Explain to students that for their homework they will be planning and writing an essay on theme, in response to the question: How does Priestley explore the theme of [insert theme] in An Inspector Calls? They should write about the theme that they were focusing on in the lesson.
Encourage students to consider what their central argument that will thread through their essay will be. This central argument can be straightforward. For example, if students are writing about generations, their central argument might be that Priestley presents the younger generations as a source of hope. Students’ three claims should link to this central argument throughout the essay.
Give students the handout Essay Structure and Sentence Starters and inform them that before they begin writing their essay they should outline a plan. You might wish to give students the following outline, to help them think about what they need to include in their plan:
- Introduction: contextual references?/summary of theme and/or claims and/or central argument?
- Paragraph one: claim + one/two pieces of supporting evidence
- Paragraph two: claim + one/two pieces of supporting evidence
- Paragraph three: claim + one/two pieces of supporting evidence
- Conclusion: summary of essay/message concerning Priestley’s portrayal of the theme
As it is good practice to write plans, ask them to hand in their plan with their essay so that you can review that too.
If your students require additional support, consider giving them the Developing Analysis Grid handout with some columns filled in.
Each time that students complete a piece of writing, it is important to review their work, giving them feedback if necessary to ensure that they do not develop inaccurate writing habits. When students hand in their essay, consider using the Marking Criteria Codes teaching strategy to give in-depth feedback and to boost student engagement with marking.
If possible, give students an opportunity to redraft their work, taking on board the suggested improvements. If your students write particularly impressive essays, consider asking the students for permission and using them as models in future lessons. This can make students feel very empowered and proud of their work.