5th November 2004 at 00:00

Imagine you are an astronaut, and have crash-landed on a mystery planet.

Explain what it looks like. Are there living creatures there? Describe them, and draw a picture.


Read Leisure by WH Davies. The poet likes to "stand and stare" at sights of the natural world. Are there others you like to take time to look at? Or are there sights of the town or city which are equally interesting? Think of two, and describe why they hold your attention.


Read the story All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury. Pick out the phrases that help us understand what the rain and the sun are like on this planet.

Why do the other children dislike Margot? How do they feel when they realise what they have done to her?


Read lines 1-125 of Act V Scene 1 of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.

The playwright is pondering intertwining ideas about the "music of the spheres" (stars and planets), harmony, the soul, darkness and light. How far can you agree with Lorenzo that someone who "hath no music in himself" should not be trusted? What kind of music would you choose to listen to "on such a night as this"?


"This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper" - TS Eliot: "The Hollow Men." Examine the poem for its use of incantation; note the echoes of biblical and nursery rhyme form. Why is this final image so powerful? How does it tie in with the poem's strange epigram - "A penny for the Old Guy"?

Sheila McIlwraith

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