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I was talking recently to a Head of English who was scratching his head having received a huge spreadsheet of data on this year’s IB results from his school, including graphs showing results from the last 5 years, predicted versus awarded grades, component breakdowns, grades by class and by teacher, gender comparisons, and much, much more. The stated and well-intentioned aim of all this data is that it is to help him and his department analyse these results and see what they can change and implement in tems of their future teaching of the IB courses.
This HL Written Assignment is a response to Yukio Mishima's dark and disturbing novel, The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea. It is a great text for this part of the course as it is short and accessible while also having a richness and complexity that prompts varied and original responses from students. This sample essay is one such response: while its overall argument doesn't always convince, there is no doubt the student is engaged with the novel at a deep level, and is seeking to convey an ambitious, rigorous and original exploration.
This poem was set for the May 2015 exam. The candidate's response below is of a generally good quality, although there are a number of things your students might find the means to critique. One of these, perhaps, is the issue of lengthy, slightly meandering paragraphs; structure in any essay presents a challenge, and you could perhaps ask your students to 'provide feedback' to this student: how might s/he have constructed more paragraphs, perhaps, around more clearly defined topics?
This sample essay is an excellent example of a student engaging in extensive and high-level research (as will be evident from a quick look at the works cited), and integrating this research skillully into an engaged, mature and personal response to the above topic. The essay began life as a comparison between Antony and Cleopatra and Romeo and Juliet, but once the student started delving deeper into the many books, essays and articles written about Shakespere it became clear that she would be spreading her ideas too thin if trying to deal with two plays. Furthermore, she discovered that the ideas she was most interested - as captured in the title - were more fully formed and more interesting in Antony and Cleopatra, the later work. Romeo and Juliet is referenced briefly, along with several other plays, and the essay works very well as an in-depth exploration of one text. As such, this essay not only demonstrates how far students can go with research, but also how less can be more and how rigorous, thoughtful research can help a student adapt and refine the focus of their essay.
The Language A: literature course is one of 3 types of courses that students can study in Group 1 of the IB Diploma Program. This group is defined by courses that develop the students’ ability in their mother tongue. The 3 available courses are: a. Language A: literature b. Language A: language and literature c. Literature and performance (Standard Level only) Our course, Language A: literature...
'Lower' and 'Higher Order' Thinking Skills In order to encourage awareness of the differences between so called ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ order thinking skills, try to highlight some of the following simple principles with your students. 1. The difference between Fact and Opinion: talk for one minute with a partner about a movie you saw recently. Listen carefully...
Coming to the IB programme for the first time can be something of a daunting experience, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the volume of information with which you are initially presented. Many teachers have reported that it is not until you have taught the two year programme at least once that things properly 'click'. And it is also true to say that one of the wonderful things about...
Experience indicates that the process leading up to the Individual Oral Presentation (IOP) can play an important role in helping students to complete the assessment task in an effective way. It is important, for example, that they are made aware of the different kinds of approach their presentation format might actually take. Many, if not most, will need help focusing their ideas into a coherent...
Effective introductions are typically another hallmark of stronger essays. From the first sentence, examiners will be given a strong clue as to how perceptive the essay is going to be, and how confident the student seems to be with the presentation of his or her ideas. As we have seen on previous pages, the Written Assignment needs to make its focus clear and ideally narrow. With only 1500 words...
The 4C’s is a thinking routine from the excellent Making Thinking Visible book by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison, designed to help students organise their thoughts in response to a text and to help teachers see what and how students are thinking. The original routine uses the following prompts: Connections: what connections do you draw between your own life or your other...
The site offers an engaging and imaginative approach to IB English - clear and informative it would be of use to both new and experienced teachers alike.
An excellent and invaluable site that will make the teaching of IB Literature both fun and engaging for students and teachers. The quality and quantity of material, tips and resources is impressive.
It's easy to navigate, straightforward, and helpful. Even for an experienced IB teacher, the website provides helpful ways to reconsider curriculum and lesson plans.
9 August 2018
I was talking recently to a Head of English who was scratching his head having received a huge spreadsheet of data on this year’s IB results... more
20 April 2018
'Taking Ownership' is a phrase that I find myself using a lot in lessons and it relates to a central idea that can be applied in various ways... more
20 Aug Simon Thom
Marking Paper 2Looking at the poetry exemplar (Hughes and Plath), I was surprised that only two poems were addressed: I normally advise my students to look at three per poet (if they are just looking at two poets), and to make passing reference to others,...
14 Aug David White
HL exemplar 3: poetryThis particular student may well be aiming higher than that... Your point that such model answers can be unhelpful and overwhelming to students is still important. If we do use such samples, it is probably better to select a part or a paragraph...
13 Aug Paul Welch
HL exemplar 3: poetryWow, well I take back my assertion. Mea culpa. I find it incredible that they were able to read, organize and plan, and write so much under those two hours.The claims and analyses themselves are very good, but not unobtainably so when taken...
13 Aug David White
HL exemplar 3: poetryHI Paul. This was an authentic answer, done under exam conditions. Answers as detailed as this are rare and it may not be helpful to show this to students, depending on your class, but it is a genuine example of what some students are capable...
12 Aug Paul Welch
HL exemplar 3: poetryThis is certainly an impressive commentary, but I don't believe that this is authentic student work. It is ten paragraphs amounting to almost 1800 words, which surely is impossible to write with this quality given the time constraints of Paper...
12 Aug Sara Refai
Stage 4: The Written AssignmentThank you!
11 Aug David White
Sample Extended EssaysHi Anne. I don't have access to any Visual Arts EEs I can share - try your HOD Art or IB Coordinator, or if you search online you will probably find some examples.
11 Aug David White
Stage 4: The Written AssignmentHi Sara. There should be a bibliography. Other than that there is no specific guidance but students should use standard fonts, sizes and spacing (e.g. Times New Roman, font size 12, at least 1.0 spacing)
10 Aug Sara Refai
Stage 4: The Written AssignmentHi everyone, is there specific formatting the WA is meant to follow? (font size, spacing etc, bibliography etc)
8 Aug Anne de la Paz
Sample Extended EssaysIs is possible to get access to sample EE in the Visual Arts? I have a student who is writing hers in this topic area...and it would be helpful for me to see what a VA EE Looks like...
6 Jul Flavia Marin-Drews
Marking the IOPExemplars are very helpful for newbies. Thank you for uploading the ones above. If you have any more examples, I would be very grateful if you could upload them.
2 Jul David White
Extended Essay criteriaHi Anne. While this is a nice idea, you are right that this would not be accepted as a literary analysis essay, which is what the EE needs to be. The topic itself could work although it needs to be firmly rooted in the analysis of specific...