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Title: Belonging

Concept: to belong, or not to belong

Language Modes: speaking, reading, writing, listening, viewing, ICT

Outcomes:

2. A student demonstrates understanding of the relationships among texts.

5. A student analyses the effect of technology and medium on meaning

6. A student engages with the details of text in order to respond critically and personally.



Key Question: How can a concept affect our perceptions of ourselves and our world?



Texts:

  • Core Text: The Simple Gift

  • Additional: The Black Balloon

  • Students own




Key Learning Ideas:

  • Students explore, analyse, question and articulate the ways in which perceptions of this concept are shaped in and through a variety of texts.

  • students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts.

  • They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study.

Assessment:

Portfolio and listening task

Software or Web 2.0 application:

Rationale:

An Area of Study is the exploration of a concept that affects our perceptions of ourselves and our world. Students explore, analyse, question and articulate the ways in which perceptions of this concept are shaped in and through a variety of texts.

  In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structure, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.

 The Area of Study integrates the range and variety of practices students undertake in their study and use of English. It provides students with opportunities to explore, assess, analyse and experiment with:

  • meaning conveyed, shaped, interpreted and reflected in and through texts

  • ways texts are responded to and composed

  • ways perspective may affect meaning and interpretation

  • connections between and among texts

  • how texts are influenced by other texts and contexts.

  Students’ responses to texts are supported by their own composition of, and experimentation with, imaginative and other texts. They explore ways of representing events, experiences, ideas, values and processes, and consider the ways in which changes of form and language affect meaning.

 The Area of Study and the prescribed texts will be subject to periodic evaluation and review.  In addition, students will explore texts of their own choosing relevant to the Area of Study. Students draw their chosen texts from a variety of sources, in a range of genres and media.


Outcomes

Learning and teaching



Communicate own ideas about belonging

Listen and discuss other students ideas about belonging


Developing vocabulary

Focus on Section 2 Paper 1


Exploring belonging through narrative


Conceptualising belonging


Reading and explaining an interpretation of belonging


From ETA Belonging


Revise key words


Reflective journals


Group activity


Developing vocabulary


Reflective writing


Students own selected text


Focus on techniques and messages of belonging

Focus on preparing for key parts of Paper 1 Section 1


From ETA Booklet


Teacher modeling

Focus on Section 1 Paper 1

Reflective writing

Technical language/Terms


Introduction to the Simple Gift

Communicating student and teacher knowledge and understanding of belonging through the text

Close study of core text


Focus on Section 3 Paper 1

Writing an integrated response

Communicating similarities and differences with core text and related text


Close study of text


From HSC Online


HSC Online


HSC Online


Knowledge and understanding of the text


Relating text to concept


Writing integrated responses


From Karen Yager



Conceptualizing Belonging PPP

Area Of Study – Belonging

The Syllabus Rubric
Common Content – Area of Study
40% of the Standard AND Advanced Course
45% marks in HSC Exam
The Syllabus Rubric:
An Area of Study is the exploration of a concept that affects our perceptions of ourselves and our world. Students explore, analyse, question and articulate the ways in which perceptions of this concept are shaped in and through a variety of texts.
In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts’ relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structure, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.
The Area of Study integrates the range and variety of practices students undertake in their study and use of English. It provides students with opportunities to explore, assess, analyse and experiment with:
• meaning conveyed, shaped, interpreted and reflected in and through texts
• ways texts are responded to and composed
• ways perspective may affect meaning and interpretation
• connections between and among texts
• how texts are influenced by other texts and contexts.
Students’ responses to texts are supported by their own composition of, and experimentation with, imaginative and other texts. They explore ways of representing events, experiences, ideas, values and processes, and consider the ways in which changes of form and language affect meaning.

The Area of Study and the prescribed texts will be subject to periodic evaluation and review. In addition, students will explore texts of their own choosing relevant to the Area of Study. Students draw their chosen texts from a variety of sources, in a range of genres and media.

From HSC Online, thanks Melissa Giddens!
Breaking down the Rubric: This is a massive amount of information to absorb in one sitting and yet it is imperative that you know and understand this rubric, especially when it comes to choosing your related texts. So let’s break it down.
1. Belonging is a perception.
Perceptions and ideas of belonging, or of not belonging, vary.
2. Perceptions are shaped within contexts:
1. personal
2. cultural
3. historical
4. social
3. A sense of belonging can emerge from connections with:
1. people
2. places
3. groups
4. communities
5. the larger world
4. How do texts explore belonging?
Texts explore many aspects of belonging.
1. Texts explore the potential of the individual to enrich a community or group
2. Texts explore the potential of the individual to challenge a community or group
5. Texts reflect the way attitudes are modified over time.
6. Texts can represent:
1. choices not to belong
2. barriers which prevent belonging
7. Belonging is represented by, and perceptions of belonging are constructed through a variety of:
1. language modes
2. forms
3. features
4. structures
8. In engaging with a text, the responder may experience and understand possibilities presented by:
1. belonging to the text
2. exclusion from the text
3. belonging to the world the text represents
4. exclusion from the world the text represents
9. Engagement is influenced by the different ways perspectives are:
1. given voice in a text OR
2. absent from a text

The Concept:

Understanding the concept of Belonging
Belonging is a perception.
Perceptions and ideas of belonging, or of not belonging, vary.

What does this mean? It means this concept is about what people perceive or think rather than a ‘truth’: the answer as to whether or not someone belongs is not found in a textbook, it differs according to the person who is thinking about the concept. For example, an outsider driving past your school may see a group of students in their school uniforms and their perception is that the group belongs: the students belong to the school and the group that are together are probably friends or of the same class or year group and therefore belong in one or more of those categories. They are not right or wrong, this is their perception of how the students belong. However, one of the students may be being bullied by the others and not feel as if they belong to that group at all. This is their perception of how they belong or not belong – and it is still valid even though it is different.

From ETA Resources:
Belong fit in to be in the right place feel right to belong
1. A personal item that one owns; a possession. Often used in the plural.
2. Acceptance as a natural member or part: a sense of belonging.
But it is more.
To not belong, to be an outcast, an outsider (even if it is self-perception or due to social, cultural, religious or other reasons…). Think about where and who you belong with. Those people could, will, change over time. It is those experiences with like minded people that may make us feel like we belong to a cause or group. In some ways, where and who we belong with is made for us, yet at other times, we make active or reactive choices as to where and who we belong with. Those connections we made or are made for us is essential to understanding the countless lines within and around the ideal of belonging.
In a modern society, bombarded with advertisements and other persuasive texts that suggest belonging is everything. Belonging is everything. It is the essence of self-esteem, self-image, of societies and civilisations. What it means to belong is different for every group, and individuals within groups, or alternatively, individuals within traditional family units or in the work place or within a profession.

belonging
noun fellowship, relationship, association, partnership, loyalty, acceptance, attachment, inclusion, affinity, closeness, rapport, affiliation, kinship
So, there is no one exact definition of belonging, it is a sense, and we all will think of it on different levels. Belonging is important, but to make active choices not to belong with one group or idea, but to belong to many or none is vital in the wide scope of this concept.

Possible piece of related Literature: Utopia – Sir Thomas More


Responding and Comprehension:
• What is ‘only know to the natives’?
• Describe how the natives find their way around the channel?
• How does More position ‘Strangers’ to Utopia?
• Who conquered Abraxa? Describe what they brought to the island.
• How did the neighbours react to the building of the channel?
• Who treated the natives and the soldiers like slaves? What impact did this have in Utopia?

Possible piece of related literature:
What concepts related to belonging or not belonging are conveyed through the poem?

AND wilt thou leave me thus? Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503-1542)

Possible piece of related literature:
From Astrophel and Stella Sir Philip Sidney
Responding and Comprehension:
- What is the effect of the opening two lines?
- Describe what has given the voice ‘the wound’?
- Explain how the loss of ‘liberty’ affected the persona?
- What does he compare himself to in the simile ‘like slave-born’
- Describe how a sense of isolation and marginalisation is conveyed in the sonnet.

Possible pieces of related literature: Wordsworth and Rossetti
Through the greater part of the 18th century, humans had for the most part been viewed as limited beings in a strictly ordered and essentially unchanging world. A variety of philosophical and religious systems in that century coincided in a distrust of radical innovation, a respect for the precedents established through the ages by the common sense of humanity, and the recommendation to set accessible goals and to avoid extremes, whether in political, intellect, morality of art. The Romantic period, an age of unfettered free enterprise, industrial expansion and boundless revolutionary hope, was also an age of radical individualism in which both the philosophers and poets put an extraordinarily high estimate on human personalities and powers.

• How does the composer convey his/her ideas about ‘Belonging’ through language features and form?
• How do the language techniques used by the composer impact on the responder’s feelings, emotions and ideas?

I Travelled Among Unknown Men William Wordsworth

At Home Christina Rossetti

Area Of Study Paper 1 Section 1

In Paper 1, you must understand the key terms and appreciate that you are expected to be able to analyse how composers make meaning and shape response. These key words are important:
HOW
• How does the composer convey his/her ideas about ‘Belonging’ through language features and form?
• How do the language techniques used by the composer impact on the responder’s feelings, emotions and ideas?
PURPOSE: The purpose could be to:
• Entertain
• Express an opinion
• Persuade
• Create
• Inform
• Reflect
The composer’s purpose will influence his/her choice of text, tone, language, form, structure and style.

Possible piece of related literature:
Empathy: Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist
In pairs discuss:
• Where does Oliver think he belongs? Why?
• Does he see the fact that he is alone as positive or negative?
• Does Dickens share his view? How can you tell?
Individually, write a paragraph about the subjective nature of belonging, using the extract above to illustrate your ideas.
Vocabulary you may find helpful
Personal, intuitive, instinctive, relationship, attachment, befitting, appropriate, rejected.
In pairs discuss:
• Where does Rose think Oliver belongs?
• How do you think Rose would define belonging?
• How does Dickens show that Oliver has found a place to belong? Use a quote to support your answer.
• The surgeon categorises Oliver instantly. How does the act of labelling define where Oliver belongs?
• Have you ever been labelled as belonging to a category that you feel inappropriate? To what extent does the act of labelling define where we belong? To what extent do we belong through what we have experienced?
AUDIENCE Consider how the audience has been positioned to respond to the text.
• Consider others’ perspectives and how individuals could be resistant readers and not have a sense of belonging to the text/s.
• The intended audience will influence choice of text, language, form, structure and style.
• Consider the audience of the time the text was released and a modern day audience’s response.
• Their values, attitudes, beliefs and context will shape their response to the text.

Possible piece of related literature: Be/Longing
“Eden is that old-fashioned House” Emily Dickinson
In pairs, students should consider
• the meaning(s) of the Dickinson poem?
• the similarities between the story of Adam and Eve and the Dickinson poem focusing on such words as ‘Eden’, ‘every day’, ‘without suspecting’, ‘How fair on looking back’ and ‘discover it no more’
• where the differences between the two texts lie and the effects of these differences
• the appropriateness of the form.
TEXTUAL INTEGRITY
• How and why a text is coherent.
• Consider how the form and content of the text relate to each other.
TEXTUAL FEATURES – the HOW, describe, explain, assess…technique, quote, impact and effect on the concept.

Pablo Neruda I like for you to be still

BELONGING AS TEXTUAL ENGAGEMENT
“BELONGING TO A TEXT”
One of the more provocative sections of the Area of Study rubric requires students to consider the concept of belonging as an aspect of their engagement with texts in which “a responder may experience and understand the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to, or exclusion from the text and the world it represents.” While this idea is followed by the elaboration: “[t]his engagement may be influenced by the different ways perspectives are given voice in or are absent from a text”, this does not fully explain the use of the unusual expression “a sense of belonging to…a text”. This seems to operate as an apparent opposite to “exclusion from a text” rather than as a term that works fully in its own right.

Possible piece of related literature: “This land is mine; this land is me”: Carmody & Kelly
We should also note visuals such as:
• commandeering attitude of the father as he rounds up the men to do his bidding
• the line of white men tramping over the land, trampling all signs of the daughter’s tracks
• Albert’s separation from the crowd in his identification with/ belonging to the land
• the mother’s defensive closing of the window to shut out nature
and techniques such as
• ominous vibrato of the violins backing the father’s verse signifying imminent catastrophe of such an attitude
• intercutting of Albert and Father’s verses which gradually come together as they stake
• their opposing claims of ownership and belonging.

2008 HSC Paper: You have been invited to contribute a piece of writing for ONE of the sections in this book:
‘Being is Belonging.’
Choose ONE of the options below for your contribution. (a) Compose a memoir entitled ‘Anywhere, everywhere’. OR (b) Compose a speech entitled ‘The Connection’. OR (c) Compose a story entitled ‘The Curious Incident’.
Markers Comments:
Section II Better responses used the ideas expressed in one or more of the quotations and constructed an imaginative piece of writing, using language appropriate to their chosen form. They explored the ways relationships contribute to a sense of belonging with insight, complexity and/or subtlety. These responses displayed originality and artistry and the mechanics of language were applied skilfully.
Average responses tended to be more literal in their exploration of belonging. They tended to be predictable, linear or clichéd in their examination of the contribution of relationships to a sense of belonging. In these responses, the mechanics of language was controlled and writing structure was appropriate to form.
Weaker responses tended to lack structural direction, were simplistic and inconsistent in their exploration of relationships contributing to belonging and had a lack of credibility with limited appropriateness to audience and/or purpose. Flawed mechanics of language were usually a feature of these responses.
Candidates presented responses in a variety of forms, though narrative tended to be the dominant choice.

Section II Creative writing tasks:

 

2009 HSC paper “Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance, not in the atmosphere of rejection.”
“When someone prizes us just as we are, he or she confirms our existence.”
Drawing on the ideas in ONE of these quotations, write an imaginative piece that celebrates the ways relationships contribute to a sense of belonging.
Thanks to Karen Yager
Craft: ‘They demonstrated structural complexity, cohesion, the use of an authentic, sustained and engaging voice and took advantage of the opportunity the question presented to showcase originality and perceptiveness. The mechanics of language, punctuation, sentence structure and paragraphing were applied skilfully in these responses’ (NSW BOS, 2007, p.5).
To focus on the craft of writing try these quick writing exercises:
Compose a 100 micro word (no more no less) story that reflects one of the key ideas of ‘Belonging’:
• Focus on the power of verbs
• Avoid too many adjectives
• Include figurative language – a simile is simple but effective
• You could use an analogy or extended metaphor
Describe in two paragraphs a place that is special to you; where you feel as if you belong. Now describe a place where you feel alienated and isolated.
• Focus on creating a mood that reflects your feelings through emotive language and colour.
• Use the details of the place to represent your feelings without actually describing your feelings.
Take a recent well known event such as the Federal Government’s National Apology and write it into an imaginative text that reflects one or more of the key ideas of ‘Belonging’. E.g. Like I said, I didn’t miss her. But she was an addiction of sorts, and like any habit, even once you break it there are still moments that nothing will replace. Like being so amazingly warm with her in your arms that you just want to laugh at the Winter that lives outside the windows. Like the image of her washing her hands at the kitchen sink for fifteen minutes, humming a tune and wearing nothing but pale pink cottons. Or the time we made love on the living room floor, with the background noise of two planes flying into two towers, and hoping our love would make us invincible, and keep us safe.
As ‘Belonging’ is such a personal concept begin tackling Section II by composing a narrative with a focus on the craft of writing. Garth Boomer stated that ‘Stories are the lifeblood of a nation.’ Stories enable writers to convey significant concepts and differing perspectives, and have the potential to invite empathy and understanding.
Before you begin writing: Discuss ‘Belonging’ and how it is interpreted by different people. E.g.
• Belonging spiritually to the land
• Belonging to a peer group/family/team/institution/town/country
• Alienation and exclusion
• Displacement
• Belonging to the past
• How an individual can enrich or challenge an individual, group or community’s sense of belonging
Select one or more ideas and start to plan a narrative.
Time limits, hand written, plan, draft, peer feedback, teacher feedback, carry a journal- use ideas from your journal.
Planning a Narrative for ‘Belonging’
Create the setting
• Think about your characters who move in the setting; your key ideas, your purpose and how you are representing your perception of ‘Belonging.’ How does the setting shape them and their notion of belonging?
• Focus on the craft of writing: imagery, figurative devices, syntax, punctuation and structure.
• Ensure that your readers can ‘see’ the setting – don’t neglect those small details that can capture the essence of a place! E.g. We buzz north through hours of good farm country. The big, neat paddocks get browner and drier all the while and the air feels thick and warm. Biggie drives. He has the habit of punctuating his sentences with jabs on the accelerator and although the gutless old Volksie doesn’t exactly give you whiplash at every flourish, it’s enough to give a bloke a headache. We wind through the remnant jarrah forest, and the sickly-looking regrowth is so rain-parched it almost crackles when you look at it. (Tim Winton, The Turning)
• In one to two paragraphs create the setting
Create the character/s
• Sometimes our most effective writing is based on our lives and our experiences. Think about the people you have met, even yourself and create one or more characters.
• Think about the character/s’ perceptions of ‘Belonging’ and how this perception has been shaped by their context, attitudes, experiences, values, perspectives, etc.
• Consider dialogue and how it can be used to effectively capture and reflect the character/s.
• Compose one or more paragraphs that describe or represent the character.
Suggestions
• Good writers have been influenced by many other accomplished writers. Dip into as many texts as you can so that you experience the craft of writing. Tim Winton and Gail Jones have mastered the art of creating detailed settings, appealing characters and intriguing story lines. Read some of the short stories in Winton’s The Turning and read extracts from Jones’ Sixty Lights and Sorry.
Write for a specific audience and use the appropriate language and form. E.g. If you are requested to compose a letter to a friend, remember that it should be personal, descriptive and even humorous. It usually starts with a greeting.
• Show don’t tell. Avoid too much information and focus on appealing to the senses through effective descriptions. Remember our most powerful tool is our imagination! A text that suggests rather than tells all has a powerful impact on the reader.
• Develop a strong, distinctive voice. To achieve this is it is advantageous to write about what you have experienced so that your writing comes from the heart. If this is not possible because of the nature of the set task, adopt a believable persona and maintain his/her voice. This could mean using colloquial register and slang so that you convincingly capture the voice of the character.
Choose and control your use of a range of language features to engage and influence an audience. This means using techniques such as:
• A variety of sentence beginnings and sentence lengths. You could use short, simple sentences and fractured sentences to create tension or long, complex sentences to slow the action down. Ellipsis (…) is a dramatic way of leaving something not said or hinting that what will happen is too difficult to describe.
• Vary paragraph lengths – don’t be afraid to use a single sentence paragraph to make a dramatic statement.
• Poetic devices such as: similes, metaphors, personification, alliteration, assonance, sibilants and onomatopoeia. There are many others. Tim Winton in The Turning cleverly uses very ordinary similes to make us smile and visualize what he is describing or what the character is feeling. E.g. “Reeds bristled like Venetian blinds in the breeze.”
• Contrast: juxtaposition can be very effective. E.g. You could start by describing the beauty of a place, stressing its quietness and tranquility and in the next paragraph have a bomb drop.
• Imagery: paint a picture for your reader – add colour, sound and smells. Tim Winton does this well: “From the water’s edge you couldn’t even see our street. I found eggs in the reeds, skinks in the fallen log, a bluetongue lizard jawing up at me with its hard scales shining amidst the sighing wild oats. I sat in the hot shade of a melaleuca in a daze.”
You are most convincing when you write about what you have experienced. So ground your imaginative writing in things you know.
• It is a writing task so the structure and construction of the text do matter: paragraphing, varied sentence structure, punctuation, word choice, and the opening paragraph and the concluding paragraph.

 

BELONGING AS GLOBAL NETWORKS
We human beings have often been referred to as social animals. But we are not yet community creatures. We are impelled to relate with each other for our survival. But we do not yet relate with the inclusivity, realism, self-awareness, vulnerability, commitment, openness, freedom, equality, and love of genuine community. It is clearly no longer enough to be simply social animals, babbling together at cocktail parties and brawling with each other in business and over boundaries. It is our task–our essential, central, crucial task–to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures. It is the only way that human evolution will be able to proceed.
M. Scott Peck The Different Drum: Community-Making and Peace

Contemporary ideas of belonging can involve global means of social interaction. The technological, cultural and economic changes of the past decade present us with new ways of belonging to groups and networks that transcend physical boundaries. Our computers represent points of departure from which we connect with the wider social world. This sense of belonging moves away from traditional group markers such as family, nation, religion, gender role etc. At the same time the boundaries of what these distinctions actually describe are becoming increasingly blurred. This fluidity drives us to identify ourselves with certain values and beliefs which often reflect multiple ideas of belonging.
We have become increasingly comfortable with employing a variety of social tools to adjust to the different social and cultural worlds of the 21st century. For some, this means variety, flexibility and rich connection – an abundance of new opportunity. For others, it is seen as meaninglessness, disassociation from ‘the core’, ‘the significant’ and ‘the human’. This dichotomy is illustrated in the following texts on aspects of Globalisation.

Teaching of the Area of Study Integrated Response

Karen Yager
Section III: Extended Response
  1   2   3

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