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Describe and Explain the Key Contextual Features of the Poem 'Checking Out Me History'

In this worksheet, students will describe the context of the poem 'Checking Out Me History' and explain its significance.

'Describe and Explain the Key Contextual Features of the Poem 'Checking Out Me History' ' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Year:  GCSE

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   AQA

Curriculum topic:   Poetry

Curriculum subtopic:   Power and Conflict: 'Checking Out Me History'

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

For this activity, you will need to turn to the poem 'Checking Out Me History' by John Agard, which can be found in your Anthology.


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The poem was published in a collection entitled 'Half-Caste and Other Poems' (2007), a mixture of old and new poems aimed at a teenage audience. As one of a series of poems chosen to appeal directly to young adults, it deals with the issue of teaching history: "Dem tell me/Wha dem want to tell me".

The speaker suggests that because Black history and experience has been forgotten and ignored, what was taught to him was ignored his own experience of British society. More importantly, it "Blind me to me own identity". That is, only by finding out for himself about the historical and social achievements of Black people can the author develop a personal identity that reflects his cultural and racial roots. 


In the following questions, you will be asked about the context of the poem. 

You should always refer to your own text when working through these examples. These quotations are for reference only.

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