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S3 National 5
Critical Reading Questions
“In Mrs Tilscher’s Class”
Answer all questions as fully as possible, taking account of the number of
marks allocated to each.
1. How does Duffy draw the reader into the atmosphere and setting of the
poem in the first two stanzas? [Think about the way in which the senses
are engaged, use of imagery etc.] [4]
2. What is the effect of the reference to Brady and Hindley in stanza 2?
How is this effect cancelled out? [2]
3. In the third stanza, how is the change of direction of the poem
conveyed? [2]
4. The final stanza moves on to the final term of the school year. What has
changed about the child in this stanza, and how do you know? [2]
5. How does Duffy create an ominous mood at the end of the poem? [2]
The 8 Mark Question
In the National 5 exam, the final question in the Critical Reading part of the
paper [out of 20 marks in total] is worth 8 marks. The question tests your
ability to discuss the text you have studied as a whole. Your response has to
show your awareness of the themes it raises.
This is the question you are going to prepare on “In Mrs Tilscher’s Class”:
How successfully has Carol Ann Duffy evoked memories of primary school?
You should prepare 4 comments worth 2 marks each. Each of these should be a
mini-paragraph, and structured as a SQAR as you would do for a Critical Essay.
In your answer, you should discuss:
The memories she evokes
The techniques she uses
Now plan out the 4 points you are going to make. Make a list of 4 memories or
feelings she recreates. Here’s one to start you off:
A young child’s engagement with learning and the learning environment