Category Archives: Heroes

Using CRISP to structure an answer to question c)

Question c) is the theme-based question and you will therefore need to be familiar with the most important themes in the novel you have studied.

I want you to be able to help each other to prepare for answering question c) in the Prose section of the exam and using CRISP to structure your answer is recommended.

I have created a shared Google Doc and it is now up to you to populate it (to fill it in) with key scenes, observations and quotations for the major themes that feature in each of the three novels: Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird and Heroes (there is a table for each one).

Remember, this is a live document so be careful not to delete any comments already made; of course, feel free to add to and correct comments already made.

Click on the link to access the Google Doc:


PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due Monday 28 April

Using the annotations you made to the text extract using the GCSE marking criteria, write an improved answer to the character-based question below. Write your answer in your exercise book (avoid looking at your earlier response) and we’ll start Monday’s lesson peer-marking your home learning.

  • (a) Explain how the writer presents the character of Larry LaSalle in the extract. (Heroes)

  • (a) Explain how the writer presents the character of the old man, Candy the swamper, in the extract. (Of Mice and Men)

  • (a) Explain how the writer presents the character of Atticus in the extract. (To Kill a Mockingbird)

Remember to use evidence from the extract to support your answer.

An independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will provide accurate, detailed interpretations of texts using precise evidence from the extract.
  • Grade B will be insightful, avoiding obvious statements about the character, and make precise and detailed references
  • Grade A will analyse and evaluate (weigh-up) different interpretations of the character, considering how the writer’s language affects and manipulates the reader.


Year 10 Heroes for Monday 3 Feb

Write up your ‘action’ part of your story, using Cormier’s techniques for creating tension:
1. Positive to negative emotions
2. cliffhanger at the end
3. someone important watching
4. Range of sentences
5. Using senses, especially sound
6. real life event to create authenticity
7. Single sentence paragraphs
8. shows instead of tells

Year 10 – Heroes (for Thursday 30/01)

How is your story going? Give a self-evaluation of the standard of your story (in accordance with the grade descriptors below). Write a detailed analysis and specify how I can help

  • For a D/C – clear structure, clear paragraphing
  • For a C/B – apt vocabulary and a variety of sentences
  • For a B grade – good use of ‘cohesive devices’ to make it flow

Year 10 Heroes – 21st Jan (for Wednesday)

Read page 36 – How does the writer use language to show Francis’ feelings for Nicole? (this is an exam-style question)

You need three points. If you are struggling, just 3 (7 word) quotations will do.

I really want 3 quotations with 3 techniques (eg, simile, emotive language..)

For those pushing for a B grade, 3 quotations with 3 techniques and 3 explanations would win you house points.

Heroes 6

I remember what I said to Nicole about not knowing who the real heroes are and I think of my old platoon. Sonny Orlandi, Spooks Reilly and Blinky Chambers, Eddie Richards and his diarrhoea. Erwin Eisenberg, Henry Johnson, hit by shrapnel. And those who died, Jack Smith and Billy O’Brien, and all the others. I think of Enrico, minus his legs, his arm. I think of Arthur Rivier, drunk and mournful that night in the alley. We were only there. Scared kids, not born to fight and kill. Who were not only there but who stayed, did not run away, fought the good war. And never talked about it. And didn’t receive a Silver Star. But heroes, anyway. The real heroes.
Maybe if I’m going to write as Nicole hopes I will, I should write about them.
Maybe I should buy a typewriter and get started.
Maybe I should try to find Dr Abrams’ telephone number in Kansas City.
Maybe I should track down Enrico, check out those hospitals he told me about.
I should do all those things.
I think of Nicole.
I think of the gun inside my duffel bag at my feet.
I pick up the duffel bag and sling it over my shoulder. The weight is nice and comfortable on my back as I cross the lobby, heading for the exit and the next train to leave the station.

Comment on how language is used to give impact to the ending of the book.

For a B grade:
i. Francis lists his army comrades – who has he been writing about in the rest of the book? How does this mark a change in his thinking?
ii. There are four ‘maybes’ – what do these suggest?
iii. What does ‘the next train’ symbolise?
For an A grade:
i. The reader hopes that the protagonist will have solved his issues by the end of the story – what phrases suggests that Francis has forgiven himself?
ii. Does he still feel alone?
iii. ‘I think of the gun inside my duffel bag’ leads the reader to think how the book could have ended differently – Francis makes a final choice here – what is it?

Heroes 5

Silence falls between us, broken only by the swish of the tennis rackets and the plopping of the ball outside and the distant laughter of a girl in a corridor somewhere.
‘Why did you come here today?’ she asks.
The question surprises me. Didn’t she know I’d track her down sooner or later?
‘I wanted to see you again. To tell you that I’m sorry, too, for what happened. To see if ….’
‘If I was all right? To see if I had survived?’ That bitter twist back in her voice again.
To see if maybe you could still be my girl. Which could maybe change my mind about the gun in the duffel bag.
‘Well, I’m all right.’ ‘Lifts her hands, palms upwards. ‘Don’t I look as if I am alright?’ A bright smile on her lips but not in her eyes.
For once in my life, I’m not timid with her.
‘I don’t think so, Nicole’.
‘Don’t think what?’
‘I don’t think you’re all right.’
She looks at me for a long moment, as still as the stopped clock on the wall.
‘Did you ever tell anyone about it, Nicole? Did you ever talk about it?’

Comment on how language is used to present Nicole’s feelings in the extract.
For a B grade:
i. What does the sound of the tennis match symbolise?
ii. And what does the sound of a girl laughing represent?
iii. How is the sound of her voice described?
For an A grade:
i. How does the preposition ‘between us’ help the reader understand how Nicole is feeling?
ii. ‘a bright smile on her lips but not in her eyes’ betrays what about her feeling?
iii. The dialogue exchanges are not just short, but curt – what effect does that have?
iv. How does the simile ‘as still as the stopped clock on the wall’ help us understand Nicole’s situation?

Heroes 4

Suddenly, I only want to get out of there. The aroma of the soup is sickening and the tenement is too warm. I don’t want to look into his eyes anymore.
My hand is on the doorknob when he calls my name. I open the door but pause, making myself wait. But I don’t look at him.
‘Let me tell you one thing before you go, Francis. You would have fallen on that grenade, anyway. All your instincts would have made you sacrifice yourself for your comrades.’
Still trying to make me better than I am.
I close the door, my face hot and flushed under the scarf and the bandage. The coldness of the hallway hits the warmth of my flesh and I shiver. It seems that I have done nothing but shiver since I returned to Frenchtown.
His voice echoes in my ears:
Does that one sin of mine wipe away all the good things?
I go down the stairs, my footsteps echoing on the worn staircase.
Downstairs, at last after what seems like a long long time, I pause at the outside door. The sound of a pistol shot cracks the air. My hand is on the doorknob. The sound from this distance is almost like a ping-pong ball striking the table.

Comment on how language is used to present Francis’ feelings in the extract.
For a B grade:
i. Explain how does the adverb ‘only’ gives extra force to the first simple sentence.
ii. What is the effect of putting a phrase into italics?
iii. Why does Cormier use the simile of ‘a ping-pong ball striking the table’?
For an A grade:
i. ‘The aroma of the soup is sickening’ – is this the reason Francis feels sick?
ii. The staircase is described as ‘worn’ – is it just the staircase that is ‘worn’?
iii. At the end, when the gun-shot is heard, Francis has his ‘hand…on the doorknob’ – why does he mention this (what could his hand have been holding)?