In the previous lesson, students discussed what lessons can be learnt from the first Act of An Inspector Calls, selecting evidence from the text to justify their claims. This activity not only boosted their knowledge of the opening Act, it also began the process of addressing the essential question of the unit: What can J. B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls teach us about the impact of our individual and collective decisions and actions on others? Students then engaged in empathy-building exercises in which they adopted a character’s perspective in order to better understand their motivations and points of view. Both activities gave students the opportunity to engage with the content on a personal level, and build links between the play and their own identities and experiences.
In this lesson, students will begin reading the second Act of the play and will be encouraged to consider how conflict can emerge from differing perspectives. In the second Act, there is a clear difference between how the characters relate to each other when compared with the start of the play. These differences manifest themselves as conflict: the characters are increasingly revealed to have differing views of the world and a different understanding of one’s personal responsibility to others, be they family members, employees, or strangers. Students will reflect on these differences in perception, and will have the opportunity to make links with the world beyond school, thinking about how such differences can have both negative and positive consequences. They will also consider how we can overcome conflict born of such differences.
The activities in this lesson refer to pages 27–33 of the Heinemann edition of An Inspector Calls.
Alignment with the GCSE Specification
- Critical Reading (Lit-AO1/AO3, Lang-AO1/AO4)
- Critical Thinking (Lit-AO1–3/Lang-AO1–4)
- Evidence-Based Reasoning (Lit-AO1–3/Lang-AO1–4)
- Reading Comprehension (Lit-AO1, Lang-AO1)
Spoken Language Skills (Lang-AO8, Lang-AO9)Students are given a range of quotations from throughout Act Two and must use these to predict what will occur, thus deploying critical thinking and evidence-based reasoning. Students then perform the first scene of the second Act, focusing on how conflict is appearing between the characters and how this conflict is linked to their perspectives. The use of drama boosts their spoken language skills, whilst the reading focus boosts their comprehension and critical reading skills. Additionally, the use of discussion and writing throughout gives students the opportunity to verbalise their thoughts and practise turning them into coherent sentences, which will help them across their English GCSEs.
Learn more about this unit’s Alignment with GCSE Specification.