves to cut off his arm in order to free himself.

A decision that he describes as an epiphany.

Similarly, Simpson use religious imagery as he describes a pillar of gold light and a blessed chance that gives him the hope that he will survive.

Whilst Ralston's decision is ultimately pragmatic, Simpson, the man who had appeared more measured in his approach demonstrates more of a blind faith that he will be able to overcome his current situation.

So just pause here for a moment.

I've gone for a similarity and then developed that into a point of difference.

And there's not a problem with doing that.

So you can start from something that you observe is similar.

And you can imagine that people in this type of circumstance are going to want to look for hope from somewhere.

And so I've taken a similarity of method and turned it into a difference of attitude.

Both men are enduring a conflict with nature, so I'm at that conclusive point, and that's the line that I gave you all.

But the truth is, that for our two adventures, the real debilitating factor is a passive status.

So I've seen this as a point of drawing the two texts together.

As Simpson tries to explain the source of his hope he tells the reader, helplessness had been my worst enemy.

Now I had a plan.

As soon as he adopts an active role, he knows he will succeed, just as Ralston had done.

By doing so, both men push beyond their physical limits and demonstrate the ultimate power of the human spirit.

So in my conclusion, I've actually found more similarity than difference in what I want to finally say about the human spirit and about mankind and how we can push beyond where we ever expected.

I'm going to take that right back to the beginning.

And I know for a fact, you will have covered many of those criteria.

The focus as ever, at this point, is to celebrate what you have done well, to then be really clear about where you can make improvements, and to create yourself a model answer that is the best it can be.

So control is over to you, work through nice and steadily, get all of the detail down.

And I will see you when you are ready.

Thank you for your focus today.

All that remains for me to say is enjoy the rest of your learning.