Lesson video

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

And our focus today is to explore the writer's perspective.

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 a quick summary of the skills that we are looking at when we're exploring our nonfiction extracts, summarising, considering thoughts and feelings, what we're doing today, which is the writer's perspective, considering the writer's methods, and then taking into account any big picture ideas.

For your first activity today what I would like you to do is to write the title Writer's perspective at the top of a piece of paper.

Now you recognise this as our note taking slide, and we are going to be taking notes, but there's a little bit of a twist on this.

What I'm actually going to do is to get you to generate those notes by taking you through a series of prompts.

So a couple of little tasks, which will then lead into your developing the notes that you need to explain what the writer's perspective is.

Okay let's try it out.

So first of all, the question I would like to ask you is, what would you think if you were in this landscape alone? So would you want to be in this landscape alone? And here we have an image of Bluejohn Canyon where Ralston has his accident.

Okay, so that first question, and can you write your answer down for me, is your perspective on being in this situation.

Now let's add to that.

Why does Ralston choose to be here? And what we can see already is that your perspective might be very different to Ralston's Perspective.

And some of the reasons that you might have thought about for him being here will come from the information that we've previously gleaned about him.

And perspective is therefore all about a particular viewpoint.

And we know for Ralston he's adventurous, we know that he likes to be quite challenging in his behaviour as in he likes to take on challenges.

And we know that he's not scared of taking on things that most people would consider to be a little bit dangerous.

If we remember that last detail that he set himself a challenge of being the first person to climb all 55 of the state's mountains, and alone and doing that in winter.

Now, adding to this idea of perspective, there's one other angle that I want to point out to you.

The extract is an autobiographical piece, recounting the events of his survival.

And I want us to take this on board, have mentioned it on a couple of occasions where I've brought the scene as little bit of an angle in some of our earlier model responses.

But let's consider this, after this event, Ralston was a little bit of a celebrity.

Everybody knew that this man had survived in the desert, in the Rockies the six days and the awful decision that he had to make.

He even turned into a film, "127 Hours" which he can watch.

So the motivation behind writing the autobiography will have been twofold.

There was a desire from an audience to read about the incident, obviously it's going to make him some money and he probably wants to present in a certain way, or people want him to present in a certain way.

It could be actually that he had, what's known as a ghostwriter I mean I don't know this for a fact but often autobiographies are written alongside a professional writer for people and they are known as a ghostwriter.

So the fact that it's an autobiographical piece inherently means that it is biassed and we are getting his particular angle of the situation.

And so that's another facet that we need to think about when we consider perspective, we need to think about the type of text we are working with and the purpose and the situation of production.

Finally linked to perspective are the attitudes you see in a piece of writing so as Ralston is an adventurer, his response to a situation reveals his attitude to life and his feelings, and those will be different to other people's responses.

So what you will see is that we have perspective, his angle at which he approaches the situation.

And then on top of that, we're going to start seeing as an individual person, offer less to that interpretation, his attitude, his feelings, all of those things will come through.

Okay, our first stop point so at this point, let's just have your three learning points, when we are considering perspective, what have you learned about Ralston's Perspective by working through the slides in this way? What are your considerations and understanding of the differences between perspective, attitudes, feelings, and also the fact that it's an autobiographical account? Just give you a little bit of time now, pause so that you can undertake that reflection work, and then we will continue.

Okay, we're going to keep working with this idea of perspective and what we're going to do is to write about Ralston's Perspective and we're going to break it down in the following way, we're going to make a statement about Ralston's attitude, and I will show you how to go about that by providing you with a model I am then going to ask you to start thinking about how we can then build in some evidence, consider the methods and give our explanation, okay? So by the end of this session, we will have a fully developed response where we meet all of these criteria.

We will have clear statements about perspective, clear evidence, both supporting, 'supporting' evidence, which is the evidence that backs up an idea and the rich quotations that then allow us to consider the writer's methods.

And we will also make sure that our explanations are clear and linked.

Okay, our first starting point, now I'm going to set you up with a framework and I'm going to show you the slides in a moment.

And what you're going to do is to work with an overview statement that I'm going to give you just to get you started ,just as a bit of a bump start and you can change it as the session goes on.

And I'm also going to give you some sentence starters.

As you work through these slides, I'm going to hand control over to you very shortly.

I would like you to jot down your initial thoughts, Okay? So I'll just show you few to make and absolutely clear Here's our starting point then, to introduce perspective.

The extract is from Ralston's autobiography which recounts how he survived for six days after becoming trapped by the arm during a climbing accident in the Blue John Canyon of Utah.

In this section, he details how he finally engineers his escape from his 'ordeal'.

And you can say that I have given an overview.

I've mentioned the fact it's an autobiography and it's from his perspective, and I've started to hint at the fact that he considers it to be almost like a trial that he's going to get out of with the escape from his 'ordeal'.

Very brief selection of a piece of evidence from the text.

So I'm going to give you that as a starting point to give an overview.

We then have a series of bullet point prompts.

What I would like you to do is to take down the sentence and fill in the blank as best you can at this point, and work through the slide, okay until we get to overall, Ralston's viewpoint is influenced by the fact that, and we can remind ourselves of everything that we've covered.

Now don't worry too much at this point about thinking that you need to go back through notes, I am actually going to provide you with evidence in the next stage of the lesson.

So right now all you need to do, starting from this slide is to take down the overview statement, write down the sentence starters to form your frame and jot down any initial thoughts.

Control is now over with you.

Take your time, get the details down, I will be waiting for you with the next step in a moment.

And welcome back, so you've got your frame written down.

Now you can if you wish, pause at this point and take on board, some of your previous note takings what I'm actually going to do is to provide you with 14 quotations.

Now that sounds like a lot.

However, you're going to select five.

Out of those five quotations you need to have a combination of 'supporting' and 'rich' quotations.

So again, a reminder, a 'supporting' quotation is a quotation that fundamentally backs up the points that you want to make.

Our 'rich' quotations, are the ones where we then take our time on pick and analyse the impact of specific words, phrases, devices the writer is using, okay? And within the following 14 sentences, these different quotations I've picked for you, the first thing I would like you to do is to decide whether it is a 'supporting' quotation or a 'rich' quotation.

The second thing I would like you to do is to then prioritise, go back to the writing frame that you've just been working with and decide which five quotations you would like to use to slot into your already started response, and to help you really pin down your thoughts.

Okay, so you're going to go back, get your frame out and decide which five quotations are going to be the best for you to use.

And I suggested that two of those should be 'rich' quotations.

Okay, are we all happy with that? So that control is going to go over to you.

I'm just going to very quickly show you, the quotations are picked out as so, there is a reminder across the top of the screen to decide whether it's 'supporting', 'rich' and to make your selection.

This should take you 10 to 15 minutes.

So please take your time, work through the evidence, be absolutely happy with the ones that you are choosing.

Effective quotations not only capture the full range of ideas that you want to convey, but they will also work from across the text and they will link together.

So remember everything that we've been doing.

Okay, that's all my pep talking It is now over to you and for you to work through these quotations.

And welcome back.

so you've had a look at the quotations remember what I said, thinking about how their link is now going to be the next point as you have 15 minutes to complete a final response.

So use all of your draught work, start a fresh piece of paper, use the frame to guide your answer, and as you're writing up, remember to think carefully about the links between the evidence and how you're building a really confident response, okay? And so over to you.

You have again, a reminder of our success criteria, and then we're going to have a look at Ralston's Perspective with my starting point and then your overview framework.

So control is over to you.

We are now looking at Ralston's Perspective in this extract.

Welcome back again.

So as we come into the final stage, I'm going to offer you a model response.

Remember we have been thinking about various criteria, the use of 'supporting' and 'rich' evidence, making sure that we comment on writers methods, thinking about the links between ideas, and making sure that we have a quality explanation.

As we go through this model response, you will see that a really important component is the idea of tracking whether there have been changes in the viewpoints ,changes in that perspective from Ralston, as he moves through the passage.

As you look at the model response, make sure you have your pen so that you can tick and reward yourself When you have used a 'supporting' quotation, when you have, make sure that you've got the 'rich' evidence that you've then explored in detail and where your links are successful.

You're also going to have opportunity to review and to take control of the screen so that you can further improve your response.

but we'll read through it together once you should have your pen looking at your own work and rewarding yourself for all those achievements.

The extract is from Ralston's autobiography, which recounts how he survived for six days after becoming trapped by the arm, during a climbing in the Bluejohn Canyon of Utah.

In this section, he details how he finally engineers his escape from his 'ordeal'.

Initially, Ralston appears despondent.

"I'm no longer living, no longer surviving.

I'm just waiting." 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 we've got this idea of establishing the initial perspective, the initial attitude as well of how he's feeling, he's feeling despondent.

And we've got some evidence embedded.

We've got a supporting statement, " I'm no longer living, no longer surviving.

I'm just waiting." With a little bit of development of that by commenting on the sentence construction.

He goes on to further explain his perspective when he tells us "only in action does my life approximate anything more than existence." So here it's not just a general idea of a feeling.

This is his perspective Ralston has to be active, to feel alive.

So that was a really crucial piece of evidence.

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.

So the explanation here is really developed and is very precise in explaining Ralston's perspective.

We see a change in his attitude as he loses his composure and decides to attack the rock itself in retribution.

So two very short embedded quotations, just a little bit of a cheat on my part there so that I can make sure that I am using the text constantly to feed my interpretation.

As he describes nature as his adversary, he takes on the active role that he needs in his situation.

And when linking the two pieces of evidence, the two ideas together and building an argument.

This is a turning point so remember the idea of changes.

This is a turning point for Ralston, as he then takes on a more pragmatic approach.

"All I want now is to simply read myself of any connection to this decomposing appendage." He literally separates himself and in doing so, he is "overcome with the excitement of having solved the riddle of my imprisonment." Again, supporting evidence.

He describes this moment as an "epiphany" that "strikes me with the magnificent glory of a holy intervention." The religious imagery and description of the decision as a "revelation" or "realisation" presents this as a moment of triumph for Ralston in his quest for survival.

So from that quotation, what I've picked out here is where I've given my 'rich' quotation, and I have now started to look at the language that's being used.

I've also tied into the general line of argument that Ralston is on a quest.

Ralston's renewed determination to act rather than wait, is presented with a calm and focused determination, "sorting through the bizarre and unfamiliar textures, I make a mental map of my arm's inner features." He is "engrossed" in performing "the procedure".

Again, a couple of sneaky little embedded quotations, but if you do come through, I've got five main quotations and two language, 'rich' ones, that I picked out and you can pick out in purple.

His response to a situation is atypically calm and measured.

Ralston's whole purpose is to go beyond man's limits.

As soon as he has the "epiphany" and re-establishes this role he is resolutely focused on achieving his goal.

And that brings us to the end of the model response.

So what I'm actually going to do is to track that and give you opportunity to check what I said I've picked out as I said, two things in purple, where they are my 'rich' quotations.

And then if you pick out the bigger quotations, the big chunky ones, I only picked five, but I did do some sneaky embedded quotations too so you'll have to forgive me that one.

So what I would like you to do is to review your work.

You should have quite a lot of things picked out already by meeting our success criteria, but now you have an opportunity to take control of the screen and to re-read the model response and to refine and perfect your answer even further.

Okay, control is over to you.

Well done, thank you for your focus today, thank you for your hard work, all that remains for me to say is enjoy the rest of your learning today.