'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard: A Poetry Lesson Plan from Education Umbrella

Ross Grainger
'Checking Out Me His...

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Education Umbrella
Key Stage:
KS4
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Description

In this poem John Agard uses non-standard English and phonetic spelling to make the case that the history curriculum he was taught was designed to 'blind' him to his Afro-Caribbean identity.

Our lesson plan explores the difference between standard and non-standard English and asks students to consider whether the poem would work well with correct spelling and punctuation. It ends with a debate on the nature of the history curriculum in Britain.

'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard is one of 15 poems in the 'Power and Conflict' cluster in AQA's specification for the new GCSE English literature programme of study. Our lesson plan helps students become intimately familiar with the poem, its meaning and context.

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Weight:
Year Group:
Year 10 [GCSE] - Year 11 [GCSE]
Suitable For:
  • Classroom learning
  • One to one learning
  • Teacher resource
  • Group Learning
Subjects Covered:
  • English 1st Language
  • • Poetry

Objectives

  • understand the difference between standard and non-standard English;
  • examine whether the poem would be more or less effective in standard English;
  • debate the nature of British history curricula.

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