Triumphs Show 159: teaching paragraph construction

Teaching History feature

By Kirstie Murray, published 4th June 2015

Exploring alternative ways of teaching pupils paragraph construction

My adventures in dancing in the classroom started back in the autumn term. I was working with a group of Year 8 students looking at interpretations of King John and we were selecting and analysing quotations from historians as part of the enquiry question ‘Was King John really so bad?' My students were struggling with the idea that, rather than simply insert the well-chosen quotation from a historian into their essay, they had to explain its meaning and make it clear how this quotation was relevant to the argument they were putting forward. Some just didn't seem to see the point of the ‘explanation' part of the perfect PEE paragraph model they had been drilled in since Year 7 or, if they did use the model, reduced these explanation phrases to a simplistic ‘this meant that...'.

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