Gap Year By Jackie Kay
Predictions �What do you think the poem will be about? �Who do you think the narrator will be?
Title Analysis �Consider the title Gap Year. �Explain what a gap year is �Take each word separately and write down what it means.
Context �Gap Year is a poem which is written and narrated by Jackie Kay. �This is the only poem of the six that the reader can definitely say Kay herself narrates as it is dedicated to her only son Matthew. �It is split into two sections which hold significance for theme of the poem. �The poem details Kay’s apprehension and longing for her son who is travelling on a gap year. �She invokes the passage of time throughout the poem as she remembers her pregnancy and Matthew’s childhood.
Jog your memories “my mother on her high hospital bed waves back” �Write down this quote into your jotter. �Without looking back to your poem, spend 2 minutes writing about what this quote can suggest about the child’s mother from ‘Lucozade’.
Gap Year Take 2 minutes to write down as much as you can remember about what gap year means. What is a gap year?
Learning Intention �By the end of class, I will demonstrate my understanding of ‘Gap Year’ by creating a storyboard of each stanza of the poem.
Storyboard �For each stanza, draw a picture that you feel sums up what is happening in it. �Think about the emotions of each stanza as well as the events – they are just as important, if not more. �Underneath the box give a description of what is happening/emotions felt and a quote to support your description. �Try to use as much detail as possible.
Poetic Techniques Kahoot
Learning Intentions I will be able to: �Begin to analyse the poem Success Criteria �I can: �Define all of the poetic techniques in the poem �Analyse section 1 of the poem
Techniques �Alliteration �Simile �Metaphor �Oxymoron �Enjambment �Onomatopoeia �Irony
Techniques �Alliteration – the repetition of the same sound or letter �Simile – comparing one thing to another using like or as �Metaphor – comparing two things by saying something is something else �Irony - expressing meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous effect �Oxymoron – two opposite ideas which when brought together make sense ie living dead, jumbo shrimp
Techniques Enjambment: �The continuation of a sentence/clause over a line break. �Often used to emphasise the passing of time, whether it is quickly or slowly depends on the rhythm and context of the line. �“hardly able to believe/ I would ever have a real baby to put in the basket. ”
Oxymoron: �Two contradictory words which are placed together in a sentence but still have truth in them. �Example – the living dead, jumbo shrimp.
Hunting technique �Using colours of each of the different techniques, go through section 1 of the poem and highlight all of the techniques. �Alliteration �Simile �Metaphor �Irony �Enjambment �Oxymoron
Quick Quiz Who is the author of the poem? (1) 2. Who is the narrator of the poem? (1) 3. Who is the poem written for? (1) 4. “I’d stare at the fleecy white sheet for days, weeks, willing you to arrive” What two points can we infer from analysing this quote? (2) 1.
Answers Jackie Kay 2. Jackie Kay 3. Her son Matthew (Mateo) 4. 1) ‘stare’ suggest an intense longing for her son to arrive 2) ‘for days, weeks’ suggests that time is going by especially slowly for her as she waits 3) ‘white sheet’ suggests the purity and innocence of the baby which will be coming, as well as the purity of her love for him. 1.
Model of Analysis �Does �What it create an image in your mind? words/techniques make you think of this image? �Is there anything interesting about the rhyme scheme (how it sounds)? �Are there any links to the key themes? �Are any poetic techniques used? �Does the word choice suggest something about the character/their attitude? �Does it link back to anything from the first stanza?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. How appropriate is the title ‘Gap Year’ for this poem? (1) What is the reason for splitting the poem into two sections? (1) The second section is much longer than the first, why? (1) Show the language of stanza 1 -4 convey the narrator’s love for her child. (2) There are many parallels and
There are many parallels and connections between the two sections. How does Kay link the two sections? Give 2 pieces of evidence. (4) “you arrived late”. In section 1, Kay tells us that Matthew was late during her pregnancy. In section 2 we are told that he is late again and not coming home for the due date. “second scan at twenty weeks” – links back to pregnancy which is detailed in section 1. “hardly able to imagine back in there sleeping” – this links the two sections because she repeats this phrase from section 1 and cannot imagine having Matthew as a baby or back at home with her.
What is a theme? A theme is the main/central message or idea the author is trying to make in the text. It is often expressed and explored through character and plot, however literary devices also contribute to the development of theme, particularly with poetry.
What is a theme? �Think about what a theme is. �Considering themes of other texts that we know can help us consider the definition of the term. �For Lucozade, what were the central themes? �Why do you consider these themes?
Themes in ‘Gap Year’ �Family Relationships �Experience
Emotions Chart �In your pairs, you will have ten minutes to go through the poem and track the emotions of the narrator. �You will be recording these on a graph and you will have to provide supporting evidence to show the emotions.
1 15 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Stanza 9 10 11 12 13 14
The Growth of Matthew �Throughout the poem the narrator gives clues about the journey/route Matthew is taking on his travels. �The journey that Matthew goes on is a metaphor for Matthew growing up.
Matthew’s Journey �Matthew is not only undertaking a physical journey across South America but he is also on a journey of growth. �The journey in the poem is a metaphor to illustrate how Matthew is growing up. �This combined with the title Gap Year, illustrates to the reader Kay’s feelings of distance from her son. �Matthew himself undergoes changes in the poem but Kay also uses other language techniques and symbols to illustrate the changes.
In your pairs: �Go through the poem and pick out any evidence to support growth or change in Matthew. �This can be shown right from the beginning and is not always necessarily about him, there are other examples of growth in the poem also. �You have ten minutes to do this.
Poetic Devices �Read through the poem and find examples of the following: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ Alliteration Simile Metaphor Enjambment Oxymoron Contrast Onomatopoeia Irony
�Alliteration �Similes �Metaphor
�Enjambment �Oxymoron �Contrast �Onomatopoeia �Irony
�Alliteration – “seeing you, shy smile” �“”eighty-eight” �“flip-flopping” �“tight tub” �Similes – “soars like birds” �“glows like the sunrise” �Metaphor – “foot against my heart” �“tight tub” �“on top of the world”
�Enjambment – “your grandfather/rings” �“warn him/ against it” �“with the statue/ with the original Tupac” �Oxymoron – “close stranger” �“water music” �Contrast – “baby turtles and massive leatherbacks” �Onomatopoeia – “flip flopping” �Irony – “pulled out with forceps”
Gap Year Questions Name the language techniques used in “tight tub of a stomach” and say how effective these are in describing the expectant mother’s experience. (3) 2. How does the language used in stanzas 13 -14 convey a mood of sadness? (4) 3. Comment on the poet’s word choice in “a flip and a skip ago”. What is she 1.
‘tight tub’. This is an example of alliteration and metaphor. The narrator compares her pregnant stomach with a tub. Just as a tub stores things, so too she is storing and growing a child inside of her. The use of the word ‘tight’ suggests that pregnancy is very painful and uncomfortable. 2. “I feel like a home-alone mother”. This is an example of a simile. This suggests that she is very lonely because Matthew is not at home and she craves human contact. When we hear the phrase ‘home alone’ we typically associate this with a child being left alone, in this case it is the mother and so we have an example of role reversal. “all the lights have gone out”. This is an example of a metaphor. The narrator is suggesting that he is the light of her life and brings her joy. When he is not there, she is miserable and the light is gone from her life. 3. “flip and a skip ago. ” This suggests that time has passed quickly because both a flip and a skip are two movements which are executed rapidly. It is suggesting that Matthew’s life and childhood have passed very 1.
Poem Comparison Table Complete the table for the poems you have studied highlighting similarities, connections and any contrasting ideas. Find quotations to support your points. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT SO PUT ALL OF YOUR EFFORT INTO IT!
�How effective do you find the final line as a conclusion to the poem? (2) �Show the language and/or ideas of stanzas 1– 4 convey the speaker’s love for her baby son. (2) �How does the language used in stanzas 13 -14 convey a mood of sadness? (4) �With close reference to the text, identify and explain how Kay links the two sections. (4)
8 Marker 1. This poem explores the relationship between a mother and child. Show this relationship is similar or different to the family relationship(s) in another poem or poems by Kay that you have read. 2. In this poem, the speaker feels a mixture of happiness and sadness about her situation. Show a speaker’s mixed emotions are explored in another poem, or poems, by Kay.
Continue working on number 1 then move to number 2 1. ‘Gap Year’ explores the relationship between a mother and child. Show this relationship is similar or different to the family relationship(s) in another poem or poems by Kay that you have read. 2. Jackie Kay often portrays troubled family relationships very effectively. Look at ‘Keeping Orchids’ and one other poem and explain how they convey these troubled relationships. (8) • 2 similarities or differences • 1 quote from Keeping Orchids to answer question • 2 quotes from another poem to answer question
Gap Year Textual Analysis 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Explain why the poem is structured the way it is. (2) With close reference to the text, identify and explain how Kay links the two sections. (2) Look at the first stanza. How does the poet convey her feelings towards her son? (4) How does the language used in stanzas 13 -14 convey a mood of sadness? (4) This poem explores the relationship between a mother and child. Show this relationship is similar or different to the family relationship(s) in another poem or poems by Kay that you have read. (8) Total (20)