My brilliant idea - Relish this idea

14th November 2008 at 00:00

English - Ages 14-16

Pupils are required to write lots of analytical essays at GCSE level, particularly for poetry and set novel sections of exams, and for literature coursework.

Many English teachers teach them the "point, quote, comment" structure (or similar) for analytical essay paragraphs. For example: write an analytical point; give a quote to support the idea; explain how the quote supports the idea and develop the idea, maybe through cross-referencing.

One way to help pupils remember this structure is to get them to imagine a burger. The top of the bun is the point, the filling is the quote and the bottom is the comment. The idea is that you can't have a burger with any missing components. Without the top bun, it would not be a sandwich. Without the filling, it would just be bread, and without the bottom bun, it would be messy.

Some pupils remember to include all three components in an analytical paragraph, but get the order muddled up. Again, the burger image works well. It just wouldn't work having bread, then bread, then filling; or filling, then bread, then some more bread.

This works even better if you illustrate your burger on the board or have a real one for demonstration purposes - good for visual and kinesthetic learners.

Galia Segal is head of upper school and teaches English at Immanuel College in Bushey, Hertfordshire.

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