In my classroom, we spend a great deal of time analyzing language and techniques in literature. Often one we have read and discussed a text, my students are confident with their ideas. They have things to say about the language used, the structure, or the form. Yet they can struggle to put these ideas to paper.
I avoid using sentence frames for literature essay writing whenever I can. They are hugely restrictive and it is boring to mark a whole set of essays that read the same.
One way to improve how close analysis is written up is to focus on the verbs of analysis. I have these 20 posters up in my classroom and I refer to them frequently. I also have them printed in a small task card size so students can have them on their desks.
These verbs not only help students focus their thinking and ideas, but also allow them to bring some variety to their analytical writing. We are avoiding the overuse of ‘this suggests’ and ‘this implies’!
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