EASTENDERS READING TRAIL. By Hilary Broomfield and Brenda Webb. BBC Educational Publishing pound;19.99.
The Eastenders Reading Trail aims to motivate reluctant readers by tapping the widespread enthusiasm for the TV soap opera.
The pack contains photocopiable, differentiated activity sheets, nifty little certificates to reward achievement and helpful teacher's notes. The whole package is aligned with the national literacy strategy in key stage 2 and its developments in key stage 3, featuring word, sentence and text level work.
Students work their way around a large colour map of the Albert Square area, calling at a wide range of places, each of which has a number of challenges associated with it. For example, at the newsagents a news article might be required of an able student, while a neihbour might be occupied on the simpler task of re-arranging jumbled headlines.
The activities are very varied and they are fun. There is even a batch which begins with logging on to the EastEnders website - so ICT is neatly integrated into the scheme. It is not even necessary to be an EastEnders fan to work with this pack. Where the TV characters are involved, short biographies are provided to help out.
This very useful resource lives up to its claim to provide a wide range of differentiated material. At the price of just less than pound;20 it deserves to be used in schools all over the country where it should help teachers new to the literacy strategy (especially in secondary schools) to model their work effectively.
Chris Breese is head of English at Marriotts School, Stevenage