So our research blast was pretty successful today. We put 5 pieces of poster paper around the classroom and on each we wrote one of the headings (see below):Pupils were given ONE category to research and 30 minutes to do it. As soon as they found a relevant idea from the research, they had to write in on the poster paper then go back and find some more – a bit of a supermarket sweep of ideas. After 20 minutes the grouup had found LOADS of ideas – like this:
So after twenty minutes, each student had a piece of A3 paper and had to then go round each poster, synthesising the best/most important ideas.
During the plenary, some interesting observations were made. I asked the class which ideas they found interesting. One pupil responded with the point that women were ‘defined’ by the wealth of their husbands/fathers. I asked what the relevance of this was to Jekyll and Hyde, to which one pupil replied ‘None – there are no women in the book’. As you can imagine, this started up a whole discussion of who were the women in the book, what roles they had (maid, victim etc). When I posed the same question, we got a very different response: the book reflects the marginalisation of women at the time.
Another popular point made was the fact that London was both the centre of Britain’s empire and a place of disease and decay. A place with two faces – its relevance to the novel becoming very clear.
All in all, a really great activity – better than setting it for homework and students coming in with reams of printouts from the internet that they probably haven’t read!