The following is from a recent lesson.
Me: Okay, so question one was, ‘Why do writers use alliteration? Who can tell me? Actually no- I want you to chant this in unison. What’s the wrong answer to this question?
Whole Class: TO MAKE IT CATCHY!
Me: Well done. So what’s the actual answer?
George: To draw attention to a particular word or phrase.
ME: Whose attention?
George: The reader’s.
Me: Okay. So, why do writers use alliteration?
George: To draw the reader’s attention to a particular word or phrase.
Me: Well done George. Christian, can you tell me a novel where we’ve seen a great example of alliteration?
Christian: To Kill a Mockingbird.
Me: Well done. And what was the example? Catherine?
Catherine: A dog suffered on a hot summer’s day.
Me: Get rid of hot.
Catherine: A dog suffered on a summer’s day.
Me: Well done. Right, next question. And I’ll be impressed if you get this. What’s epistrophe?
David: When you repeat a sentence in a paragraph?
Me: Not quite David. Halfway there. Sort of. Chesney?
Chesney: Is it like anaphora but reversed?
Me: Okay, but what’s anaphora?
Chesney: Is it repetition of a phrase?
Me: How do you mean?
Chesney: I don’t know.
Me: Anaphora is a phrase that is repeated at the beginning of successive clauses, lines or paragraphs. So what’s epistrophe Chesney?
Chesney: Repeated phrases at the end of lines?
Me: Lines, clauses, or paragraphs. Do you all remember now?
(Audible murmur of excitement)
Me: Where have we seen epistrophe used to good effect?
Allegra: Julius Caesar.
Me: Yes, and what phrase is used this way?
Catherine: Brutus is a noble man?
Me: Close, but not quite. Anyone else?
Freya: Brutus is an honourable man?
George: Sir, isn’t that also irony?
Me: Yes it is! Wow, I forgot I’d taught you that! What’s irony?
George: When a writer says one thing, but means another. Does he use it to mug Brutus off?
Me: Ha! Yes he does! But what’s a better way of putting that? David?
David: He says it to make the audience realise how ridiculous the statement is?
Me: How do you mean?
David: Well, by constantly repeating it, it starts to sound silly. And the audience will maybe start to doubt it?
Me: I think that’s a good answer. Well done. Who remembers what ‘sibilance’ is?
Nile: Is it when people use alliteration?
Me: Ssssibilance Nile.
Nile: Oh! It’s when you get a repeated ‘s’ sound.
Me: Okay, and why do writers use it?
Nile: It can make people sound evily.
Me: What’s a better word than evily?
Me: Thank you Nile. Right class. Tell me the wrong answer in unison please: What’s a rhetorical question?
Whole Class: A QUESTION THAT DOESN’T NEED AN ANSWER!
Me: Ha! Brilliant. Right answer please?
Lacey: A rhetorical question is a question designed to make the listener think, or to make a point.
Me: Brilliant. Moving on to what we covered last lesson. What’s ‘denotation’?
Alexia: Denotation is when something is shown to be what it actually is.
Me: And connotation?
Alexia: What it makes you think of?
Me: Can someone tighten that up for me please?
Julia: A connotation is something that is suggested by an image.
Me: Just an image?
Julia: Oh! And a word.
Year 7, ladies and gentlemen.
(Julius Caesar, epistrophe, irony, and rhetorical questions were studied 5 weeks prior to this conversation taking place. Sibilance was studied 2 months prior to this conversation taking place. Alliteration in To Kill a Mockingbird was studied 5 months prior to this conversation taking place.)