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Think Tanker

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Stimulating, engaging and promoting thinking beyond the lesson of the day - that's the support material I seek to produce in the English, Maths and Humanities areas. As a resource manager and classroom teacher for over 30 years, I want to offer practical, get-to-the-point material to broaden, challenge and deepen understanding, provide for a range of skill levels, and make teaching and learning stimulating and enjoyable.

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Stimulating, engaging and promoting thinking beyond the lesson of the day - that's the support material I seek to produce in the English, Maths and Humanities areas. As a resource manager and classroom teacher for over 30 years, I want to offer practical, get-to-the-point material to broaden, challenge and deepen understanding, provide for a range of skill levels, and make teaching and learning stimulating and enjoyable.
Dead Poets' Society ~ Study Guide
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Dead Poets' Society ~ Study Guide

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This fifteen page study guide is intended as a complete self-contained work unit for students in Years 10 to 12 studying the film “Dead Poets’ Society.” It offers a wide range of analytical and creative activities for students to fully engage with and respond to the film and its themes. The study guide has been created for maximum visual appeal, calculated to reflect the idealism and romanticism of the film, and to provide your students with opportunities for both rigorous analysis of plot, characters, themes and film techniques, as well as activities to give scope to their own self-expression in the form of poetry writing, personal argument and script writing. The study guide is made up of Introduction to the film with questions based on prior knowledge and preliminary reflections on the purpose of education and the tension between conformity and individualism Plot summary and close exercises on the storyline and conflicts Character Analyses with questions on all major characters Case study of Film Techniques, with analysis of scripting, camera and lighting, with comprehension questions about scene direction Drama writing exercise for students to create alternative endings and additional scenes to the film Poetry analysis of verse from the film with comprehension questions Stimulus for personal poetry writing on the themes and ideas in "Dead Poets’ Society’ Paragraph writing exercises and essay topics Discussion and debate topics As a unit of work, this study guide is envisaged as covering two to three weeks of work
STAND BY ME Study Guide
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STAND BY ME Study Guide

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Nine page handout for use in the study of the classic film about friendship and change, with examination of plot characters and themes. Students undertake writing activities under the following - interpreting, justifying, comparing and contrasting.
BRAVE NEW WORLD - Study Guide
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BRAVE NEW WORLD - Study Guide

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This is a complete unit of study for students studying Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World,’ in the form of a 20 page, highly visual analysis of the novel covering all elements of the plot, characters and themes, engaging students in wide ranging activities including crossword, vocabulary building, text comprehension, extended writing and visual literacy tasks. In addition, there are activities in paragraph writing, comparative literary analysis using Orwell’s ‘1984,’ practice essay topics and personal response questions about the contemporary relevance of Huxley’s warnings. The study guide aims to extend students by engaging students in a range of enquiry and writing skills in designated sections - justifying, researching, comparing and contrasting, identifying cause and effect, drawing conclusions and making inferences. This is a practical work unit that uses eye appealing graphics and a graduated level of difficulty to enable students through a guided close analysis of the literary elements of the novel to be able to make their own substantiated conclusions to the writer’s themes and purpose.
ANTIGONE -   Study Guide for Students
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ANTIGONE - Study Guide for Students

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This is a comprehensive guide intended for class use for a full unit of study of Sophocles’ ‘ANTIGONE.’ This can be used as a stand alone unit for exclusive study of ‘Antigone’ only, as It provides contextual background of the Theban plays so that students do not need to have covered ‘Oedipus Rex’ or ‘Oedipus at Colonus’ to understand in depth the plot, characters and themes of ‘Antigone.’ If your students are covering additional Theban plays in their literature course, I offer a separate student study guide, “Oedipus Rex,” sold separately here. This study guide is a highly visual resource aimed at engaging students with a variety of activities, including paragraph writing, crossword, class debate and discussion ideas, and contemporary examination of the thematic content. Each of the numbered pages contains comprehension questions to check student understanding, reinforce learning and extend student processing of the thematic ideas of the text. The sections in the guide are 1. Background and context to the Oedipus cycle 2. Analysis and tasks on the nature of tragic drama 3. Levels of meaning in the text 4. Alternative interpretations and readings of the text 5. Comparative viewpoints within the text 6. Feminist reading of the text 7. Language usage in the text 8. Analysis of themes This guide is created as a self-contained unit for students to work through independently at their individual rate. The material is of graduated complexity, taking students from basic elements to more advanced reasoning and the application of higher order skills. The material has been chosen and presented to engage students through a variety of activities to suit different skill levels.
War Poetry AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA Comprehension and Extension
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War Poetry AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA Comprehension and Extension

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Here are two handout items on the anti-war poem / song lyric AND THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA by Eric Bogle. The first contain the text of the poem / lyric which use has shown works best by playing the video version from Youtube to being to life this immensely powerful and moving lyric. There are a series of comprehension questions which can be used for formal assessment or group discussion. The letter writing task contains an example of a letter to the editor about the thematic relevance and literary qualities of the poem. The student is then provided with a question task of their own to complete on a war poem of their choice.
A BUG'S LIFE ~ STUDY GUIDE
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A BUG'S LIFE ~ STUDY GUIDE

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This is a complete unit of work for use in the study of the animated film “A Bug’s Life.” The seven pages of activities are varied, well illustrated to gain interest, and sequenced for comprehension of plot, character, characterization and theme. The material is practical, so that students at various levels of ability can proceed through the work at their own pace, with self-explanatory language and a magazine style visual presentation that does not require teacher clarification and guidance. The material is intended for Years 7 to 9 The material guides students through the following steps Plotting - cloze exercise Characters - reading comprehension Characterization - comparing and contrasting External and internal elements of characterization - comparative case study Tweety Bird / Flik Using evidence and quotes from the text - identifying key elements of dialogue and drawing conclusions Paragraph writing - revision and practice writing exercise Themes and Ideas in the film - summary and practice questions.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST Study Guide
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ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST Study Guide

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This 20 page study guide for students is a complete unit, covering the plot, characters and themes of Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in a visually rich and stimulating format. This is the product of my twenty five years of teaching the novel, and covers Background to the writing of the book / analysis of Kesey’s purpose / socio-political context of sixties counter-culture Comprehension on all significant parts of the novel, involving close exercises, short answers, paragraph writing and creative reflection responses Character analysis and outline of conflicting representations (focus on point of view in literature) Further reading and research stimulus This is intended as a complete, step by step guide to understanding the novel in depth, using cartoons, stimulus poetry and extension activity, and can be useful in teaching to a range of ability levels, with students able to progress at their own rate to grasp the essential social commentary of the novel.
Jason and the Argonauts
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Jason and the Argonauts

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Four items to use with the film JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS 1. Assessment task with exemplar film review 2.Comprehension handout 3. Crossword handout 4. Word search handout
KATH AND KIM - Australian Comedy In Close-Up
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KATH AND KIM - Australian Comedy In Close-Up

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Three part resource analyzing the distinctive elements of Australian humor. The focus is on the comedic techniques of satire and parody, using the hit television series, “Kath and Kim,” as the focus. The powerpoint is a colorful animated presentation covering (i) the premise (ii) analysis of characters (iii) conflicts and relationships as a source of comedy and social comment (iv) the satire as a slice-of-suburban life /mockumentary sending up ignorant consumerism, cultural insensitivity and small mindedness. (v) the main comedic techniques with examples from the dialogue and plotting (vi) use of idiomatic language The handout presents a character summary of the powerpoint findings, and uses the episode OLD as a case study to examine the elements of the humour. The third item is an annotated exempar of an analystical essay about the episode OLD, discussing characterization, dialogue and themes in the satire. It explains the social targets and the cultural assumptions.
SUPERSIZE ME Documentary Study Guide
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SUPERSIZE ME Documentary Study Guide

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This is a colorful, professionally produced study guide of ten numbered pages, used and found practical for a range of Year 11 and 12 students. With plenty of graphics, including cartoons and a range of activities to promote active participation in watching the film, this is aimed at promoting extended writing about positioning, bias and point-of view, with comprehension questions, crossword and discussion questions aimed at vocabulary building and identifying film techniques. It includes an annotated exemplar of effective reviewing, guidance questions for the viewing process, and builds on skills in a cumulative way, from literal understanding of the content to more sophisticated concepts such as selectivity, language choices in commentary and the power of documentary film making to promote change.
AUSTRALIAN HUMOUR  - A Powerpoint on Comedy in Australia
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AUSTRALIAN HUMOUR - A Powerpoint on Comedy in Australia

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Powerpoint covering 1. What distinctive elements make up the distinctive Australian sense of humour - irreverence / class difference / city and country perspectives 2. Case Study - Classic Australian cartoon (“Stop Laughing this is serious!”) 3. Case Study - The Bush Comic (George Wallace) 4. Political correctness and Australian humour The material can be used in whole or part as the basis of a single lesson. There are lots of opportunities for direct note taking practice, class discussion and debate over whether there really is an Australian style of humour, and whether political correctness has eroded its distinctiveness
Sexism In Advertising - Exemplars, Discussion Stimulus and Activites
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Sexism In Advertising - Exemplars, Discussion Stimulus and Activites

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Suited to Years 10 to 12, this four page activities handout examines specific advertising that is sexist and features representations based on stereotyping and narrow gender roles. It contains 1. exemplar analyses of print advertisements displaying gender bias 2. student responses to common gender stereotypes 3. guidance on paragraph writing 4. exercises in paragraph responses to sexist advertisements
POETRY COMPREHENSION Social Conscience Poetry - Reading for Meaning
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POETRY COMPREHENSION Social Conscience Poetry - Reading for Meaning

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STREETS OF LONDON Multiple Choice Levels of Meaning Listening and Reading Stimulus and Test Suitable for early middle school Years 7/8/9 Theme of Social Commentary and Social Protest. Along with a dramatic cover sheet with the song lyrics of Ralf McTell's famous ballad urging us to look and see the hardships of the underclass around us, there are 20 questions, structured as follows 1. Five "Right There" specific / literal questions 2. Five "Gather the Information" questions requiring longer reading across the entire text. 3. 10 Inferential questions based on the implied meaning and the writer's intentions.
THE HIGHWAYMEN  The Ballad - Lesson of Work
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THE HIGHWAYMEN The Ballad - Lesson of Work

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This is a lesson in itself, or an assessment item as preferred. Alfred Noyes' celebrated ballad THE HIGHWAYMAN in full. Visually realised with the text is fully annotated, with difficult words explained in side bars. Reading comprehension about literary elements. Then a letter writing exercise on point of view. Do play the best recording of the poem by PHIL OCHS obtainable on You Tube as part of your presentation.
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Key Quotes Student Handout
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The Picture of Dorian Gray - Key Quotes Student Handout

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Handout sheet for discussion and analysis on Oscar Wilde's chief character quotes in "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Useful for analysing Wilde's witty inversion of the superficial and the profound, and the tragic perspective of the character's doomed efforts to retain that which is impossible - the lustre of youth and the invincible appeal of physical beauty.
The Great Romantic Poets - A Study guide
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The Great Romantic Poets - A Study guide

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THE ENGLISH ROMANTIC POETS - A PRACTICAL STUDY GUIDE This is a visually stimulating fifteen page study guide on the poetry of the great poets of the Romantic Period. It is intended as the basis of a two week unit. The emphasis is on direct, attention getting material that will engage learners of different levels, covering the life and poetry of John Keats William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge Percy Shelley Lord Byron William Blake The numbered pages contain exercises on (i)the concept of romanticism (ii) the distinction between romance poetry and the philosophy of romanticism in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s (iii) backgrounding of each poet and an outline of his distinctive viewpoint (iv) poems from each of the six poets, with vocabulary explained for each poem, and comprehension questions. the poems are ‘Daffodils’ (Worsworth), (v) art activity for the visual learner (vi) exercise in distinguishing love poetry and romantic poetry The work involves straightforward explanation so that the student can proceed at his / her own pace, without need for constant guidance. Students will be able to identify the major elements of romanticism beyond mere rebelliousness and be able to locate textual evidence about pantheism, philosophical interest in heroic mythology, romantic preoccupation with the imagination over clinical intellect and the embrace of the non-rational and spiritual in the works of some of the poets. The layout and design is meant to have a magazine style level of visual interest and at the same time provide rigorous and serious commentary in a way that doesn’t rely on jargon or confusing terminology (vocabulary is explained in each of the poems so that teacher direction is minimized)
The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas ~ Study Guide
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The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas ~ Study Guide

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Seventeen page Study Guide of engaging analysis and activities for use in your class teaching of the novel, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.” This is a highly visual resource intended to comprehensively guide students in understanding plot, characters, theme, point of view and historical context, answering their questions along the way about fundamentals such as historical timelines, meaning of key terms and explaining belief systems. The contents on the numbered pages are as follows Plot exercises Historical terms / vocabulary Visualization timeline Frequently asked questions about the Holocaust Fact versus Fiction in the novel Paragraph writing - exemplar and extended writing activities Chapter Questions - comprehension questions fr each chapter with page numbers to locate answers Comparing and Contrasting - diagrammatic representation of character similiarities and differences Crossword on plot and characters Irony analysis in the novel - student activities on use of irony in the plot and dialogue of the novel Fences and Boundaries in History - research Point of view analysis and higher order thinking exercises on character perspective Themes - analysis and comprehension questions Essay Questions Further reading and viewing This resource is a complete unit that would would be all that teachers would require in a class study of the novel over several weeks.
WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD Ballad and Comprehension
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WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD Ballad and Comprehension

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Gordon Lightfoot's stirring ballad THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD is a powerful tool to use when teaching the ballad form. The enthralling and terrible tale of the mighty transport ship that never made it across Lake Superior in one of Canada's greatest naval disasters is presented here as 1. a film clip, MP4 with the full lyrics 2. student handout with the lyrics and comprehension questions
ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT Study Guide
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ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT Study Guide

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This is a complete unit of work in the form of a student study guide covering the novel ‘All Quiet on the Western Front.’ It contains all that is needed to examine, in a comprehensive literary study, the plotting, characterization, use of language and narrative point-of-view of Erich Remarque’s novel. It is envisaged that this will support a three to four week span of class work at senior level. The material is 25 pages of activities, thoroughly illustrated with varied text types and graphics to stimulate engagement and understanding. The handout is intended to provide a cumulative study of writing that causes social change and the way language is used to make a social protest. Contained in the student handout is Background notes on World War One and Remarque’s point of view Analysis of characters Detailed analysis of themes Key quotes - student comprehension testing on the use of language and dialogue to position and form representations and symbolic meaning Exemplar essay Reflection activities Exemplar of persuasive language with comprehension test
THE CRUCIBLE ~ Writing Analytical Essay Responses
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THE CRUCIBLE ~ Writing Analytical Essay Responses

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Here is a resource parcel for your senior students aimed at giving them extensive practical help in responding in essay form to the characters and themes of Arthur miller's THE CRUCIBLE. It consists of six items which can be used together as culmination of a unit on the play prior to students writing their own analytical response. This is practical material aimed at enabling your students to practice their writing skills using stimulating exemplars and scaffolded handouts with construction guidelines and content prompts. 1. A closely annotated exemplar of a top standard formal essay on the themes of THE CRUCIBLE, with explanatory pointers on structure, content and wording 2. A powerpoint containing do's and don'ts when students write their essay - it contains specific parts of THE CRUCIBLE to make the points 3.Four scaffolded practice essay handouts - two on characters and two on themes. These are colour coded to guide construction, and have prompt points to assist in the content