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Humble English Teacher hoping to cut down on teachers' workload by providing high quality resources (from primary to secondary - mostly English but some other subjects too). Please share and review if you like what you see here.

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Humble English Teacher hoping to cut down on teachers' workload by providing high quality resources (from primary to secondary - mostly English but some other subjects too). Please share and review if you like what you see here.
Lamb to the Slaughter: Roald Dahl
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Lamb to the Slaughter: Roald Dahl

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This series of four lessons on Roald Dahl’s ‘Lamb to the Slaughter’ breaks the story into four extracts and four distinct but interconnected lessons. Lesson 1: 16 slides Lesson 2: 16 slides Lesson 3: 14 slides Lesson 4: 16 slides Each lesson contains key questions and tasks relating to the story. Students are encouraged to think about Dahl’s suspense, characterisation, and use black humour. Key vocabulary is introduced and Dahl’s structure is dissected, with students making predictions and debating what might happen next as the story progresses. The nature of Mary Maloney’s marriage is discussed, as is the significance of her pregnancy, and the symbolic use of the leg of lamb in her infamous crime. At the end of the fourth lesson, we think about how Dahl uses the story symbolically and allegorically to comment on attitudes to gender in the 1950s. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. There are multiple tasks to strengthen analytical writing (with clearly structured model paragraphs included), and more creative tasks are featured, too, including diary entries and newspaper writing. Copies of all four extracts are included in this resource. There are at least 4 lessons here, but - depending on the pace of your classes - this could be stretched into more. This series of lessons is ideal for KS3. PowerPoints and extracts are saved as PDFs.
Daffodils: William Wordsworth
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Daffodils: William Wordsworth

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This 27-slide PowerPoint is a great lesson on the beloved poem that we now know as ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth. The lesson guides students through the poem, thinking about its language, structure, rhyme, and central ideas. A basic biography of Wordsworth is also provided, and a glossary of challenging vocabulary. Questions are included in the lesson (including short comprehension-based tasks), as well as a larger final task in which students write their own poem, inspired by Wordsworth’s. It is an ideal lesson for KS3 students, particularly Year 7 students who are still learning about poetic craft. The lesson functions either as a stand-alone study or could easily fit into a larger scheme of work on nature poetry or Romanticism, for example. A copy of the poem is also included in this resource. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
An Inspector Calls: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

An Inspector Calls: Context

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This 27-slide lesson serves as the perfect introduction to J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’, establishing the key context and background to the play. The lesson features information about Priestley’s life and views, capitalism, socialism, important historical dates, and pre-war and post-war context. The play’s key themes and ideas are explored, and tasks and discussion points are included throughout. At the end of the lesson is an extended writing task that could serve either as a class-based activity or homework task. This lesson is aimed primarily at GCSE students but could be used for KS3 too. PowerPoint is saved as PDF.
The Old Man and the Sea: Extract & Questions (AQA GCSE)
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Old Man and the Sea: Extract & Questions (AQA GCSE)

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This resource contains an extract from Ernest Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ as well as 4 exam-style questions based on the AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1. Questions examine students on reading comprehension, language analysis, structural analysis, and constructing an argument in relation to the extract. This is an ideal mock for students to sit or a lesson resource for teachers to use with classes to practise and tackle the demands of each question.
An Inspector Calls: Seven Deadly Sins
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

An Inspector Calls: Seven Deadly Sins

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This 10-slide lesson activity allows students to explore how the Birling family (and Gerald) each wronged Eva Smith. Looking at the play through the lens of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ according to Catholic doctrine, we can see which sins each character commits, which may help us to determine which character - if any - is the most responsible for the death of Eva Smith. The lesson includes a table-based activity and questions for students to consider. These activities always lead to fascinating discussions and intellectual debates about the play. This is a particularly useful reflective activity or introduction to a deeper discussion of the play. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Animal Farm: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Animal Farm: Context

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This 21-slide lesson offers a fantastic introduction to George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’, including everything that students need to know about the novella’s historical context. Included is information on the Russian Revolution, Orwell, anthropomorphism, satire, and much more. This resource is ideal for GCSE students or KS3 classes. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

A Midsummer Night's Dream: Context

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This 28-slide lesson introduces the background and context of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. We begin with a series of posters, asking students to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and guess what the play might be about based on the images. We then dissect the play’s title, thinking about dreams, midsummer, and madness. Students are introduced to Shakespeare’s life and work before delving into the genre of comedy and its recurring features. Life in Shakespeare’s England - particularly for women - is discussed. We read and watch a summary of the play before considering the significance of the play’s setting. In addition, students explore some famous paintings inspired by the play in order to further discuss what the play might be about. Key themes and ideas about love and transformation are explored. Students are then given some ambitious vocabulary to define, using a dictionary (online or otherwise). Common attributes of Shakespeare’s stagecraft are explained, while images from the play onstage and on film are presented. The lesson ends with a research task inspired by Shakespeare’s theatre. This lesson is ideal for students aged 11-14. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Romeo and Juliet: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Romeo and Juliet: Context

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This 30-slide lesson provides a comprehensive contextual introduction to Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Posing questions to students about young love, marriage, passion, and stereotypes, the lesson introduces key themes and ideas related to Shakespeare’s iconic tale of doomed romance. The genre of tragedy is considered, as are typical elements of romance. We look at Shakespeare’s life and work, and examine a series of posters for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to see how the play is commonly presented in the cultural imagination. Important historical and theatrical context is explained, and key terminology is introduced to allow students to produce sophisticated analysis. Questions and discussion points are featured throughout, and there is a research task at the end of the lesson. Also included is a series of films inspired by ‘Romeo and Juliet’ to facilitate conversations around the play’s cultural impact. PowerPoint saved as PDF. Also included is a ‘Romeo and Juliet’ word-search.
4 Persuasive Speeches: Language & Rhetoric
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

4 Persuasive Speeches: Language & Rhetoric

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This resource contains four well-known recent speeches by famous women (Angelina Jolie, Emma Watson, Michelle Obama and Theresa May) which are excellent for linguistic and rhetorical analysis. This is a useful exercise for pupils studying persuasive writing and effective rhetoric. Not only do these speeches allow students to analyse how famous orators have used language, but they also inspire and teach how pupils can use language in their own persuasive writing too. Each speech is transcribed here and some contain designated space for analysis and answers to questions based on common GCSE exam tasks. This resource bundle is ideal for those studying English Language at GCSE, but is equally useful for KS3 language analysis or any other unit on rhetorical or persuasive writing.
Mid-Term Break: Seamus Heaney
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Mid-Term Break: Seamus Heaney

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This 17-slide lesson explores Seamus Heaney’s famous poem, ‘Mid-Term Break’. The lesson begins by deconstructing the poem’s title, before thinking sensitively about funereal procedure and atmosphere. Heaney’s life and work is introduced to prepare students for the autobiographical nature of the poem. Key vocabulary is presented for students to produce precise and sophisticated analysis of the poem. The poem’s key themes, imagery, and symbols are deconstructed, and students are encouraged to think critically about the poem’s language, form, structure, and rhyme. The tone of the poem is considered, and multiple readings of the poem are introduced. Discussion points and questions are included throughout. A visual task invites students to identify key images associated with the poem, which works nicely as an individual or group activity. An exam-style question is included at the end of the lesson. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
A Doll's House: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

A Doll's House: Context

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This lesson is a sophisticated and thorough introduction to the context and key ideas behind Henrik Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’. This 23-slide PowerPoint lesson is perfect for those studying the play as part of AQA’s Political and Social Protest Writing course at A level, but easily adaptable to other A level courses (including Theatre Studies) too. The lesson includes biographical information about Ibsen, an explanation of Norway’s social history in the 19th century (with particular focus on the rights of women), and an introduction to the key themes and ideas in ‘A Doll’s House’. Questions and tasks are also featured for students. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
An Inspector Calls: The Generation Gap
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

An Inspector Calls: The Generation Gap

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This 35-slide lesson is designed to explore and revise the ‘generation gap’ in J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’. The lesson considers the gulf between the younger and older characters in the play with reference to key quotations and character development. We think about how the elder characters blame and criticise the younger characters in the play, and how the younger characters judge their disappointing elders in turn. Priestley’s authorial intentions are also explored, thinking about how each character is used symbolically. Each character is dissected in detail, including the ambiguities of Gerald’s place in terms of generational divisions. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. An essay question is featured at the end of the lesson. This resource is perfect for GCSE analysis of the play. PowerPoint saved as pdf.
Things Fall Apart: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Things Fall Apart: Context

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This 20-slide lesson introduces the key themes and context behind Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’. Students are encouraged to think about colonialism and cultural erasure, learning about Nigeria’s history since the 19th Century. Achebe’s life and work is discussed, and students are given an introduction to the Igbo (or ‘Ibo’) people. Key vocabulary and themes linked to the novel are explained, including the novel’s allegorical status. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are featured for students. Students are encouraged in this lesson to reflect upon the impacts of Western Colonialism - a practice seemingly more important now than ever in the wake of recent international conversations surrounding race and privilege. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Of Mice and Men: Chapter 5
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Of Mice and Men: Chapter 5

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This 14-slide lesson explores Chapter 5 of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’. Students are encouraged to think about the tragedy of Curley’s wife: her dual role as a both a femme fatale and a victim. The key themes of dreams and hope are considered alongside the fatal turning point in George and Lennie’s dream. A non-fiction creative task is included for students at the end of the lesson. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. Ideal for upper-KS3 or GCSE students. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Don't Ask Jack: Neil Gaiman
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Don't Ask Jack: Neil Gaiman

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This 15-slide lesson on Neil Gaiman’s horror story, ‘Don’t Ask Jack’, is ideal for KS3 classes studying short stories or genre writing. Students are encouraged to consider common elements of the horror genre and key vocabulary associated with ‘horror’ and its atmosphere. Conducting close analysis of Gaiman’s language and structure, students are then tasked with creating their own piece of creative horror writing, inspired by ‘Don’t Ask Jack’. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included in the lesson. A copy of the story is included in this resource. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
The Tempest: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Tempest: Context

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This 30-slide lesson explores the context of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. The lesson considers how European colonialism and the Age of Discovery influenced and impacted Shakespeare’s writing. Students are provided with an in-depth discussion of European colonial expansion in the Renaissance, including information on the Jamestown settlement and common artistic depictions of Indigenous Americans in Shakespeare’s lifetime. We think about how ‘The Tempest’ can be read as a product of the search for the ‘New World’. Shakespeare’s potential sources for this tragi-comic play are explored. Key words and themes are also presented, and the plot is outlined. We think about some of Shakespeare’s dramatic structure and stagecraft in the play, leading some critics to align Prospero with the playwright himself. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. This lesson could be used as a comprehensive introduction for pupils studying the play anywhere from high-attaining KS3 to A level. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
An Inspector Calls: Gerald Croft
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

An Inspector Calls: Gerald Croft

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This 33-slide lesson explores and revises Gerald Croft in J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ in a thorough and comprehensive structure - perfect for those studying the play at GCSE. Gerald is perhaps the most complex character in the play and students often find him challenging to analyse effectively. This lesson walks step-by-step through Gerald’s role in the play and how Priestley presents him at different points. Included are Gerald’s key quotations and moments, his function in the play, his corresponding historical context, and regular consideration of Priestley’s message and use of Gerald as a symbol. Questions and thinking points are featured throughout the lesson. An exam-style question is included at the end. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Jekyll and Hyde: Chapter 1
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Jekyll and Hyde: Chapter 1

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This 26-slide lesson explores the first chapter (‘The Story of the Door’) of Stevenson’s ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. To accompany the class reading or recapping of Chapter One of the novella, this lesson provides analytical discussion of and questions on how Stevenson begins the famous novella. Characters, setting, and key themes are analysed, with particular focus on Stevenson’s language and atmosphere. Tasks and discussion points are included for students, and an extract from the chapter is included for students to conduct linguistic analysis. This lesson is ideal for GCSE analysis of the text (eg. AQA), but could work for high-attaining KS3 groups too. PowerPoint and Word Doc. saved as PDFs.
Who's For The Game?: Jessie Pope
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Who's For The Game?: Jessie Pope

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Explore Jessie Pope’s famous jingoistic poem ‘Who’s For The Game?’ in this comprehensive and engaging 20-slide lesson. Perfect for KS3 students with some introductory knowledge of World War I, but this could just as well work for a KS4 group who are analysing poetry. Questions, key vocabulary, and tasks are included, as well as some biographical information on Pope and context on the First World War. Exemplar analytical paragraphs on the poem are also included. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
Macbeth: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Macbeth: Context

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This 30-slide lesson offers the perfect introduction to the context of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’. In the lesson, students explore Jacobean ideas of Kingship, looking closely at the reign of James I, the Divine Right and Great Chain of Being, and the atmosphere created by the Gunpowder Plot. We then look at Renaissance and Medieval ideas of gender (especially on the stage) and Aristotle’s rules for tragedy. The play’s key themes and ideas are explored, and students are encouraged to reflect on power and its relationship to corruption and even tyranny. Important vocabulary is explained, and students are tasked with researching other key words and ideas. Questions, discussion points and tasks are included for students. Also included in this resource is a copy of James I’s speech to Parliament in 1610 for the purpose of analysing the King’s attitudes to his Divine Right. Ideal for students reading the play at GCSE or upper-KS3. PowerPoint saved as PDF.