Over the next 3/4 week we will be looking at



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  • Personal Reflective Writing

Over the next 3/4 week we will be looking at ....

Class Objectives

  • At the end of this lesson I will :
  • Have a clear understanding of what constitutes PERSONAL REFLECTIVE WRITING
  • Understand what is expected of me over the coming weeks.
  • A writer's account of a personal incident, experience or event.
  • Their personal thoughts and feelings
  • towards the experience
  • A writer's way of reflecting back on
  • the experience with as much style and flare as possible.

Read the following examples

  • I had arranged to meet my friends at ten o'clock. I left the house at half nine and walked to the bus stop. I had to wait twenty minutes because the bus was late. Eventually I got to town.
  • And
  • It was with excitement and some nervousness I set off to meet my friends in town at the agreed time. As luck would have it the bus was late - this day of all days!
  • The two texts are about the same experience. Yet the second one has a sense of reflection, thinking back over the event. It is not just a list of I did this, then this, then this happened.
  • A pupil has been asked to write about a family event. He has chosen to write about his grandfather’s eightieth birthday. Here is his first attempt:
  • We went to a restaurant last year to celebrate my grandfather’s eightieth birthday. The restaurant was in the centre of Glasgow. All my family were there as well as my grandfather’s best friend. I started off with soup, then I had chicken with roast potatoes and vegetables. After that I had ice cream. At the end of the meal my father said a few words about my grandfather and gave him a watch. Then we all went home by taxi.

Food for thought…

  • - To a reader the really interesting things are not the big events and every detail of what happened but the writer's own thoughts and feelings about what happened and how they are described.

Reflective Writing

  • It is a personal piece of writing which gives:
  • An account of an experience
  • A sense of individual personality
  • A sense of reflection shown through thoughts and feelings
  • It is looking back into the past at something which has happened to you which you feel had an emotional hold on you
  • AND
  • Describing how that has made you into the person you are today.
  • Think about a time you were accused of doing something wrong...
  • You may not have done it
  • Or
  • You may have done it
  • Turn to the person beside you and share your experience.

Personal Reflective Writing

  • Today we will recap on those fundamental elements of personal reflective writing that we already know.
  • We will also begin to think about those events which are suitable topics for our own piece of reflective writing.

Must haves!

  • Reflective writing addresses the personal experience of the candidate, is written in the first person and demonstrates that the candidate has learned from a process of reflection.

Success Criteria

  • Aim to interest or give pleasure, not information
  • Concern itself with, usually, a single idea, insight, or experience
  • Be genuinely contemplative; its personal tone may be confidential, concerned, amused, indignant...
  • Communicate to the reader a clear sense of the writer’s personality
  • Not merely offer the product of reflection, but engage the reader in the process of reflection.

How can I make it interesting?

  • Concentrate on some event or feeling which has stuck in your mind - it doesn't have to be unusual or earth-shattering.
  • Concentrate on some event or feeling which has stuck in your mind - it doesn't have to be unusual or earth-shattering.
  • A favourite toy, an old piece of clothing, recalling a time you felt scared, happy, lonely, proud etc - these are much more interesting than how big your hotel in Florida was!
  • You can of course write about a holiday or unusual experience but concentrate on some part of it which affected you in some way. We don't need every detail about holiday arrangements.
  • The main thing is that you can convince the reader, through your clever use of language, that this experience was significant to you.
  • Even though this is not an imaginative piece of writing, you should use imagery, sentence structure and other techniques to bring your writing to life.
  • Pay particular attention to describing your thoughts and feelings about the event, experience, person or thing.
  • Describe your emotions and reactions from the time it took place and from your perspective now to prove you have thought about it and are able to reflect upon it.

Previous Exam Questions

  • 1. “Many people have vivid memories of their childhood and an attachment they made with a particular toy or object.”
  • Write about the memories you associate with a toy you have kept for a long time."
  • 2. "Some holidays leave us with vivid memories of what we did and felt."
  • Write about a memorable holiday you had in Scotland.
  • 4. "Many people feel a strong attachment to a particular place.“
  • Write about what you would miss and how you would feel if you had to move away from where you feel you belong.

.

  • Brainstorm with your partner ideas of personal writing topics. These are only ideas, the more we hear, the more we as a class can consider them and support each other.
  • (4 minutes)
  • A memorable wedding or funeral
  • Your first day at a new school or college
  • A moment of failure or success
  • The birth of a child in the family
  • The death of someone close to you
  • A time you felt overwhelmingly jealous of someone else
  • The power of art or music or drama or cinema to move audiences.
  • A time you felt humiliated
  • An encounter that changed your life
  • An experience that led to renewed faith
  • An embarrassing experience
  • A frightening experience
  • A memorable journey
  • An encounter with someone or something you were afraid of
  • An occasion when you experienced rejection
  • An experience that showed how appearances can be deceiving
  • An account of a difficult decision that you had to make
  • An event that marked a turning point in your life
  • An act of heroism or cowardice
  • An eyewitness account of an important event
  • An experience that altered your view of someone
  • An experience that helped you grow up
  • Your first visit to the country (or to a large city)
  • The breakup of a friendship
  • An experience that showed how we should be careful of what we wish for
  • A significant misunderstanding
  • A dangerous experience

Expressing Feelings

  • The most important feature of personal reflective writing is to be descriptive in as interesting a way as possible and not just about people, places or things.
  • You need to show insight and self awareness.

Mix it up!

  • It is not interesting for readers to read about how you were excited before the event, how much you were excited during the event and how you could not believe how excited you were after the event.
  • The same applies for words such as sad, happy, nervous, angry.

Time to think about time!

  • With a partner, write as many words which you think apply under each of the three headings: before during after. You will spend 2 minutes on yours, then you will receive another list, and so on and so on, adding words to each list as you go.
  • Note: you should be making 2 lists! One in your jotter and one on the paper going round!
  • BEFORE
  • Apprehensive
  • Optimistic
  • Oblivious
  • DURING
  • Confused
  • Agitated
  • Frustrated
  • AFTER
  • Relieved
  • Stunned
  • Drained

As you can see…

  • Choosing something to write about is a difficult task. If you don’t already have a subject in mind, it might be helpful to think quickly about a lot of experiences you may have had, to see if any of them are suitable for a longer piece.

Write a short response to 3 of following:

  • What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you?
  • What is the strangest thing that has happened to you?
  • What is the most frightening thing that has ever happened to you?
  • What is your happiest memory?
  • Who do you think has influenced you most and why?
  • Who has hurt you most?
  • Is there anyone who you miss?
  • What do you feel has made you grow up or mature?
  • *write in full sentences*
  • Angry
  • Overjoyed
  • Confused
  • Anxious
  • Jealous
  • Heartbroken
  • Example:
  • Emotion: ?
  • My pulse raced. I felt as though I had swallowed a brick; I had to sit down before the weight of my discovery dragged me to my knees. Thoughts were ricocheting in my head as though to the foreboding beat of a nearing drum. How could she? I asked myself. Waves of anger and upset crashed against each other; neither more powerful than the other. I hadn’t even noticed the tears which ran quickly down my face until the screen of her mobile became wet, and the screen, distorted.
  • Tuesday 21st August 2012
  • Learning Objectives:
  • To recognise the ways that emotions are described in sample pieces of personal reflective writing.
  • To realise the different ways in which we can describe ‘reactions’.
  • Success Criteria:
  • We will be successful if:
  • We can listen closely to sample answers and share the ways in which emotions are expressed in them.
  • We can brainstorm a variety of ways in which we can describe our reactions: both physically and emotionally. This will improve the quality of our writing.
  • Listen closely to two different personal essays for those emotions that we brainstormed yesterday. Put a dot beside any emotion you spot on your word-bank.
  • How we describe our reactions to different situations is an excellent way of engaging the reader and making your piece of writing plausible and realistic.
  • Describing a reaction forces the reader to imagine this reaction happening, which is far more effective than just saying “I cried.”
  • While “I cried” can still be effective, it is far more effective to describe your reaction before you cried.
  • For example, “My eyes stung and my vision began to blur as tears began to fill my eyes.” This is us SHOWING not TELLING
  • Reactions to:
  • Something funny:
  • “His eyes crinkled.”
  • Something scary:
  • “She froze, unable to move, her breathing a thunderous whisper.” (juxtaposition)
  • Something sad:
  • “Her face twisted in anguish”
  • Something confusing
  • “She tilted her head and narrowed her eyes, trying to understand what was going on.”
  • Something embarrassing
  • “His face was a furnace, heating by the second, he didn’t know where to look.”
  • Each row will begin with a different part of the human body. The objective is to think of as many reactions you can involving this part of anatomy. Unlike before, each pair will have 1minute to write down as many reactions as they can.
  • Eventually we will all have contributed some reactions to each list.
  • Reactions involving:
  • Face/Eyes
  • The whole body
  • Legs/arms/hands
  • Voice
  • Brain/Mind
  • Brainstorming Activity
  • You have to write a short paragraph which contains at least two of the reactions that we have brainstormed in the previous activity. It is up to you what the surrounding action is. I will give you the following example below as a guide:
  • An unusual air of tension filled the living room that morning. No one really spoke, other than the odd interjection of reassurance of the Postman’s impending visit. Sun beams broke through the narrow slits of the blinds and danced merrily on the floor; blissfully unaware of the possible approaching storm. After what felt like an eternity, Alfie’s howl finally shattered the silence. He leapt from his bed and scurried clumsily across the wooden floor to the porch door. The moment had arrived. My voice croaked awkwardly, “I’ll go.” I stood up and walked to the door. There it lay. I lifted the brown envelope from the floor and stared at it momentarily. My hands trembled and my heart thumped. The day had finally arrived.
  • IMAGERY
  • I wandered lonely as a cloud…

WHAT ARE SIMILES?

  • A simile is the comparison of one item with another. It can usually be spotted by the use of the words ‘as’ or ‘like’ to bring the two ideas together.
  • For example:
  • George ran away from them,
  • could become,
  • George ran like a fox chased
  • by a pack of hungry hounds.
  • The first sentence makes sense but does not create a clear image whereas the second sentence creates an image and is more effective.

WARNING!

  • Similes can be very effective aids in your imaginative writing; however, if a simile is used too often it tends to lose its effect.
  • For example, the statement ‘The young child was as good as gold’ contains a simile (‘as good as gold’) but the comparison is so common that very few people when reading it think of the precious nature of gold and how this emphasises the value of the child’s behaviour.
  • Overused similes such as this are known as clichés and relying on them too much is a sign of lazy writing. Try to avoid doing this at all costs.

SIMILE EXERCISE

  • Some overused similes are listed below. Think of some more original comparisons and then make up sentences in which they are used:
  • 1 clean as a whistle
  • 2 quiet as a mouse
  • 3 cool as a cucumber
  • 4 as hot as hell
  • 5 like a bull in a china shop
  • 6 run like the wind
  • 7 hungry as a horse
  • 8 flat as a pancake
  • 9 as cold as ice.

WHAT ARE METAPHORS?

  • Like a simile, a metaphor is a comparison of one item with another. However instead of saying that something is ‘like’ or ‘as’ something else a metaphor says that it is something else.
  • Confused? Don’t be.
  • Instead of writing, ‘her home was like a prison (SIMILE)
  • You could write: ‘her home was a prison.’ (METAPHOR)
  • In a metaphor one thing is said to be another but it is not literally true
  • For example, in the Hard Times
  • passage on page 47, Dickens writes about
  • ‘tall chimneys, out of which interminable
  • serpents of smoke trailed themselves for
  • ever and ever, and never got uncoiled’
  • .
  • Here he is comparing the way smoke
  • from factory chimneys appears in the sky to huge snakes floating in the air and coiling above the ground. However, rather than say ‘the smoke was like snakes’ he gives the scene even more impact by making the smoke and the snakes the same thing. He succeeds in adding to the hellish portrait of the town. Metaphors are often used by writers who want to pack as much meaning as they can into as few words as possible.

PERSONIFICATION:

  • Definition:
  • Giving human qualities to something which isn’t human. For example:
  • The car was humming in the background.
  • The bird flew away.

PERSONIFICATION:

  • The flowers begged for water.
  • She got a glowing review this year.
  • The wind screamed as it raced around the house.
  • I fail to see your logic about these things.
  • Lightning danced across the sky.
  • Trees bowed to the ground.
  • He has a heart of stone.
  • Last night I cut the light off in my bedroom and was in bed before the room was dark.
  • I’m so mean I make medicine sick
  • Juxtaposition
  • Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick
  • A’ma handcuff lightening, throw thunder in jail!
  • Let me tell you something you already know: The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, it’s a very mean and nasty place and it don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you’re hit; it’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!
  • My love is like a red, red rose that’s newly sprung in June
  • Six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys I thought “wait a second, could it be?” And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolfpack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together in Las Vegas…
  • What is the technique being used?
  • Why is it effective? Explain the meaning.
  • What technique is this?
  • Why is this a good comparison?

LESSON OBJECTIVES

  • At the end of this lesson I will:
  • - have a better understanding of figurative language
  • - Have chosen a topic for my personal
  • reflective piece of writing.
      • - Have completed a clear and structured plan for my essay and additional exercises.

PERSONAL REFLECTIVE WRITING

  • 1- Describing an incident or experience.
  • 2- Showing your thoughts and feelings. (During)
  • 3- Reflecting back on this experience and how it has affected you. (After)

MAIN REQUIREMENTS

  • -Essay is genuinely contemplative; its personal tone may be confidential, amused, concerned, indignant
  • -Communicates to the reader a clear sense of the writer’s personality
  • -Not merely offers the product of reflection, but engages the reader in the process of reflection as authentically as possible.
  • -Technical accuracy.

5 SENSES

  • How many of you have ever smelt something that has taken you back years? Or heard a song that instantly takes you back to a time and place from years past? This is because our memories are laced with those things that we experienced with all 5 of our senses - Not just what we saw or heard.

5 SENSES

  • Using your 5 senses to describe an event is an effective way of making your essay more vivid and lifelike.
  • What did you see?
  • What could you smell?
  • What did you hear?
  • What did you feel?
  • What could you taste?

ANNOTATION

  • Let’s use the following as tools for annotation:
  • DL= Good examples of descriptive language including figurative language such as similes, metaphors, alliteration and exaggeration.
  • TF= Clear depictions of thoughts and feelings.
  • PR= Personal reflective thought
  • The dry heat engulfed me like I was suddenly standing in a pressure cooker. A smile strolled across my face as I stepped off the plane in Tenerife. All the stress and strain from school just melted away in the scorching July sunshine. The first thing I intended on doing was getting straight down to the beach, but we still had all the monotonous business of checking in to our hotel first. Although I was prepared to take it easy and wait, holidays are for relaxing after all. Or so I had thought...
  • Looking back now I can still remember the searing pain I felt that day. I think it’s something I’ll always remember, partly because of the little present in the form of a faint scar I received from that jellyfish. I’ve been swimming in the sea since though; I love swimming, you can’t keep me away! However, there will always be something there in my mind, perhaps telling me to be a bit more cautious of open water.
  • The dry heat engulfed me like I was suddenly standing in a pressure cooker. A smile strolled across my face as I stepped off the plane in Tenerife. All the stress and strain from school just melted away in the scorching July sunshine. The first thing I intended on doing was getting straight down to the beach, but we still had all the monotonous business of checking in to our hotel first. Although I was prepared to take it easy and wait, holidays are for relaxing after all. Or so I had thought...
  • Looking back now I can still remember the searing pain I felt that day. I think it’s something I’ll always remember, partly because of the little present in the form of a faint scar I received from that jellyfish. I’ve been swimming in the sea since though; I love swimming, you can’t keep me away! However, there will always be something there in my mind, perhaps telling me to be a bit more cautious of open water.
  • DL
  • DL
  • TF
  • TF
  • TF
  • PR
  • PR
  • Reflection can be a difficult thing to do as it involves analysing how you:
  • BEHAVED, FELT and REACTED
  • YOU HAVE TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF!
  • Look at the example essay plan.
  • See how it includes:
    • The Incident
    • Plot- Who, What, Where, When & Why
    • Vivid descriptions
    • Thoughts & Feelings
    • Reflection
  • Using this example as a model, complete your own essay plan on the sheets provided.
  • ***Remember- Be descriptive***

INDIVIDUAL WORK

  • Choose a scenario. Write a short paragraph which:
    • Includes at least 1 example of personification
    • Includes at least 1 metaphor
    • Clearly expresses emotions/reactions.
    • Scenarios
    • Waiting for the birth of a baby
    • Witnessing an assault/accident
    • Winning £1000 on a scratch-card
    • Falling in love
    • Seeing your boyfriend/girlfriend with someone else
    • Being wrongly accused of stealing from a loved one
    • Hearing the news that your pet has to be put down
    • being followed home in the dark
  • Exercise 1: A High Wind in Jamaica
  • 1 From Extract 1 choose three details that convey the extreme heat of
  • the day. Give reasons for your choice.
  • 2 How did the heat affect the children?
  • 3 Explain, using your own words, how the animal life responded to the
  • heat.
  • 4 Later in the day, a hurricane hits the area. How do the descriptions in
  • the passage suggest that something serious is about to happen?
  • You have to write a short paragraph which contains at least two of the reactions that we have brainstormed in the previous activity. It is up to you what the surrounding action is. I will give you the following example below as a guide:
  • An unusual air of tension filled the living room that morning. No one really spoke, other than the odd interjection of reassurance of the Postman’s impending visit. Sun beams broke through the narrow slits of the blinds and danced merrily on the floor; blissfully unaware of the possible approaching storm. After what felt like an eternity, Alfie’s howl finally shattered the silence. He leapt from his bed and scurried clumsily across the wooden floor to the porch door. The moment had arrived. My voice croaked awkwardly, “I’ll go.” I stood up and walked to the door. There it lay. I lifted the brown envelope from the floor and stared at it momentarily. My hands trembled and my heart thumped. The day had finally arrived.

ALLITERATION

  • Definition:
  • The repetition of usually initial consonant sounds in two or more neighbouring words or syllables.
  • Example:
  • >The wild and wooly walrus waits and wonders when we’ll walk by
  • >He had hardly heard her heartbeat
  • >She saw something shimmering slightly somewhere in the shadows
  • Come up with your own example

PLANNING OUR ESSAY

  • Today we will:
  • Complete an A4 plan of our Personal Reflective Writing Piece. I will come round to help you.
  • This is the only day we will spend planning our writing so make the most of it!
  • Remember this will be a folio piece, and while we will be give the opportunity to redraft, we all want to be putting our best efforts in from beginning to end!
  • Let’s get down to business!

TASK - NOW TRY THIS…

  • Take a new sheet of paper, at least A4 size. At the top write the task you have chosen.
  • Then divide the rest of the page into 4 squares with headings as shown on the next page.
  • The basic story
  • Start
  • Middle
  • End
  • Thoughts and feelings
  • Details and description
  • Reflection
  • Your title goes here

NOW…

  • Then use the four squares to plan what you want to put in to your piece of work.
  • Key words, phrases or bullet points will do fine.
  • It’s probably easiest if you start with the top left box, where you slot in the rough outline of the story that you’re telling.
  • Then go on and fill in the other boxes.

FINALLY…

  • If you’ve chosen Personal Reflective Writing it’s now time to write your piece.
  • In class, but under exam conditions and with only your one-page plan to help you, sit down and write your piece.
  • This should take you around an hour to do.
  • When you’ve written it, look at the very end of this chapter to find out what to do next.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO PASS AT INTERMEDIATE TWO?

  • Your examiner will be looking at the following:
  • Structure
  • Content
  • Expression
  • Technical Accuracy

TECHNICAL ACCURACY:

  • Technical Accuracy: Spelling , grammar and punctuation are consistently accurate.
  • The piece of writing must be at least 500 words long.

INTRODUCTION: SUCCESS CRITERIA

  • Have you used past tense
  • Have you attempted to introduce character and/ or setting without giving too much away about plot?
  • Have you attempted to be descriptive? Hint: Use your five senses to bring your setting alive!  
  • You may want to briefly state how you have changed/what you have learned without going into too much detail
  • Example


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