Using quadrants to answers exam questions at GCSE and A level

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Faced with an exam question such as

How far do you agree with the view that, in the years 1933–39, the New Deal delivered relief but not recovery?

students have to collect arguments to support 4 sides of this argument ; hence the quadrant.

In each of the 4 squares into which a blank page is divided is written:
Yes, it brought relief

No it didn’t bring much relief

Yes it brought recovery

No, it didn’t bring recovery

Students work through a range of well-chosen sources and secondary texts to find arguments that could be placed in each of these 4 quadrants.  They MUST write these on small cards or slips of paper as they will move them around later to prioritise their thinking.When they have recorded all their ideas on the small slips they then set about discussing which of the pieces of evidence carries most weight. they place those at the top of each quadrant.

they now have a string visual writing frame which contains ideas they have selected , deployed and prioritised rather than simply repeating someone else’ ideas.

They then analysis a secondary text treatment of this question. Immediately they start to take issue with points that have been left out, given too much weight, or over-emphasised.

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