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Zephyr Learning - English and General Literacy Shop

Welcome to my shop! I hold an MA in literature and a CELTA in language, and over the last 20 years I've taught language and literature in the UK and USA as well as ESOL in France and Tanzania. In addition to my work as a teacher, I am the Literacy and Grammar Consultant for Zephyr Learning and Professional Development. All of the resources below have been refined in my own classroom and are the same ones that I reference and use in my CPD sessions for teachers. Email me at: Sam@ZephyrLPD.co.uk

Welcome to my shop! I hold an MA in literature and a CELTA in language, and over the last 20 years I've taught language and literature in the UK and USA as well as ESOL in France and Tanzania. In addition to my work as a teacher, I am the Literacy and Grammar Consultant for Zephyr Learning and Professional Development. All of the resources below have been refined in my own classroom and are the same ones that I reference and use in my CPD sessions for teachers. Email me at: Sam@ZephyrLPD.co.uk
Simple and compound sentences bundle

Simple and compound sentences bundle

Three lessons that teach students how to recognise, punctuate and compose simple and compound sentences. Each lesson includes worksheets with explanations, examples and practice exercises along with Powerpoint presentations that can be used to guide the lesson and display correct answers. Lessons are organised as follows: Lesson 1: how to recognise when a simple sentence is complete and requires a full stop. For the final task students are given an informative article about the Titanic which contains no full stops or sentence-signaling capital letters. They must insert full stops in the correct places. Lesson 2: how coordinating conjunctions can be used to combine simple sentences into compound sentences (and when joining commas should be included). Students are given pairs of simple sentences which they then join with coordinating conjunctions, inserting joining commas as appropriate. Lesson 3: how semi-colons can be used to join simple sentences and form compound sentences. Students practise using semi-colons and linking adverbs to combine simple sentences into compound sentences.
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Compound sentences with semi-colons (and how to include linking adverbs such as 'however')

Compound sentences with semi-colons (and how to include linking adverbs such as 'however')

This lesson teaches students how to use semi-colons to combine simple sentences into compound sentences. It also teaches them about linking adverbs (e.g. ‘however,’ ‘besides,’ ‘likewise,’ ‘consequently,’ ‘instead,’ etc.) and how they can be added immediately after semi-colons to clarify meaning. Resources include printable explanations and practice exercises along with a Powerpoint presentation that can be used to guide students through the lesson (the Powerpoint includes the answers for the exercises on the worksheet).
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Using full stops (how to recognise when a simple sentence is complete)

Using full stops (how to recognise when a simple sentence is complete)

This fully-resourced lesson teaches students the fundamental parts of a complete sentence (subject and predicate) and how to recognise when a simple sentence has come to an end and a full stop is needed. For the final task, students read an informative article about the RMS Titanic which contains no full stops or sentence-signaling capital letters. They must use their knowledge and understanding of sentences to replace the missing full stops and capital letters correctly.
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Nouns in apposition (a grammar for writing lesson)

Nouns in apposition (a grammar for writing lesson)

This fully resourced lesson teaches students how to place nouns in apposition to add detail and variety to sentences. Sentence combining exercises are provided to give students practice in using this strategy. A powerpoint is included to guide the lesson; it includes: a starter activity, explanation and examples of nouns in apposition, instructions for completing the exercises on the worksheet (with examples for group practice), possible answers, and a plenary.
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Participles and participle clauses (a grammar for writing lesson)

Participles and participle clauses (a grammar for writing lesson)

This fully resourced lesson teaches students what participles are and how they can be used to add description and to enhance sentence variety. A worksheet with sentence combining exercises is included to give students practice in using the structure. The powerpoint includes a starter activity, an explanation of participles and participle clauses with examples, instructions on how to complete the worksheet with examples, possible answers and a plenary.
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Adverbs and adverbials (a grammar for writing lesson)

Adverbs and adverbials (a grammar for writing lesson)

This fully resourced lesson teaches students what adverbs and adverbials are and then uses sentence combining exercises to give them practice with placing adverbials in different places within sentences (i.e. at the front (fronted adverbials), in the middle or at the end). The powerpoint includes a starter, an explanation of adverbs and adverbials (with examples), instructions for the worksheet (with an example), a list of possible answers and a plenary.
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Prepositions and prepositional phrases (a grammar for writing lesson)

Prepositions and prepositional phrases (a grammar for writing lesson)

This fully resourced lesson teaches students what prepositions and prepositional phrases are and then uses sentence combining exercises to give students practice with placing prepositional phrases at different points in the sentence. The powerpoint includes a starter, an explanation of prepositions and prepositional phrases (with examples), instructions for the worksheet (with an example), a list of possible answers and a plenary. It also provides examples of misplaced phrases/modifiers to help students to recognise when they have not placed prepositional phrases in a sentence correctly.
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Questions, imperatives and inverted sentences

Questions, imperatives and inverted sentences

This worksheet challenges students to identify the subject in sentences with unconventional word order (questions, imperatives and inverted sentences). This helps students to better understand sentence structure and to maintain subject-verb agreement when writing.
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LNF based peer editing sheets for descriptive and narrative texts

LNF based peer editing sheets for descriptive and narrative texts

This is a series of peer editing sheets for use after students have finished drafting descriptive or narrative texts. Sheets are organised into Bronze, Silver and Gold levels with increasingly challenging criteria included in each. Students read through their partner's writing, looking for the features identified on the editing sheet and circling the appropriate comments based on what they find. Criteria are based on the Literacy and Numeracy Framework for Wales, with Bronze corresponding to Year 7, Silver to Year 8 and Gold to Year 9 expectations.
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Compound sentences with coordinating conjunctions (and when to include a joining comma)

Compound sentences with coordinating conjunctions (and when to include a joining comma)

This is a fully resourced lesson that teaches students how to use coordinating conjunctions to combine simple sentences and form compound sentences. *NOTE: Instead of using the American acronym FANBOYS in this lesson, I have included the more UK-appropriate ANTBOYS (most American dictionaries do not recognise 'then' as a coordinating conjunction, whereas the British council and most UK dictionaries do. Also, although 'for' is recognised as a coordinating conjunction on both sides of the Atlantic, it is almost never used in contemporary writing. As this is a grammar-for-writing rather than a sentence-parsing lesson, the archaic 'for' has been omitted and the British conjunction 'then' has been included, thus 'ANTBOYS'). With this in mind, teachers in North America or ESOL teachers teaching North American English may wish to hide, delete or replace the slide in the powerpoint in which I have listed the coordinating conjunctions most commonly used in the UK.
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LNF based peer editing sheets for writing across the curriculum (non-literary texts)

LNF based peer editing sheets for writing across the curriculum (non-literary texts)

A series of peer editing sheets for use across the curriculum, designed to develop writing proficiency without sacrificing attention to subject-specific content. Worksheets are differentiated into bronze, silver and gold levels, with increasingly challenging targets for each level in organisation, grammar, punctuation and use of language. Students simply follow the instructions on the sheet, looking for specific features in their partner's work and circling the corresponding recommendations accordingly. No specialist knowledge is required on the part of the classroom teacher. For teachers in Wales, the targets are in line with those of the National Literacy and Numeracy Framework, with bronze targets aligning with the objectives for year 7, silver matching those of year 8 and gold matching those of year 9.
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Using full stops (fully resourced lesson)

Using full stops (fully resourced lesson)

In this fully resourced lesson, students use their knowledge of sentence structure to replace the missing full stops in an article taken from the BBC Wales website. Students start by circling the subject of each sentence and underlining the predicate (the verb and all the words that work with it to say something about the subject); they then add full stops and capital letters to separate the sentences from one another.
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Unseen Poetry - Response Planning Sheet

Unseen Poetry - Response Planning Sheet

Straightforward planning guide for a response to two unseen poems. Students read the poems and answer the questions in the boxes provided. This should give them everything they need for a satisfactory response.
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Direct speech - punctuation starter activity

Direct speech - punctuation starter activity

A quick revision of the guidelines for punctuating direct speech, used to remind students of how to incorporate quotes/ dialogue in a creative writing task. It’s in Powerpoint format; simply copy and paste into your own existing Powerpoint for a ready-to-use starter activity. If you find this useful, please leave a review to spread the word!
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Of Mice and Men - Key Event Sort (Revision Activity)

Of Mice and Men - Key Event Sort (Revision Activity)

This activity challenges students to place events and their settings in chronological order. This helps them to place extracts in context when responding to the extract question and to organise essays chronologically when writing about a character or theme. Students work in pairs. Each pair is given an A3 placemat containing 6 columns (one for each chapter of the novel) along with an envelope containing event and setting cards. Without referring to the text, students place the setting and event cards in order in the proper columns. I have included a Powerpoint slide show that explains the activity and that provides the correct answers for assessment after students have completed it. If you find this resource useful, please leave a review to help spread the word!
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'An Inspector Calls' revision starter activity - the order of interrogation

'An Inspector Calls' revision starter activity - the order of interrogation

A simple but useful starter for a lesson after students have finished reading 'An Inspector Calls.' In pairs, students must correctly list the characters in the order in which they are questioned by the inspector. In addition, they must give the name by which each character knew the girl. The starter is simply a series of powerpoint slides that insert the answers one at a time into a table; just copy and paste the slides into your own powerpoint to integrate it in your lesson.
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Extract question (lit exam) focused on a character - general planning grid

Extract question (lit exam) focused on a character - general planning grid

This is a grid for planning a response to an extract question focused on a character (as opposed to audience response, a relationship, etc.). I used the general label 'THE CHARACTER' throughout when designing this; whenever I use it with a text I go back and do a 'Find and Replace' search, inserting the actual name of the character in place of the general label 'THE CHARACTER'. This way I've been able to use it with a variety of texts and characters. I've found this scaffold very useful in helping students who have struggled with the extract question to plan and structure their response.
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Extract question response planning guides (audience response, impression of a relationship, mood)

Extract question response planning guides (audience response, impression of a relationship, mood)

This is a series of straightforward planning guides for responses to extract questions focused on: - audience response to the extract - the impression we get of a relationship from the extract - mood (the feeling created by charaters and events) or atmosphere (the feeling created by objects and surroundings) in an extract. I have found these to be very useful with students who struggle to structure a response to the extract question. Before using any of these resources, I first ask students to draw lines dividing the extract into three sections (there are usually 2 or 3 shifts in an extract: from one event to another, one character to another, etc. Getting students to identify and focus on different sections of the extract helps them to structure their answer and to ensure that they're writing about the extract in its entirety).
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