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Peter Slater's Shop: Finding a Path through the Trees

I'm an English teacher with many years' experience specialising mainly in GCSE English, although I teach at different levels. I am also an established GCSE English examiner in both Language and Literature. I consciously tailor my resources to meet the needs of those many pupils who can't yet quite get the hang of English analysis, but who are perfectly capable of gaining an excellent grade once understanding clicks.

I'm an English teacher with many years' experience specialising mainly in GCSE English, although I teach at different levels. I am also an established GCSE English examiner in both Language and Literature. I consciously tailor my resources to meet the needs of those many pupils who can't yet quite get the hang of English analysis, but who are perfectly capable of gaining an excellent grade once understanding clicks.
Creative Writing: flash fiction.  How to structure and write a complete very short story
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Creative Writing: flash fiction. How to structure and write a complete very short story

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Creative Writing. KS2 - GCSE English. Objectives: to plan, structure and write a complete short story in easy to follow steps. A creative writing resource aimed primarily at 15+ pupils, but would also suit younger. It is very adaptable: in practice it has been found that pupils of widely-varying abilities will all enjoy and profit from this. The activity very loosely follows the story structures outlined by Vladimir Propp in his 1928 study on Russian folktales, but is much, much simpler. The plan takes pupils through the writing of a story step by step and there is also a sample story based on the structure. The sample story may be laminated and cut up and matched with laminated headings corresponding to each stage of the story development. There are also story ideas and some suggested first lines.
Analysing language in a short text
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Analysing language in a short text

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Analysing how a writer uses language techniques to achieve effects. A resource for pupils studying language or literature. Ideal for the start of term to introduce the kinds of skills needed for GCSE English, it may also be used for more advanced pupils as a refresher, and for those who are struggling a bit. The resource comprises an extract from ‘Great Expectations’ together with numerous questions enabling students to climb inside a text and explore it fully. Some of the questions are embedded within the text, and others are at the end. There is also a series of creative writing prompts at the end. Questions include: • Highlight 3 adjectives in the paragraph above that indicate the mood or tone of the piece. What is that mood? • Dickens uses personification a few times in this paragraph. Can you highlight these? What is the effect? • Highlight all the references to animal and insect life. What is the effect? • Suggested answers for teachers are included, together with the complete extract which may be read before the students start to study it in detail.
Analysing a Story Maupassant: A Vendetta
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Analysing a Story Maupassant: A Vendetta

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A detailed resource with a mixture of cloze and other exercises woven in. The aim is to enable students to see how how a writer uses language to achieve effect. Suggested answers are provided at the end along with some teaching notes. There is material enough here for a whole lesson with extension creative writing work.
English Language Techniques - A Handy Guide
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English Language Techniques - A Handy Guide

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A clear and simple resource aimed mainly at GCSE and IGCSE English Language pupils. It outlines a number of the most common language techniques and, by giving the student simple tasks, helps explain the effects of each one. Handy for: pupils to keep in their folders or paste into their workbooks a homework exercise small group work in the classroom helping pupils when working on questions that ask how a writer uses language to achieve a particular effect. pupils wanting to improve their creative writing skills.
GCSE Comparing Texts - an introduction
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GCSE Comparing Texts - an introduction

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A relatively straightforward comparison resource. The two texts are my own and I have written them in a deliberately easy to understand manner with lots for pupils to find and comment on. There is some guidance on how to structure an analysis. Six pages
English Language Analysis using P.E.E.D.
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English Language Analysis using P.E.E.D.

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A straightforward introduction to language analysis using P.E.E.D. Following the explanation, there follow three very brief extracts from the novel ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel, inviting pupils after every few lines to highlight techniques and analyse using P.E.E.D. My guide, with exercises, on Language Techniques would provide a helpful supplement, especially for pupils who struggle with analysis. An extension task invites pupils to continue the story. I have included some teaching notes and suggested answers
GCSE Poetry - Teaching the iamb
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GCSE Poetry - Teaching the iamb

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An introduction to rhythm and metre in poetry, focusing on the iamb. This resource contains explanatory handouts and exercises, including some first lines in iambic tetrameter that students could use to get started on writing their own poems. Many students find it difficult to understand rhythm and metre in poetry and, as a consequence, a lot of teachers tend not to teach it. This is a pity because it can be fun to discover and it can help deepen a student’s love and understanding of many poems. I have set out some active ways to help students get to grips with the iamb. Students will learn how to write about it when answering an analysis question – something that examiners love to see! – and they will get a chance to have a go at writing their own iambic poems. There is a very brief supplement at the end on Shakespeare’s use of the trochee in Macbeth – handy for anyone teaching that play.
GCSEAQAEnglishLanguagePaper1ResourcePack
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GCSEAQAEnglishLanguagePaper1ResourcePack

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This presents all you will need for the first part of the GCSE AQA English Language Paper One. It contains: a grid with explanations on question 2; a handout on how to approach question 3, and a worksheet with explanations on q. 4. I have included a blank grid for q 2, which you may want to copy, but in practice students may find it better to make their own grids, allowing for more space in which to write. These are clear and simple handouts which will help demystify these questions. The key theme in these questions, and throughout the whole of the GCSE exam, is to discover and explain why a writer uses the words, phrases and structure that she or he does. These handouts will help students understand this. You might also care to look at my other resource 'English Language Techniques: A Simple Guide ’ which may be helpful, especially for those students who are struggling a bit.
GCSE and IGCSE English Language Analysis
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GCSE and IGCSE English Language Analysis

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A diverse and imaginative series of questions, spanning five pages, designed to engage students in the basics of how to analyse a piece of writing. The text is from Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and was chosen by Edexcel for their June 2018 GCSE English Language paper. These exercises may therefore also be used as a prelude to students’ tackling the paper itself. This may be found via a simple internet search. The skills students will practise are, however, relevant to all exam boards.
Creative Writing; Using Sound
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Creative Writing; Using Sound

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A tried and tested resource with a suggested lesson sequence that includes all you will need for one or more creative writing lessons centred around the use of sound. There are a variety of activities with lots for pupils to do and I include a couple of relevant youtube links that may be shown in the classroom.
A Christmas Carol Quotes Worksheets
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A Christmas Carol Quotes Worksheets

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A series of worksheets with guidance notes presenting a dozen quotes from the novel, inviting pupils to identify themes and write a theme-based analysis for each one. The handout notes make clear that pupils do not need to learn as many as a dozen quotes, but that they can choose which ones they find easiest to remember The layout is pupil-friendly, and an example is given. Pupils will learn: how to use quotes in an analysis how to connect quotes to themes the kinds of questions on themes that they might get in an exam
Creative Writing: how to start
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Creative Writing: how to start

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Two resources, ten pages in all, aimed at encouraging pupils to improve their creative writing skills by focusing on openings. One of the exercises involves rewriting a dull opening describing a man’s arrival at a castle. To introduce this, teachers might like to show that part of Todd Browning’s classic movie Dracula where Renfield first arrives at the count’s castle. It can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjDfOAhtWwo By working through the exercises, pupils will learn: • How to identify what makes for good writing • How to hook their readers at the opening of a story • How to use a range of language techniques to improve their creative writing
Macbeth  Quotes ppt quiz and worksheet
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Macbeth Quotes ppt quiz and worksheet

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A powerpoint quiz where quotes are shown and pupils invited to supply the missing words. The missing words are supplied on an A4 sheet - this could either be given to pupils, or laminated and the words cut out. A basic worksheet offers half a dozen quotes, inviting pupils to identify them and construct an analysis based around themes. Three pages My worksheet on quotes in A Christmas Carol is more detailed.
Analysing Language The Baskerville Hound
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Analysing Language The Baskerville Hound

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A dramatic extract from ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ with questions embedded within the text enabling pupils to explore the kinds of language analysis skills they will need for GCSE English Language Paper One. A longer question at the end invites pupils to analyse the language and structure throughout the whole of the text. The notes they have made will be helpful for this. Suggested answers for teachers are given at the end.
GCSE The Power of Language
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GCSE The Power of Language

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A great worksheet simply helping students to discover why writers use the words and phrases that they do. Ideal for an introduction to language analysis class.
Creative Writing description inspiration
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Creative Writing description inspiration

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A simple exercise, involving a look at an edited (and simplified) extract from ‘Holiday Memory’ by Dyan Thomas in order to identify the language techniques that he uses, leading to a creative writing task based on a picture.
Exploring Language in a 19th CenturyText
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Exploring Language in a 19th CenturyText

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A series of questions interwoven inside the text ‘Greenwich Fair’ by Charles Dickens. This resource is especially suitable for pupils studying GCSE 9 - 1 English. This text was used by AQA as part of their Specimen Material for GCSE English Paper 2, so this exercise could be used by teachers as a means of introducing the practice paper. The full paper may be found on the AQA website. Teachers not working with this board, or simply wanting something to guide their students when analysing a nineteenth century text, will also find this useful. The first preview pane gives an example of some of the questions - in the actual resource these questions are embedded inside the text. Suggested answers are provided at the end for teachers.