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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.
Apostrophes
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Apostrophes

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Help students to finally master apostrophes with this engaging lesson that covers all the rules. We all know that many students struggle with apostrophes. This lesson aims to explain the theories alongside practical examples. It explains how to use apostrophes for omission/contraction and possession, including plurals and names ending in ‘S’. Also included is a worksheet with apostrophe-related questions/tasks for students to complete either in class, as a homework task, or a starter activity to test knowledge retention in the next lesson. This lesson is ideal for KS3, but could definitely be used for GCSE students struggling with apostrophes too. PowerPoint and worksheet saved as PDF.
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.
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.
Othello: Women & Femininity
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Othello: Women & Femininity

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This 35-slide lesson explores the role of women in Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’. Perfect for high-attaining students, this lesson analyses how female characters are presented in the tragedy, exploring the roles of Desdemona, Emilia, Bianca and others in light of the play’s themes and Jacobean context. We consider how various female characters are presented in the play, thinking about how female transgression and disobedience threatens the patriarchal authority of the male characters, and the tragedy that ensues. Fidelity, cuckoldry, and duplicity are explored, as are the roles of key props, such as the handkerchief. Directorial choices and how these might impact our interpretations of female characters are discussed. Misogynistic language and masculine violence is also debated, while the private and public personalities of characters are deconstructed. Students are equipped with ambitious vocabulary to facilitate sophisticated analysis of Shakespeare’s characters. Questions and discussion points are included throughout for students. We consider Shakespeare’s messages and intentions, and students are provided with fascinating critical opinions from academics on the female characters of the play. This is an ideal resource for revising this key element of the play. 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.
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.
Of Mice and Men: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Of Mice and Men: Context

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This 28-slide lesson on ‘Of Mice and Men’ introduces the key context vital to understanding Steinbeck’s classic novella, as well as functioning as a general introduction to studying the text. The lesson includes key information about the Depression, the Dust Bowl, racism, patriarchal pressures and other prejudice during the 1930s in America. Steinbeck’s own life is also covered, as well as the meaning behind the text’s title, and students are invited to analyse various book jacket designs for the novella. Key themes are explored alongside a comprehensive introduction to the American Dream and its role in the novella. Questions and tasks are also included for students to tackle. 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.
Lord of the Flies: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Lord of the Flies: Context

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This 25-slide lesson serves as the perfect introduction to William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’, establishing the key context and background to the novel. The lesson includes exploration of the novel’s key themes and ideas, Golding’s life and his own comments about the text, the historical background of the Cold War and Atomic Age, as well as key terms and vocabulary to unpick the novel’s ideas. Questions, discussion-points and tasks are included for students. At the end of the lesson is an extended task that could work either in class or as a homework activity. The lesson is ideal for GCSE or KS3 study of the novel. PowerPoint is saved as PDF.
Animal Farm: Chapter 10
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Animal Farm: Chapter 10

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This 17-slide lesson explores Chapter 10 of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’. In this comprehensive lesson, students consider how Orwell brings the novella to its dramatic and iconic conclusion. As the pigs become indistinguishable from their human rivals, students must debate whether the Revolution really was worth it. Looking back on the whole novella, we think about how things went so wrong, and whether any of the Seven Commandments remain unbroken by the end. The allegorical function of the novella is also closely studied, as pupils learn about how we look upon Stalin in hindsight and the fate of the Soviet Union. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. A creative summarising task is featured at the end. The lesson is ideal for KS3 or GCSE students. 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.
A Christmas Carol: Stave 5
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

A Christmas Carol: Stave 5

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This 30-slide lesson explores Stave Five of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. Students are encouraged to consider how Dickens presents Scrooge’s metamorphosis from a miserly misanthrope to a charitable and responsible citizen in the final chapter of the novella. We think about how Dickens evidences Scrooge’s change, exploring what leads Scrooge to reconsider his relationship with charity, Church, his local community, Fred, and the Cratchits. As we finish the novella, we consider the allegorical function of the story and whether Dickens’ messages are still relevant to our own society. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students. This is ideal for those studying the novella at GCSE or at KS3. 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.
Dystopian Fiction Booklet
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Dystopian Fiction Booklet

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This resource includes a booklet containing 10 extracts from 10 works of dystopian fiction by 10 different authors. The booklet contains imaginative and thought-provoking explorations of dystopian worlds - and each is ripe for analysis. Authors featured include Suzanne Collins, E.M. Forster and George Orwell. Also included is a PowerPoint with a brief introductory lesson to the dystopian genre. This explains the key features of dystopian literature and introduces the key vocabulary associated with the genre. This is perfect for a KS3 module or unit of work on dystopian fiction. It works well in conjunction with creative writing tasks. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
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.
You're: Sylvia Plath
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

You're: Sylvia Plath

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This 33-slide lesson explores Sylvia Plath’s poem ‘You’re’. The lesson provides detailed analysis of the poem and includes: biographical information about Plath, analysis of the poem’s use of language and poetic techniques, analysis of the poem’s structure, form & rhyme, as well as questions, discussion points, and tasks for students to complete. The final task at the end of the lesson is a piece of creative writing in which students write their own poem. This lesson is ideal for KS3 pupils, but could be used for GCSE too. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
The Tyger: William Blake
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Tyger: William Blake

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This 30-slide lesson analyses William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ from the ‘Songs of Experience’. Blake’s ambiguous poem is deconstructed via its various interpretations - as an exploration of faith, revolution, and industrialisation. Key themes, language, and imagery are unpicked, and Blake’s political context and radical views are explained. Discussion points, questions, and tasks are included throughout, and the lesson ends with an extended essay question in which students compare ‘The Tyger’ to other poems in Blake’s ‘Songs’. This lesson is perfect for A level students studying the collection as part of AQA’s Political and Social Protest Writing course. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
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.
Macbeth: The Witches
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Macbeth: The Witches

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This 30-slide exploration of the Witches in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ makes for a comprehensive and detailed revision lesson. The lesson includes key context, as well as focus on the Witches’ language, appearance, and function in the play. Links are made to wider themes (including gender and the supernatural), and questions and tasks are included for pupils throughout. Students are encouraged to deconstruct historical depictions of witches and witchcraft - particularly with reference to misogyny - while considering how Shakespeare exploits/subverts stereotypes. The lesson ends with a practice essay question, which is ideal for those studying the play at GCSE (especially those studying with AQA). PowerPoint is saved as PDF.
Macbeth: James I & Kingship (Speech to Parliament)
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Macbeth: James I & Kingship (Speech to Parliament)

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An excellent companion resource for studying the context of ‘Macbeth’, James I’s speech to Parliament in 1610 elucidates his views of the monarchy and the Divine Right of Kings. Studying this speech will provide a solid understanding of attitudes to Kingship in Shakespeare’s time.