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Welcome to today's English lesson.

I'm Mrs. Crompton.

Our focus today is to consider structural choices in a text.

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 when we talk about structural choices, what do we mean? What we need to look at is what we are being told by the writer and think about why? What is the effect of that particular choice upon our understanding and engagement with the text? On the screen, you can see Freytag's narrative pyramid, and here is another aspect of our consideration.

There are certain expectations we would have of the exposition as opposed to the climax or the denouement.

So thinking about the structure takes into account whereabouts in the text as a whole our extract comes from, and then also working out what is it we're being told, how is this shaping my reading of the text? Let's move on.

So let's have a look at some of these very specific choices the writer might make.

At this point, you might want to take some of these notes down.

So please pause the video throughout the lesson whenever you want to take notes, I will prompt you at other times when I need you to pause.

So let's have a look at the list.

We might have the writer making a decision about who and what to introduce first.

They are then going to make choices about how they're going to shift between a person or a place.

They'll decide when and where and how to introduce different characters and viewpoints.

Are they going to be introducing a complication or a change? And as they're making these decisions, are they going to zoom in or zoom out on the action? We could see a change in perspective, so it could be from an individual character's perspective to a wider worldview.

We could also see a combination of the character doing something, their external actions with their internal thoughts, getting the thought processes through almost like a stream of consciousness.

So these are some of the choices a writer can make.

It's not an exhaustive list, but it's a really good starting point.

So please pause at this point if you wish to, and then you can look at the next slide with me.

As we're talking about structure, we do need a certain amount of subject terminology.

And what I've got for you on the screen are five things that I think are worth having in your subject terminology toolkit for talking about structure.

It's not again exhaustive, but it's a really good working subject terminology.

Noticing when things zoom in and zoom out is a key element, using the phrase "shift in focus," noticing those changes in person, place, action, time.

Thinking about flashbacks or flash forwards, thinking about whether the text switches in terms of order.

So noticing a non-chronological order is very useful.

And also considering the overall structure of the extract.

Is it cyclical in nature? At the bottom, I've given you a phrase, "The positioning of this detail.

." Also the positioning of the description of the time machine links to, and this is the effect on the reader.

So what we're actually talking about is constantly why the writer has positioned a particular event, action, character decision at a particular point, and how that is shaping our understanding.


So pause again, if you need to get any of those details down still.

Okay, now what we're going to be doing today is to fill out a planning frame for a structure question, and because our planning frame is going to be so thorough, it's literally going to be like writing a whole response, but we're not.

So what I need you to do is to draw up the following grid on your piece of paper.

I've got a few additional instructions, so just wait a moment.

What we need to do is to put our column headings in, we need the what, we need the writer's decision or technique, and we need the why or effect top column at the top of your piece of paper.

And then, I only want you to put down "first," we don't have much we're going to write yet.

So we will rule off and put in "next," rule off "then," and then put in "finally," as we work through.

Okay? So please pause at this stage, just draw out the basic structure of our planning frame on your piece of paper, and I will be waiting for you as soon as you are ready.

Okay, so to do this, what we're going to do is to reread our extract from H.


Wells' "The Time Machine" and we have already got it split into four sections.

We talked about looking at it in a very systematic way when we did our first reading.

Now, what we're going to do is to look at each section and specifically focus on the structural choices and what they are doing in order to help us as readers engage with the text.

As we're going to do this, I will model through the first section.

Then you've got a really good idea of the level of detail I would like you to put into the boxes.

From there on, you will then have the opportunity to try it yourself.

And we will do our review at the end of each little section.

Okay? Excellent, let's begin.

So first thing the extract is from the rising action of the novel "The Time Machine." Notice it's from the rising action, so the first thing I am doing is mentally starting to think, "Well, what am I expecting? A complication." Okay.

We need to have something happen in this section.

At the bottom, we've got a little bit of a cue.

What do we establish at the start of the extract? So be thinking about what is it that he wants me to really notice.

Am I noticing setting and atmosphere, or am I noticing character or action? Okay? So that's what I want you to be thinking about.

"I told some of you last Thursday of the principles of the Time Machine and showed you the actual thing itself, incomplete in the workshop.

There it is now, a little travel-worn, truly; and one of the ivory bars is cracked and a brass rail bent; but the rest of it's sound enough.

I expected to finish it on Friday, but on Friday, when the putting together was nearly done, I found that one of the nickel bars was exactly one inch too short, and this I had to get remade; so that the thing was not complete until this morning.

It was at 10 o'clock today that the first of all Time Machines began its career.

I gave it a last tap, tried all the screws again, put one more drop of oil on the quartz rod, and sat myself in the saddle.

I suppose a man who has a pistol to his skull feels much the same wonder at what will come next as I felt then." What do we establish at the start of the extract? Well, let's have a little look.

This is where you would get your pause.

I'm not going to do that with you now because we're going to carry on, and we're going to look at what I've put into my planning grid.

So under the first section I've put the main thing that we get is this idea of the key character being the time traveller, but I've also noticed that we've got additional characters mentioned, these functional characters of the guests.

What decision is being made by the writer? Well, the writer seems to have decided to give an overview of the setting, but to particularly focus on the time traveller as the narrator and his upper class guests.

And their class seems to be quite significant.

Why, the effect? Well, the class of the guests gives the whole thing an air of respectability.

We also, within the setting, get the idea that this is a normal everyday setting for the original Victorian readers.

That would be quite normal to have this as a backdrop.

And the guests are also there to act as witnesses because the crucial thing is to prove that time travel is possible.

Okay? So you can see how I filled that in.

I've thought about what I've noticed.

I've thought about what decision he was making, that he seems to have made in terms of the content.

And then I thought about how he's done it, the technique.

There isn't a technique in this section.

I've gone for decision.

And then I've thought about the effect.

Moving on, we've got the time machine as the main focus.

Here, I have got a technique, and the technique is that he zooms in with the description of the time machine and what it's made of.

Why? Well, the description of the machine makes it real to us.

The materials are recognisable and the veracity, the truth of the time traveler's account is the vital focal point of H.


Wells at this point.

Okay? So that's how I would like you to fill out the grid or try to fill it out.

I want you to think about what it is you notice, what decision the writer has made, or if you can, to put in the technique, because I have done on this slide and then to think about the effects so that we're giving the explanation.

One thing I haven't done in this particular instance is put in evidence, but please do.

So if there's a particular quotation do add that in.

I've just flicked back to this screen so that you have got an opportunity now to take control, take these details and fill in the first column of your grid.

It's over to you, and then we will be ready to look at the next section.


So now it's your turn.

As you read through this, think about how Wells is shaping the writing.

Look at the perspective that we are given and think about what the focus is within the passage.

Pause after each section, make sure you're getting the details down.

Fill your grid in as you go, I will meet you in a moment and we'll look at the review together.

And welcome back.

So next, take a different coloured pen or a pencil, and let's have a look at what we've got.

At this point, try and tick off things that you've got.

I really want you to be excited and confident about the really accurate responses that you're getting down as you move through this, and you will get better at putting the detail in.

And I also want you to have opportunity to add extra bits in.

Remember, you can pause at the end of each slide.

So next, the action focuses upon whether or not the machine works.

And this time I have included a quotation to show you how that would look.

Why? What's the decision, what's going on? Well, let's have a look at the writer's decision at first.

And I've put, actually, the description is quite superficial and that made me think about the why.

What's going on here? It's there to build a little bit more tension.

We don't really notice anything quite dramatic going on here.

And I would expect time travel to be a really spectacular event.

So what we've actually got is H.


Wells creating an anticlimax.

He's deliberately making it seem very everyday, normal, nothing too dramatic, but it does end with the fact that he thinks that nothing has happened, and therefore we think that, too.

Pause if you need to.

The next thing that I noticed in this section is the clock.

It seems to be the key symbol.

What technique is going on here? Well, it's a zoom in.

And then the why.

The clock is a key symbol that represents the theme of time, but also is the focal point that proves the machine has worked.

So that's the really crucial detail.

Why does he have that as his symbol? It is also linked to the content.


Take, you've got that as an idea, improve your explanation.

if you need to.

Make sure you've got zoom in, if you didn't get that.

The next attempt, so we had that sort of false attempt at the beginning where he thought he hadn't moved at all.

And then we've got another one.

And this time he seems to be looking down on the laboratory.

And I put a little bit of evidence in here about Mrs. Watchett moving like a rocket.

What's the technique? Widens the perspective, and I've put the technique is really unusual because it seems like he's half in reality and half out.

And when he zooms in on the figure of Mrs. Watchett, she represents everyday normality.

What's the effect? Wells is managing to create a sense of movement.

He's gradually altering the pace and developing the tension.

There's a sense of speeding up.

This is the first phase of time travel.

Again, pause.

Make sure you're marking off what you've achieved, and then also adding to your ideas.

As we read the next section and complete our grid, think about how this section builds on the previous one.

And in particular, think about techniques of zooming in and out and widening and narrowing the focus.

So your turn first, you should, you can now rule off the line between first/ next, and now we're onto "then." And it's over to you.

What did we get, then? So, the laboratory disappears.

The time traveller is an external figure, observing what is happening in nature.

So he's kind of outside of everything at this point.

"The night came like the turning out of a lamp and in another moment came tomorrow." What's happened? Wells has widened our perspective and allows him to start to introduce the idea of the time traveller doing something no other human being has done or maybe should be doing.

And here, I want to just introduce this idea that there's both excitement, but also foreboding.

That idea of a light being extinguished is often used in literature to symbolise goodness evaporating.

So I've got that at the back of my mind.

And it seems to be that the time traveller is pushing a boundary.

Okay, opportunity again, pause if you need to.

Then: "I saw the sun hopping swiftly across the sky, leaping it every minute and every minute, marking a day." And "I saw the moon spinning swiftly." So two pieces of evidence.

What do I want to say about them? We've got Wells zooming in on details, but these details are very different to the previous one of Mrs. Watchett.

These are more universal in nature.

And the effect: the details represent a broadening perspective, but also they use pinpointed details that the reader can relate to and understand.

It does, however, still lack the specificity of the description of Mrs. Watchett because Wells wants to reinforce this idea that this is an unknown environment.

And then, final quotation: "They, and I've put in brackets 'the sensations of time travel' are excessively unpleasant." And I've put that's quite a pivotal line and you can zoom in and say that this line is absolutely crucial because I've suggested a couple of times that this time travel business is not going to lead to anything good.

That line supports the argument that this is going to be a negative experience, as well as something exciting and new, because of the pain that's involved or suggested by "excessively unpleasant." It foreshadows consequences.

There's a bit of subject terminology there for you.

It foreshadows consequences and is reinforced by the further line when the time traveller describes how the light is 'excessively painful' to his eyes.

And this really backs up the line of argument that man is challenging nature.

Pause again, if you want to get more detail down.

And now we come into the final section and as we complete the final part of our grid, the first step is to compare this to the beginning.

One of the crucial things in a structural response is thinking about how far the extract has travelled from the opening paragraph through to the final part of the text, and we want to cover the beginning and the end really clearly.

So look over those notes and consider as we go into the final section, what's similar or different.

And what does the writer focus our attention on at the end? And, let's have a look together then.

So finally, we're still in the same location.

"I was still on the hillside upon which this house now stands." What's the decision here? The use of the house is a symbol of reality and it creates a focal point.

So it links back to the beginning of the extract and introduces ideas of moving in time and space and alternate dimensions.

The detail of the dials on the machine also refocuses the reader on the process of time travel.

Pause if you need to.

Finally: "We are now firmly in an 'other' experience.

My pace was over a year a minute.

white snow flashed across the world and vanished and was followed by the bright, brief green of spring." I've got a real contrast now to the opening of the extracts.

I've put that in my writer's decision and we have broadened the scope further 'cause we're actually travelling through whole years and seasons.

Why? Well, the 'truth' of time travel can't be questioned anymore.

At the beginning, we weren't sure.

Now we know time travel has occurred.

And the secondary thing that I've put here is that this imagery, this idea of him looking down, places the time traveller in a godlike, elevated position.

And I want to link that back into this idea that that is a place perhaps that the time traveller should not be in.

So we've got, again, that sense of foreboding.

Pause if you need to, to get any more details down from this section and then we can move on.

So what we've actually achieved is a really thorough plan, tracking systematically all the way through the extract, making those links back and really considering the shape of the writing and the design choices the writer has made.

You've worked really hard today.

Thank you for your focus.

All that remains for me to say is don't forget to do your exit quiz.

Really, really important.

Let's just check that all of that information has stuck and enjoy the rest of your learning today.