Two units of work for Module B: Critical Study of Texts

Module B: Critical Study of Texts is a really tough module to teach. The biggest reason for that is because the module itself has evolved since its first introduction to the HSC English Advanced course in 2001. I’m lucky enough (*cough*) to have been an HSC marker for Module B for the last four years. It certainly has been interesting observing how the expectations of the module have altered – quite significantly since my first year of marking and teaching this module.

I’ll confess, right now it is my favourite module to teach. Yes, it’s a pain in the arse and can be super confusing for the kids, but I’ve found it is the module that gives me (and more importantly my students) the most freedom … we read, we discuss, we argue, we question, we speculate and we write. My approach to teaching Module B was heavily influenced by former ETA president Mark Howie and his use of the Visual Arts Conceptual Framework. Sounds a bit weird but I have never seen a great difference between how an artist approaches his/her artwork and how an author/film-maker/essayist/poet etc approaches his/her text. So The Frames are awesome for engaging critically with a text – my students become well-versed in the subjective, cultural, structural and critical frames for approaching a text.

When I first got an opportunity to teach an Advanced English class, I taught the poetry of William Butler Yeats. And since then I have taught the essays of George Orwell twice. I guess the purpose of this post is to share the units of work that I created for those texts … I usually don’t create units of work – these were created with an audience in mind (I do my best work when I expect to be critiqued by others) and I want to share them with you.

I have a bunch of resources to go with each unit, so if you wanna get a copy of any of them just let me know. They’re not helping me just sitting on my Mac … they may as well see some light and maybe help you.


13 thoughts on “Two units of work for Module B: Critical Study of Texts

  1. Thanks so much for sharing these, Bianca. I have been lurking on your site since I discovered it last holidays. I would love to get the resources that go with these units. I’m a new teacher, so need to build up my resources bank.

  2. Hi Bianca,

    Love this page and your enthusiasm!!! I’m teaching Orwell’s essays for the first time and love your unit! I was wondering if you could send me the resources that go with it.

    Thanks so much!!!

  3. Hi Bianca, I am looking at teaching Orwell’s essays to Year 11 now he has been taken off the prescriptions. I would greatly appreciate a copy of any resources you have available.

  4. Hi Bianca,

    Thanks for sharing these they’re fantastic. I’m a second year out teacher and teaching the Yeats unit this year. I would really appreciate the resources that you mention in the unit.

  5. Hi, im a yr 12 students studying module b: speeches. I’m struggling to grasp the expectations of what the module required me to do. I’ve attempted to write essays, one focusing on techniques, one more contextual (i thought since it’s non-fiction, it has a more direct link with context than any other text type) and others combination of each but they just don’t feel right. So i have a question for you: How should I prepare my studies, so that I can tackle any questions in exams. I’ve tried going back to basics i.e. reading and rereading the texts but i feel i’m missing some tricks. Also, if you have any resources on the unit, it’s greatly appreciated.

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