Deciding what they need to know

If you are unfamiliar with the idea of Knowledge Organisers, I would suggest reading this post by Joe Kirby.

Initially, I was sceptical. I could see how such an idea would work well in a subject with specific facts, dates and events, but I was not sure whether it would work so well with literature texts. However, after being thoroughly impressed by the range of English Knowledge Organisers colleagues (via @Jamestheo) were generating, I thought I would try and put a few together.

It’s a genuinely fascinating process – how do you sum up a complex text onto one page of A4 in a useful way? What is the key, foundation knowledge your students would need to build their analysis upon?

I started out with my Year 8 class who will be studying Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book when we get back from the Summer break. You can see what I came up with here. I decided that a vocabulary section would be useful support to our SPAG lessons and also to highlight some key quotations we could use as a starting point to building essays.

One thing on which I am especially keen is the use of QR codes on worksheets and around my classroom to try to engage the class in a slightly different way. I thought the four I included here could be interesting discussion points / extension work as the teaching developed.

Since then, I’ve produced one of these on Dr Faustus, Spies, Remains of the Day. Depending on how it goes, I will develop further Organisers as we move forward.

I would thoroughly recommend undertaking, at least the planning of, these for your teaching. I was fascinated what I was decided was significant and was not!


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