Links: texts for analysis

"How can I get them to read in depth?"

** Texts that can be used to encourage students to read attentively occur all over the site, but the collections specifically aimed for developing reading abilities are under :-

> Theoretical approaches

- looking at the basic principles that underlie the ways we read

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LINK

>   Practising Paper 1 ... this page provides links to many pages around the site which provide examples of typical Paper 1 tasks and question types.

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Detailed links

Skimming for summary 

> Encouraging precise reading ... SKIMming for overall or summary meaning involves both reading the source text methodically and reading the options carefully in order to choose the ones that express the right meaning precisely - Print versus internet provides a reasonably challenging exercise based on a fairly accessible text

> Skimming for paragraph meanings ... the task in the worksheet about the main text in Dismaland ​ requires that students search the text for key ideas, and then discover that these main ideas coincide pretty well with the paragraph structure.

> Skimming'n'Scanning ... the tasks applied to the two texts in Advertising fear cover both kinds of analytical activity ... from choosing the 'best' short summaries to scanning for phrases which express particular ideas ... the texts are quite challenging, but can be grasped by most students, with a bit of effort

> Basic summary ... the worksheet in Summarising patterns provides a range of complicated, pompously-phrased sentences which have to be expressed in the minimum words possible ... encourages confidence in the ability to detect, and eliminate 'bullshit' !

> Single-sentence summary ... a worksheet task in the page Impact of computers requires the ideas of the source to be summarised in a single sentence, thus demanding precision of thought and economy of expression (and a bit of practice in sentence construction)

> A summary exercise ... using a longer, more complex text about Women & Facebook students have to look closely at vocabulary, then isolate the central ideas, and write a succinct summary ... this exercise and the one above can both then be expanded into a stiimulating discussion ...

> A re-assembly exercise ... using a short text about Women & Facebook , students have to look closely at indications of linking phrases, and the context of content, in order to place clauses and phrases in the right place ... quite a tricky exercise, probably best for cooperative group work ...

> Identifying key points ... the stimulus text in the page Sand Sun & Sea is fairly dense, but the key points are quite clearly signalled ... good, therefore, for establishing the principle of detailed and methodical extraction of meaning ...

> Grasping dense text ... the stimulus text in Invention of printing contains a lot of sophisticated ideas in little space ... a challenging text, then, for all levels of ability ... the two worksheets encourage summary skills through (i) cloze exercises, and (ii) note-making practice ...

> Cloze notes (listening and reading) ... my 'cloze notes' system involves providing a skeleton of notes, but with significant elements missing (as cloze gaps in the sequence) ... this provides the student with guidance towards some sense of the overall structure of ideas, but the full meaning has to be grasped in order to fill in the gaps. For a Listening Comprehension example, see Social media survey ​... for a Reading Comprehension example, see the handout in Hate speech ​...

Approach 

> Responding to approach ... the response that a writer takes is always, surely, intended to provoke a response ... the second worksheet for the Bill Bryson text in Imagining America requires this ... covers response to detail through to response to the overall subject matter ...

> Looking closely at prose ... the text Soft City contains four clearly different modes or styles, thus illustrating deliberate differences in approach - even the slowest student can grasp the difference between first-person description and impersonal explanation ... quite challenging, so for Middling and Advanced, really ...

> Analysing components of author's approach ... the page Writing pastiche comprises two texts for comparison and contrast: the original and the parody ... the worksheet provides a set of headings to guide contrast, and this indicates components of 'approach'

Sectioning 

> Sectioning a short text with dense argument ... the first exercise of the worksheet for How money works requires identifying with line numbers the stages of the argument ... fairly straightforward, but does highlight the structural elements of *background context, *key statement, and *stages of argument...

> 'Sectioning': handling extended reading ... the page  Journalism & History provides an specific example of Sectioning applied to the book 'Playing the Enemy', but the techniques can be applied to any slice of any narrative ... a sort of large-scale summary procedure ... base on a combination of skimming and scanning ... in itself, applicable to all ability levels (although this example is definitely Middling and upwards) ...

> 'Sectioning': as Plot analysis ... see the page  Plot & Narrative for an overall analysis of Plot by sectioning the novel The Curious Incident... ... sectioning applied in order to distinguish Plot from narrative ... handout of two versions of summary, with guiding questions ...

> 'Sectioning' for understanding narrative ... detailed study of ROOM in the page Narrative tactics suggests using the formula ECR (Establish - Complicate - Resolve) to grasp how skilful narration works ... students invited to analyse a section with that hypothesis in mind ...

> Sectioning for purpose within short texts ... the two newspaper reports in Scottish Independence? are to be analysed to reveal the communicative purpose of the various sub-sections ... leads to paragraphing, and to step-by-step explanation

Scanning for detail + effects 

> Analysing language methodically ... the two contrasting texts in Charlie's thoughts are very different in terms of all aspects of language use ... the task requires detailed scanning for vocabulary, grammatical control, sentence structure, etc ... which presents and practises these basic analytical concepts...

> Paying attention to words ... the worksheet for the text Calcots explored provides a lot of questions requiring precise understanding of specific words and phrases ... a fairly accessible and entertaining text, exploited in detail ... also proposes writing tasks dealing with food ...

> Basic scan for common rhetorical techniques ... the second exercise in the worksheet for the text in How money works ​ requires students to identify consciously fundamental rhetorical effects, such as examples to illustrate, or questions to the audience ... useful primer to raise the issue of rhetoric...


> Scanning for bullshit ... in the page Human rights? , the worksheet provides guiding questions for the analysis of a Daily Mail Comment article, which points to the rhetorical techniques which slant (well, OK, warp) the arguments presented ... good for encouraging scepticism about tabloid journalism...

> Powerful rhetoric in action ... close study of an extract from Obama's speech at Tucson ... guiding questions focusing on summary skills and on the use of language ... links to news reports, commentaries, and the full text of the speech ... link to video of the Obama giving the speech ...

> Describing a Big Moment ... Mandela is about reading sophisticated journalism ...an extract from recommended book Playing the Enemy, related to film Invictus ... practises General Reading Skills ... fairly accessible, with help, for most students ... raises issues of sport, politics & sport, political change, etc ...

> Similes + metaphors + analogies ... Bloody Men ... text + guiding questions of short poem based on a simile, developed into an analogy, expressed metaphorically - so useful for establishing these three concepts ... linguistically quite Basic ... invites extension into students thinking up other comparisons ! ... works well as a topic-raiser, as well ...

> Deciphering metaphorical phrases ... the fairly complex text from the novel Americanah, in Migrant viewpoints , forms the basis for practice in working out the precise meaning lying beneath colloquial phrasings which are in fact metaphors ... in the process, the complex psychology of migration is explored ...

> Interpreting levels of meaning ... the extract On Bantering looks at how humour, and other social interactions in language, depend on 'knowing the rules' ... if you don't know the rules, you can't understand ... the text comes with a worksheet, focusing on basic comprehension, inferring from context, and discussing the main point ...

> Unravelling compressed ideas ... DOG contains two texts, one of which written to express a dog's eye view - in a 'shorthand' style ... Basic / Middling abilities ... with worksheet emphasises detailed Key Reading Skills ... leads to discussion of animal rights / humans and animals in general...

> Linking words by associations ... the worksheet dealing with the translated poem in On translation & poetry asks for detailed explanation of how words are combined for poetic effect ... the poem is quite accessible overall, but the subtle details will need active exploration ... useful for TOK issues about the complexity of language...

> Complex, resonant description ... a short but highly effective piece of student writing, Bullfight afternoon evokes a scene and a moment by skilful selection of detail ... encourages attentive reading and analysis of effects ...

> The value and significance of form ... the apparently simple poem To make a play uses many different meanings of the verbs 'make' and 'do' ... the worksheet presents the text de-structured and restructured, to explore how structure can affect meaning ...

Scanning for detailed inference 

> Inferring and interpreting ... many details in the text in Observing behaviour require inferring (to fill in the exact meaning of details) and interpreting (to grasp how the details add up to the overall point of the text) ... the two processes are emphasised by separate exercises, and the whole text deals with the idea of social status or 'cool' ...

> Picking up clues to enter a world ... in Exploring 'Hunger Games' , the handout requires that students look closely at details from an extract from very early in the novel, and infer what kind of world is being proposed ... this is good practice for the process which all of us do with any novel: we have to learn the invented world ...

> Three types of SCAN ... based on The Curious Incident..., the Characterisation Scans in the page Characterisation promote and practise methodical scanning for evidence ... arranged in ascending levels of difficulty: small-scale & simple, intensive in a limited extract, and large-scale & complex ... worksheet provides guiding questions to define each task ... the technique is relevant to all students, but most accessible for students studying The Curious Incident...

> Methodical exploration of arguments ... the page The IB Threat provides several source texts about a controversy about the IB's validity in the US ... applies the 'UPA Tool' (Understand - Probe - Assess) to both sides of the argument ... essentially, a practical guide to critical thinking ...

> Looking into + expanding from a text ... the page On queuing provides a text about the British custom of queuing, with a worksheet which specifically requires close inference from details of the text, and then extension of ideas out from the text ...

> Responding to detail ... students may easily grasp the general thrust of a text, but miss the subtler implications ... the first worksheet for the Bill Bryson text in Imagining America requires attention to a range of details, from precise words to implication about the author and the overall topic ...

> Interpreting key phrases ... the worksheet for the page Being fair requires detailed analysis and interpretation of phrases which are all related to the overall concept of the text - in other words, inferring from context, methodically ...

> Noticing subtle detail ... the short story The Blood of Strangers is written very economically, but conveys a lot of necessary background and context through small phrases that a student might overlook ... good for illustrating the process of inference from language.

> The propaganda pamphlet ... text warning against the dangers of DHMO ... use of style, choice of vocabulary, selection of facts - combined to make a specific effect and elicit a specific reaction ... function of expectations in reading ... (and a sting in the tail) ...

> Inferring from context ... the worksheet for the text in Beach behaviour requires finding words which fit given definitions ... also scanning for types of words and then relating the results into a vocabulary learning pattern

> Scanning & responding ... the tasks for the texts in About war require practise in the True/False & Justification question type, but also searching for sections of the text which express specific elements of the overall argument - and finally ask for response to the general attitudes expressed

Dealing with difficult texts 

> Seeing through 'difficulty' ... texts which appear difficult often aren't - the worksheet in Summarising patterns provides a range of complicated, pompously-phrased sentences which have to be expressed in the minimum words possible ... encourages confidence in the ability to detect, and eliminate 'bullshit' !

> How do you deal with difficult writing ? ... The Difficulty Sheet ... short poems, presented as puzzles for the class to solve. Addresses the issue of why poetry (or any writing, actually) may be 'difficult' - in solving the 'puzzles' the students learn that they can handle difficulty, and even enjoy doing it.

> How do you deal with difficult words ? ... Guessing from context provides an exercise in working out what words mean ... the important point is to make students more conscious of the process, and thus to handle it more carefully ... level of difficulty Middling: might be demanding for Basic students, but then they will need the technique more ...

> Dealing with unfamiliar concepts ... the actual language of the text in Impact of computers is not that difficult, but the ideas presented are probably unfamiliar ... the handout asks for active consideration of arguments and counter-arguments: in other words, grappling with ideas and thinking them through ...

Grasping style 

> Tabloid style ... Text A in the page Human rights? consists of an opinion column from the Daily Mail ... the worksheet aims to elicit how the use of emotive language slants the argument, and turns the text effectively into propaganda... the other handout Text B is a useful contrast, being evidently more dispassionate and lucid...

> Comparing 'genuine' & 'fake' ... the page Writing pastiche aims to study how we recognise imitation, by analysing the connections between an original and its pastiche / parody ... mainly aimed at helping with writing the WA, but also good for the whole process of recognising and defining style ...

> Discussing parody ... the basic text of the CAR project is a parody of the typical office memo ... the worksheet concentrates on treatment - specifically the way that good reading detects both what the text appears to mean, and what it actually means ... also leads directly to using a writing frame to practise memo-writing ...

> Analysing style & language ... the page Style provides a detailed study of an extract from The Curious Incident... - it uses five different versions of the extract Father's Monologue in a handout ... [extract ... extract + annotations ... extract + guiding questions ... full context ... full context, sectioned for study in groups] ... the handout is specific to the novel, but the principle can be applied to any text ...

> Studying a classic literary extract ... exploring Gatsby's Party provides the opportunity to practise Literary Reading Skills (as opposed to Key Reading Skills ) ... the extract comes in two sections (with appropriate handouts) - the simpler section for more Basic students, and the full extract for more Advanced ... also opens up practice in writing Evocative Description ...

> Combining narrative effects ... the short story Flying with missiles comes with detailed analysis and some author's comments ... intends to illustrate the range and variety of techniques that can be used in telling a story

> Scanning for communicative techniques ... the worksheet in the page About blogging asks students to survey a set of four blogs in order to pick out e.g. prominent structuring, direct address, irony - a useful exercise in comparing and contrasting in terms of technique

Looking at forms and text types 

> Looking closely at prose ... the text Soft City comes with a detailed worksheet ... the passage contains four clearly different modes or styles - even the slowest student can grasp the difference between first-person description and impersonal explanation ... quite challenging, so for Middling and Advanced, really ...

> Looking closely at scientific explanation ... the fairly challenging example of scientific journalism given in The Gaia Thermostat explores how a complex process can be explained ... includes analysis by paragraph + a look at the languae of linkage required to explain causal connections (TAL - Transferable Academic Language) ... a flow-chart handout also available to help weaker students ...

> Analysing dialogue: different worlds ... see the page Interplay & levels related to study of The Curious Incident..., the Mrs Alexander handout looks closely at an extract of dialogue (two versions - the second more 'guided' than the first). .. hover-titles on the main page text give detailed notes for leading the students' interpretation of levels of meaning ... the two characters have radically different views of what they are talking about! ...

> The importance of form for meaning ... the apparently simple poem To Make A Play is used for three exercises on variations of form ... by removing form, or changing form, we can affect the impact of the words ... handout with materials for discussion ...

> The propaganda pamphlet ... text warning against the dangers of DHMO ... use of style, choice of vocabulary, selection of facts - combined to make a specific effect and elicit a specific reaction ... function of expectations in reading ... (and a sting in the tail) ...

> Jokes, Parable & Fables ... the handout of Basic Stories deals with these as 'natural', spontaneous forms of narrative ... how to tell a story well? ... function of the three types ... form and point ... what stories do the students know ? ...

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Theoretical approaches 

> Basic Reading Skills ... the essential elements of grasping the basic facts, noting the author's approach, and interpreting key techniques - without which a student will not even understand the basic meaning

> Key Reading Skills ... an expanded version of the Basic Skills - proposing the sequence Summary + Interpretation + reflection...

> Literary Reading Skills ... as opposed to the General Reading Skills, above - what precise reading competences does one need to be able to handle 'literature' ? ... there is obviously much overlap since you can't get far with the sophisticated stuff if you can't even deal with the simple stuff ... and attempt to distinguish between the sophisticated skills from the basic ones...

> Specific reading skills ​... the Grand Overview, relating the three pages above to each other, and also identifying them in terms of 'transfer goals', as identified within IB unit-planning procedures

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To be continued...


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