My lower set students struggle with analysing quotations and particularly including context when it is relevant. Instead of asking students to write P.E.E.L or a P.E.E.L.Z or a P.E.A.K.L or one of the other many variations…I decided to try something visual.
This ‘quotation ripple’ was suggested to me by a lovely colleague so I gave it a go and it worked really well. Students begin with the quotation of choice (chosen based on a question; in this case, the presentation of Mr Hyde as a villain) and draw out their ‘ripples’. They must first see if they can identify either a technique or any important words. Following this discussion, their first ripple must contain a comment reflecting their own thoughts on the quote. After this, they must find someone else in the room and note their thoughts in the next ripple. In the final ripple, students must link a word from the quotation to context – here, my students picked up on their prior knowledge of Darwin and the word “ape”; they considered the idea that if Victorians had been exposed to the idea that we evolved from apes, they may see it as possible to regress, like Hyde appears to have done in this scene. Naturally, these ripples can pick up on other quotations and therefore begin another series of ideas…(this is important to avoid answers that are too formulaic).
This little activity is great for a starter and allows students to visualise how reading something can create ripples in their minds that unlock new information. The example above is from a middle ability student but it does, as I’ve noted, work well for lower ability students as well.