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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Crucible: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Crucible: Context

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This 20-slide lesson provides a comprehensive introduction to Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. Detailed notes are included on McCarthyism, the Cold War, the Red Scare, and the Salem Witch Trials. Important vocabulary is explained and several tasks/questions for students are included. This lesson is ideal for GCSE pupils, and could be easily adapted for KS3. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
The Sea: James Reeves
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Sea: James Reeves

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This 28-slide lesson explores James Reeves’ poem, ‘The Sea’. This poem is a brilliant example of extended metaphor and poetic craft; it is a beloved staple of many Key Stage 3 poetry lessons. The lesson deconstructs Reeves’ use of metaphor and other linguistic techniques, paying attention to the poem’s rhyme and rhythm too. Biographical information about Reeves is provided, as well as a series of questions, discussion points, and tasks for students. Students are asked to write a short analytical response to the poem, and an exemplar response is included in the PowerPoint. The lesson ends with a creative writing (poetry) task that could be used either as a homework activity or class-based task. This lesson is ideal for KS3 pupils, but could be used for GCSE pupils - especially those who find poetry challenging. 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.
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.
Sonnets: An Introduction
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Sonnets: An Introduction

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This lesson provides an introduction to the sonnet form. The lesson explains the key features of the sonnet form, its stereotypes and conventions, and outlines the differences between Petrarchan and Shakespearean sonnets. Questions and discussion points are included throughout, and students are shown an example of a sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, which they are then invited to discuss. At the end of the lesson is a research task which could be set either in class or as a homework activity. This is an ideal introduction for any KS3 unit on poetry or specifically the sonnet form. 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.
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.
Jekyll and Hyde: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Jekyll and Hyde: Context

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This 30-slide lesson is a detailed introduction to the context of Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. The lesson includes notes on Stevenson’s life; his relationship with Edinburgh and London; Deacon Brodie; science and industrialisation; theories of evolution, Degeneration and Cesare Lombroso; Victorian rationality; the Victorian class system; and contemporary gender dynamics. It also features tips on top-grade vocabulary for students to use when analysing the text. Questions and discussion points are included throughout, and the lesson ends with a research task that could be used as a homework activity. This lesson is ideal for those studying the novella at GCSE, but could be used with KS3 too. 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.
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.
The Language of Advertising
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Language of Advertising

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This is a perfect stand-alone lesson aimed at KS3 or KS4 for thinking about how language is used every day in advertising. Have you ever thought about how many adverts you read in a day? What are the most powerful words in advertising? Are you aware of when and how advertising tries to entice you? This lesson uses a wide range of adverts to demonstrate the different techniques used by advertisers. At the end of the lesson, students are tasked with creating their own advert/brand. PowerPoint saved as PDF. 23 slides in total.
Jekyll and Hyde: Setting
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

Jekyll and Hyde: Setting

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This 18-slide lesson offers an introduction to Stevenson’s use of setting in ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. We consider how Stevenson’s use of setting facilitates Hyde’s dark deeds and the Gothic atmosphere of the novella. How the author’s childhood in Edinburgh influenced his depiction of Victorian London is also explored. Stevenson’s language and techniques are analysed, linked closely to the text’s overarching themes of duality and deception. Questions are included for students, too. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
An Inspector Calls: Crossword
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

An Inspector Calls: Crossword

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This crossword on J.B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ provides an enjoyable but academic activity for pupils to test their knowledge of the play. It always works as a great starter or plenary task.
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: Context
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: Context

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This 23-slide lesson provides an introduction to John Boyne’s ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’. The lesson introduces students to the novel’s key ideas of friendship and childhood, as well as the historical context of World War II and anti-Semitism in Nazi Germany. Questions, discussion points, and tasks are included for students throughout, and the lesson ends with a creative writing task that could be used in class or as a homework activity. This lesson is designed for KS3 pupils. Given the novel’s subject matter, some historical context deals with mature content. PowerPoint saved as PDF.
The Kite Runner: Afghanistan Map & Introduction
MrGradgrindMrGradgrind

The Kite Runner: Afghanistan Map & Introduction

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Introduce students to the basic geography of Afghanistan with this informative map and fact-sheet. Understanding Afghanistan’s geographical position is vital to contextualising ‘The Kite Runner’. Students can then be encouraged to complete their own further research into the country.