Hieroglyphics by Anne Donovan

Report
Intermediate 2
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Lesson One aims:
 Watch a video of Anne Donovan being
interviewed about her writing
 Read the story
 Write a bullet-point summary of the story
 Have an understanding of the narrative style of
the story
 Headspace: Mary
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Narrative Style
1. a) What narrative perspective is used in this story?
- First person narrative is used
b) Why do you think Anne Donovan does this?
- So that we get Mary’s uncensored thoughts /feelings and
sympathise with her more.
2.
The story is written in Scots, using a Glaswegian
dialect, how does this help the reader relate to the
character more effectively?
- It helps make Mary more ‘real’ because we can ‘hear’ her voice,
almost like she is speaking to us and telling us about her time at
school. It is very informal.
- Broad Glaswegian dialect helps us understand that Mary is from a
poorer area of Glasgow.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
First Impressions
1.
2.
How do you feel about the main character
Mary? We feel sympathetic towards Mary.
What event from Mary’s story makes the
reader feel the most sympathy for her?
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
What event(s) from Mary’s story makes the
reader feel the most sympathy for her?
 Primary school teacher is quite patronising: “my
little assistant” suggests Mary is only capable
of small, menial jobs.
 Peers distancing themselves from her: “ah fund
masel oot the dance wioot a parnter. And it
wisnae nice.”
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
What event(s) from Mary’s story makes the reader feel the most
sympathy for her?



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Her Mum thinks she’s a bit silly, “Ma mammy thoat a
wis daft,”
Mr Kelly always tries to make her look stupid and
draws attention to her, “insteid a bein like the ither
teachers and jist leavin’ me in peace or sending me a
message or sumpn he had tae make hissel smart by
drawin attention tae me.”
The teachers made her sound a bit thick, “ Ah hud a
readin age of 6.4 and a spellin age of 5.7”
Everyone pre-judges her as being lazy, “She’s lazy you
mean”
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Recap of 04/06/13
 The story is called Hieroglyphics
 It was written by Anne Donovan
 It is written in a first person narrative
 The author has used a Glasgow dialect throughout
 The story is about a teenager called Mary, who has dyslexia
 She is thinking back (reflecting) on her education in primary
and secondary school, and how her teachers and peers
treated her.
 The reader feels sympathy for Mary.
 The story has a positive ending.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Headspace: Mary
In blue pen, note down anything we know
about Mary’s personality
In green
pen, note
down
anything we
know about
Mary’s
physical
appearance
and external
things we
know about
her, such as:
where she
lives, family
situation,
schooling
etc.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Recap of 06/06/13
 Mary is a creative girl - she devises her own way of
overcoming her dyslexia; she draws pictures for meaning.
 She is a kind, caring girl – she enjoyed look after the
“weans” at Primary School; she thinks about her mammy
and sisters.
 Mary is clever /has common sense – she is aware (even at
Primary School) of what teachers and mammy think about
her work; she sees how silly it is to have different rules for
every class.
 She is opinionated – she forms strong opinions about her
teachers and the way they treat her.
 Mary is strong – despite the isolation from her peers and
being singled out by Skelly Kelly, she still tries her hardest.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Lesson Aims:
 Revise figures of speech: simile, metaphor and
personification.
 Identify imagery within the story
 Explain the effectiveness of this imagery in
conveying the emotions of characters
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan


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Task: Identify examples of imagery in the short story and
comment on how effectively it conveys meanings.
Example: “ah could never tell them aboot the letters
diddlin aboot, and oanyway, naebdy ever asked me whit
it wis like”
In Mary’s description of the words she personifies the
letters, describing them as ‘diddlin aboot’, meaning that
they wouldn’t stay still for her. The personification gives
the impression that the letters were mocking Mary and
her efforts and this clearly conveys her irritation and
frustration with reading
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“they were birlin and dancin roond like big black spiders. A
couldnae keep a haunle on them fur every time ah thoat
ah'd captured them, tied them thegither in some kindy
order they jist kep on escapin.” Para 1
The simile “dancin roond like big black spiders” suggests
that when Mary looks at the letters they appear to be
crawling all over her page, like insects. “dancin” and
“birlin” suggests that they move quickly. “Spiders” creates
the idea that Mary is scared of the words in front of her as
spiders are a common source of fear. The personification
“captured them” again suggests an element of fear;
capturing is something that is done to dangerous criminals
or animals.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“The French teacher took wan look at the dug's
dinner ah wis producin an tellt me no tae bother.”
Para 17
The technique being used is a metaphor. Mary’s
work is being compared to a “dug’s dinner”. This
suggests that Mary’s work is untidy, messy
rubbish; not nice to look at.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“If ye kin imagine the class like a field a racehorses then
he wus gaun at such a pelt that only the first two or three
could keep up wi him… Me, A wis the wan that fell at the
furst fence.”
The technique being used is simile. The pupils in the class
are being compared to a racehorses. This suggests that
the speed they are writing at is very fast. Mary compares
herself to a horse who has fallen at “the furst fence” and
has had to leave the race; she has not been able to keep
up with the pace of the class.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“The class were aw sittin up like circus lions at this point,
wonderin whit the ringmaister wis gonny dae next.”
The technique being used is simile. The class are being
compared to circus lions. A metaphor is being used to
compare Mr Kelly to a circus ringmaster. The image
suggests that the pupils are watching Mr Kelly intently as
circus lions would watch the ringmaster for their cues. The
idea of the circus also suggests that this is a spectacle:
that is, something to watch and be entertained by.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“when ye move up tae the big school it's a time when
friendships kindy shuffle roond like wanny they
progressive barn dances, and ye make new wans an
ye lose auld wans and somehow in the middly aw
this process ah fund masel oot the dance wioot a
partner.”
There are two techniques being used here: simile
and metaphor. The simile compares the way
friendships change at high school to a dance where
people change partners as part of the dance. The
metaphor compares Mary to someone who has been
left without a dance partner. This suggests Mary’s
loneliness and her isolation from her peers.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“And his teachin wisnae even as modern as the
ancient Egyptians, oot the ark, mair like”
This simile compares the modernity of Kelly’s
teaching methods to Biblical events; the Ark
meaning the Ark in the story of Noah. This predated ancient Egypt and suggests that his
teaching is extremely dull and boring.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“aw ye did wis write write, write till yer erm felt
like a big balloon”
This simile compares the pupil’s arms to
balloons, suggesting that the amount of writing
makes it feel like it is swollen through injury.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
“Ma writin looked a bit like wee scarab beetles
scurryin aboot the page and when he corrected it, it
wis as if the wee beetles hud aw startit bleedin.”
The similes compare Mary’s writing to “scarab beetles”.
Scarab beetles are an insect associated with ancient
Egypt, so this links effectively to the other Egyptian
imagery and the Hieroglyphics of the story. It is the
second insect comparison in the story. “bleedin”
suggests that Kelly has made lots of corrections on her
work.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan

To recognise, identify and comment on the
effect of foreshadowing
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Foreshadowing?
What does it mean?
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donavon

Foreshadowing is when detail is provided that
prepares the reader for later events: subtle
hints as to what may happen later in the story,
in many cases they suggest something
ominous
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Re-read the paragraph in which Mary describes
the secondary school building. Pick out words
and phrases that foreshadow what her time will
be like there.
 Analyse the effect of these words or phrases,
explaining how they indicate that things may
become more difficult for Mary –
connotations!!!

HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel
 Mary’s Mother: How does Mary’s mother feel
about her progress in school?
 focus
on her abrupt interruptions of the teacher
and the fact that Mary is re-counting this
conversation… what effect is created?


Use a quotation to support your answer
Remember to explain the quotation
 Blue Group
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel
 Remmy Wummin: How does the Remmy Wummin
react to Mary?



Remember Mary is telling the story, so she must have
been aware of how this woman was felling about her –
how does this make the reader feel for Mary?
Use a quotation to support your answer
Remember to explain the quotation
 Green Group
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel
 Miss Niven: How does Miss Niven treat Mary?
 Consider
the fact that Mary feels Miss Niven was
‘kind’ to her, but was she doing her job as a
teacher?


Use a quotation to support your answer
Remember to explain the quotation
 Pink Group
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel
 Mr Kelly: How does Mr Kelly treat Mary in his
classes
 Focus
on what this reveals about his attitude
towards her
Use a quotation to support your answer.
 Remember to explain what the quotation
reveals.
 Yellow Group

HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel

Mary’s Primary teacher: How does Mary’s primary
teacher treat her in school and how does this
reveal her attitude towards Mary?


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focus on her patronising appraisal of Mary’s skills.
Use a quotation to support your answer
Remember to explain the quotation
 Orange Group
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel

Mr McIver: What seems to be the head teacher’s
priority when he discusses Mary with Miss Niven?


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How does this convey a sense of disregard for Mary?
Use a quotation to support your answer
Remember to explain the quotation
 Purple Group
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Carousel
 Her friends: How do the other pupils begin to
treat Mary at school?
 Focus
on what this reveals about the attitudes of
some teenagers
Use a quotation to support your answer.
 Remember to explain what the quotation
reveals.
 White Group

HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan

Essay Question:
Discuss a short story which has an effective
ending

Success Criteria 1: Understanding
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Showing a knowledge of the central concerns (themes) of the text
Showing a knowledge of the text through the ability to use
quotations to support your arguments
Showing a clear understanding of the text through an ability to
write on it in an unseen context – through relating it to a question
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan

Success Criteria 2: Analysis


Displaying an ability to analyse relevant literary techniques
(characterisation, setting, symbolism, foreshadowing,
theme, etc.)
Displaying an ability to analyse relevant language
techniques (word choice, imagery, sentence structure, tone,
figures of speech, etc.)
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
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Success Criteria 3: Evaluation

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Providing an opinion on the effectiveness of techniques in
conveying an concept or theme
Relating to the text and empathising with the characters and
their situations
Success Criteria 4: Technical Accuracy


To write accurately with respect to spelling, grammar and
punctuation
To structure essays in a logical and clear manner that
follows a line of argument
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Essay Plan
Paragraph 1:Introduction
T – Title
A – Author
R – Refer to the question; write it in your own
words (DO NOT SAY “In this essay I am going to…”
T – Themes
S – Summarise the plot in a few brief sentences

HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 2:
Focus on how Anne Donavon first introduces
Mary’s dyslexia and the difficulties it causes her.
E.g. At the start of the story, Donovan establishes
that the main character of Mary has dyslexia and
that this is causing considerable difficulties for
her.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 3: Focus on Mary’s creative and
intelligent solution to her difficulties at the end of
the story.
E.g. The ending is effective because the story
that she produces shows that she is both
intelligent and creative when she discovers that
she can communicate in other ways.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 4: Focus on Mary’s isolation from the
lessons and the social activities of her peers.
E.g. During the story, Mary is often isolated and
made to feel different from other pupils. She
struggles with the work and pupils even exclude
her from social activities as they see her as
different.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 5: Focus on the ending being effective
because Mary realises that she and her peers
are all different.
E.g. It is therefore significant that the ending
shows Mary reach the realisation that she is
really not that different from her peers.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 6: Focus on the relationships Mary
has with the different teachers DO NOT DISCUSS
MR KELLY HERE.
E.g. Throughout the story Mary encounters
different teachers and different attitudes towards
her difficulties, but none of them give her the
support she needs.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 7: Focus on the conflict between Mary
and Mr Kelly and the ending being effective
because it shows her being proud of her work.
E.g. Finally, throughout the story there is a great
deal of conflict between the character of Mr Kelly
and Mary and it is therefore significant that the
ending shows Mary being able to take pride in
her work in his class.
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Paragraph 8: Conclusion
C – Concluding phrase
A – Author’s name
R – Refer back to question
T – Themes
S – State and justify your opinion of the overall
effectiveness of the ending
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Introducing a quotation
 For example/Exemplified by
 As shown by
 For instance
Introducing explanation/evaluation
 This suggests
NOT - This
 This conveys
shows/This
 This creates the idea
proves
HIEROGLYPHICS by Anne Donovan
Key Terms
 Imagery – simile, metaphor, personification
 Word choice
 Foreshadowing
 Characterisation
 Scots dialect
 1st person narrative
 Social isolation
 Learning difficulties/disabilities
 Dyslexia

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