Nexus News
Mar 14, 2017

Creating atmopshere on location

The 'Of Mice and Men' unit for the Year 10s is part of the IGCSE World Literature course. After reading and studying the novella, learners have the choice of one of five empathic tasks for a piece of coursework - this means that they have to write in role as a character from the novella at a certain point in the story. In order for them to write convincingly in role, Mr Kyle and myself felt it was important for them to have a greater understanding of what it was like to be 'in the shoes' of these characters. I was aware of the Quiet Space room in the boarding house and when Ms Scout had described it to me (the 4 bunkbeds and the size of the room) it brought to my mind an image of the bunkhouse - a key setting in the novella. Therefore, Mr Kyle and myself decided that if we were to read section 3 of the novella in this room with the learners, they might get to understand better the conditions and environment in which these characters were living. It was perfect - when we entered the 'bunkhouse' the light was streaming in through the window in bars - just as the light is described when the bunkhouse is first introduced to the reader! After reading the section aloud together, the learners were then asked to write, in role, about their thoughts and feelings. Whether it was the cramped conditions (with 16 learners in the room) or the uncomfortable experience of sitting too long on a hard floor, the writing that was produced in the Quiet Space room had a much more convincing voice than previously. A result!