The Essay…. Students will understand how to unpack an essay question and plan a response. Brainstorming the topic. “The simple gift of friendship enables each of the characters to change. ” Discuss What are the gifts of friendship shown? Specific examples
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Students will understand how to unpack an essay question and plan a response.
Billy’s journey shows the importance of belonging and acceptance.
Eg. Steven Herrick’s The Simple Gift highlights…………Each of the characters in Herrick’s novel, Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin are all transformed as a result of……..Ultimately, (message)
A contention is your main argument about the topic
You know the basics now:
The skill is making it sound good through complex and developed ideas and strong writing! Now you need to think about how you will plan your ideas
There are a few ways that you can divide up your ideas and develop them.
Most importantly you need to choose ideas that respond to the topic and show your knowledge of the WHOLE novel.
You could write a paragraph on each of the main characters and explore their journey of change and how it happened. (What they were like at the beginning, middle and end and the changes seen)
You could divide your paragraphs into the ‘simple gifts’ you identified in the novel, and discuss these gifts individually in each paragraph, showing how they impacted each characters.
You could follow the narrative and use each paragraph to represent the beginning,middle, end, message and explore how ideas and characters change as the novel progresses. (be careful not to retell the story)
Sample Introduction: (Contention) Stephen Herrick’s ‘The Simple Gift’ highlights the importance of friendship in people’s lives. Each of the characters in Herrick’s novel are transformed as a result of the sense of belonging and trust that develops between them. (Supporting ideas)Billy finally gains a sense of belonging and purpose as he helps Old Bill face the past and look forward to the future. His relationship with Old Bill and Caitlin reveals that love and friendship gives meaning to their lives, enabling them to truly enjoy the simple pleasures.
Topic sentence: Form a clear statement or sentence.
Eg. Old Bill changes as the result of the friendship that he receives from Billy and Caitlin.
Explain/Evidence: How has it changed him? Discuss your first reason
Provide example. Eg. Billy helped him become healthier – less drinking, routine, healthy food (Quotes)
Explain/evidence: Discuss your second reasons. Provide example. Eg. Billy and Caitlin offered friendship and asked nothing in return – they shared their happiness, enabled him to laugh and see joy in life again (Quotes!)
Concluding Sentence: sum up your argument about how friendship is important to Old Bill.
Eg. Through the power of friendship, Old Bill was able to overcome the ‘ghosts of his past’, and start to laugh again.
Repeat the process for each of your points.
Topic sentence:Within ‘The Simple Gift’ Billy’s character gained confidence and respect due to the friendships he developed with people. Reasons for the changes/importance of friendship:Initially Billy was presented as being lonely and quite sad due to the way he was treated by his father and other adults in his life. His father giving him ‘backhanders’ and ‘thundering’ around him resulted in Billy losing trust in the adults in his life. He did not feel safe, loved or supported. Examples:Once Billy met Ernie he realised that are ‘men that don’t boss you around…and know the value of things’. Ernie offered him kindness and compassion, which was new to Billy, giving him ‘a heater that works’ and ‘a cuppa’.
Ernie did not judge him, or ask him questions. Billy’s trust in adults was further developed when he met Old Bill. He was similar to Ernie in that fact that he didn’t ask questions of Billy, but treated him as an equal………(what else could you say about how Old Bill’s friendship changed Billy?)
In the novel Herrick shows that Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin all change because of friendship.
The above is a very dull statement! How can you improve it?? Remember to include a link to author’s message
Through his characters, Steven Herrick reveals the power friendship has teach us about ourselves and others, whilst simultaneously enabling us to enjoy life and overcome hardships.