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.