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Edexcel Unseen Fiction Reading Anthology | Gothic and Ghosts

Edexcel Unseen Fiction Reading Anthology | Gothic and Ghosts

This is one small section of a range of Anthologies available on Edusites English.

For Paper One

Fiction and Imaginative Writing


From the Edexcel specification

‘Students should read selections from a range of high-quality, challenging prose fiction, in preparation for responding to an unseen 19th-century prose fiction extract in the examination. They should be able to read substantial pieces of writing (extended texts) that make significant demands on them in terms of content, structure and the quality of language. Throughout the qualification, students should develop the skills of inference, analysis and evaluation’.

‘Students should read a variety of prose fiction from a range of genres and cultures. Students should use what they have learned about the writer’s craft in their reading of fiction to inspire and influence their own imaginative writing’.

Students should:

  • read and understand a range of prose fiction, including unseen texts.
  • critical reading and comprehension: identify and interpret themes, ideas and information in a range of literature and other high-quality writing; read in different ways for different purposes, and evaluate the usefulness, relevance and presentation of content for these purposes; draw inferences and justify these with evidence; support a point of view by referring to evidence within the text; reflect critically and evaluatively on text, use the context of the text and draw on knowledge and skills gained from wider reading; recognise the possibility of different responses to a text.
  • summary: identify the main theme or themes; summarise ideas and information from a single text.
  • evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features: explain and illustrate how vocabulary and grammar contribute to effectiveness and impact, use linguistic and literary terminology accurately to do so and pay attention to detail; analyse and evaluate how form and structure contribute to the effectiveness and impact of a text.

The sample fiction texts that have been produced in this Anthology are based loosely around four themes they illustrate the range of genres, cultures and period described above. Students should build up in their learning a wide portfolio of fiction texts that they can use beyond this in preparation for the exam. Within the Anthology there is a discussion on how to use this material effectively in the classroom, a discussion of the assessment objectives, what examiners are looking for and one sample set of questions with indicative content for each of the four themes.

How to use unseen fiction material effectively in the classroom Some general tips:

  • The assessment of reading skills in this paper is based entirely on unseen texts. Consequently whenever possible students should practice analysing fiction texts as ‘unseens’ as the norm in their study of both English Language and English Literature
  • Try to harness good reading skills from Key Stage 3 onwards by introducing students to a range of fiction texts from the 19th century across a range of genres and increasing the challenge of these texts up into Key Stage 4
  • There is clear crossover here with English Literature where the named nineteenth century prose texts can be taught alongside these unseen nineteenth century fiction texts as integrated exercises
  • In preparation for the writing tasks in Section B, it is important that students are allowed the opportunity to articulate their opinions on the subject of the text. This is an important skill for both English Language and English Literature although all such judgements should be evidenced based

Reading the Unseen Fiction Texts

Reading activities can be carried out as individuals, in pairs or in larger groups. The main principle should be to get students to respond independently to the texts and to understand the viewpoints and perspectives expressed and the main themes and structure of the piece. This can be followed with closer reading to analyse the writer’s craft and language.

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