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I am a teacher of English and Drama and have worked in a variety of roles - classroom teacher, whole-school G & T co-ordinator (back in the old days!) head of subject and second in faculty. I hope very much that you'll find some of these resources useful to you.

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I am a teacher of English and Drama and have worked in a variety of roles - classroom teacher, whole-school G & T co-ordinator (back in the old days!) head of subject and second in faculty. I hope very much that you'll find some of these resources useful to you.
AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1 Fiction Walkthrough "Midwich Cuckoos" extract

AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1 Fiction Walkthrough "Midwich Cuckoos" extract

Planned for my year tens as an introduction to the requirements of paper 1, this powerpoint takes them through questions 1, 2 and 3. The requirements of each question are explained and there are references to the mark scheme throughout. Question 4 is set for homework and the last slide is a self-assessment grid for the students to use for self/peer marking and target setting to improve their question 4 response.
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KS4, GCSE Unseen Poetry

KS4, GCSE Unseen Poetry

Various resources including complete lessons, homework tasks and worksheets, all useful in preparing your students for the GCSE, unseen poetry task.
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GCSE, Eng Lit, Modern Texts, "An Inspector Calls", dramatic irony, foreshadowing, Titanic, structure

GCSE, Eng Lit, Modern Texts, "An Inspector Calls", dramatic irony, foreshadowing, Titanic, structure

A lesson that I created for my mixed ability year ten class, ensuring that they embed the knowledge of what's meant by dramatic irony and then guiding them to look at how Priestley uses that dramatic irony for foreshadowing with a focus on the use of Birling's assertions about Titanic. There is a brief reference to 'Of Mice and Men' with the explanation of foreshadowing (asking the students why George is often seen to play Solitaire); this could be removed if your students haven't previously read Steinbeck's novel - and replaced with a reference to any novel or film that uses foreshadowing. At the end of the lesson, the students are asked to spend ten minutes writing to explain what the Titanic is used to foreshadow in the play.
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"The Flowers", Alice Walker, Short Story, Comprehension, CRR, Genre, Analysis, Homework, Cover

"The Flowers", Alice Walker, Short Story, Comprehension, CRR, Genre, Analysis, Homework, Cover

I've used this for both year 9 and year 10 classes. This worksheet uses a complete short story by Alice Walker, "The Flowers", which is really useful for teaching in conjunction with "Strange Fruit", "Still I Rise" and "Of Mice and Men". Briefly, the story tells of a young girl, Myop, who stumbles across a dead body and gradually comes to the realisation that the dead man was the victim of a lynching. The questions are intended to make the pupils aware of the story's message and the metaphor of the summer ending at the end of the story. Questions also focus on the genre (fairy tale) of the story and the effect of Walker having written in this genre. Useful as a pre-reading homework so that pupils' responses can be discussed and understanding clarified in the lesson. An incredibly powerful story, this, which has never failed me and which is brilliant for helping the children develop their skills both of analysis and of inference.
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KS3, short stories, y9, reading, writing, genre, fairy tale, "The Darkness Out There", prediction

KS3, short stories, y9, reading, writing, genre, fairy tale, "The Darkness Out There", prediction

Created for my year 9 class as part of a unit of work using GCSE resources from previous anthologies (to try to build the skills they'll need at KS4 and get them GCSE 'ready'), this lesson uses the first two pages of "The Darkness Out There". It guides the pupils to the recognition that the short story plays with the genre of the fairy tale and asks them to compare the opening of this short story and "Little Red Riding Hood". There is an opportunity for the pupils to share their knowledge of the key features of the fairy tale. Thereafter, the pupils are asked to read the first two pages of the story and then to write a further three paragraphs, developing the story by using some of the key features of the genre of the fairy tale.
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KS3, Charles Dickens, Dotheboys Hall, close reading, lang features, analysis, vocabulary, hw, cover

KS3, Charles Dickens, Dotheboys Hall, close reading, lang features, analysis, vocabulary, hw, cover

Planned for a more able year 8 class, this uses the extract describing Nicholas's first impressions of Dotheboys Hall. There are 18 multiple choice questions. This was originally created as a homework but could also be used in class. The questions could be used to scaffold a guided reading session. Alternatively, the questions could be used at the start of a lesson to identify gaps in the pupils' knowledge and understanding so that the subsequent teaching can be tailored to fill those gaps.
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"The Red Wheelbarrow" William Carlos Williams, KS3, poetry, "Love That Dog", reading, analysis

"The Red Wheelbarrow" William Carlos Williams, KS3, poetry, "Love That Dog", reading, analysis

Created for my year 7 class to introduce "The Red Wheelbarrow" which features in their class reader ("Love That Dog" by Sharon Creech), this lesson approaches the poem through one of Williams's exhortations: If they give you lined paper, write the other way. Once the pupils have paraphrased this, they are asked to think what kind of poetry might be written by a writer who'd said this. They are likely to come up with words like 'inspiring', 'encouraging', 'creative'. The children are then asked to complete the first section of the poem based on the adjective they've selected to describe the poetry. The whole poem is then introduced with a close focus on the use of assonance in 'glazed...rain' and the focus then shifts to the pupils being able to articulate the effect of the poem. With a middling-ability year 7 class, this worked well and one pupil, Ioana, said: "Glazed makes me think of doughnuts and the long sounds make me think that he's telling us that we should spend more time enjoying things. A picture can be as enjoyable as a doughnut." (I thought that was inspired!).
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KS3, KS4, Fiction, reading, close reading, "Dark Pines", opening excerpt, hw, cover, starter, quiz

KS3, KS4, Fiction, reading, close reading, "Dark Pines", opening excerpt, hw, cover, starter, quiz

I made this for my year ten class as a homework activity to widen and develop their reading of fiction. It uses the opening extract from ‘Dark Pines’ by Will Dean and there are 20 multiple choice questions focusing on language and structural features. This could be used for homework (as originally intended) or as a cover activity. It could also be used as a starter activity prior to a close focus on the text - in order to identify any gaps in pupil knowledge so that subsequent teaching could be very precisely targeted. While there is challenge in the text, it is sufficiently accessible to be used at KS3 particularly as part of work introducing those key skills for GCSE.
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"A Midsummer Night's Dream", Year 7, the nature of Puck, Lesson 1.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream", Year 7, the nature of Puck, Lesson 1.

This ppt introduces Puck with a focus on his pranks and the way he describes them to another fairy. There is opportunity for discussion and a short drama activity where the pupils freeze-frame one of the pranks and can be thought-tracked (this is drama that can easily be managed within the classroom). The lesson ends with the setting of a homework which is the creation of a wanted poster for Puck (the final slide is a template for this wanted poster).
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Close Reading and Response, Comprehension, Non Fiction reading, Roald Dahl "Boy", Autobiography

Close Reading and Response, Comprehension, Non Fiction reading, Roald Dahl "Boy", Autobiography

Useful for cover lessons or for homework, this CRR, comprehension activity is based on Dahl's account of fagging when he was at Repton. There are six, short questions mainly focusing on the effect of Dahl's vocabulary choices but also intended to encourage the pupils to think more carefully about their own word choices. The final activity is a very short writing task (which could be extended into writing a full letter).
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KS3, Roald Dahl, "The Landlady", Reading Skills, Inference, Prediction

KS3, Roald Dahl, "The Landlady", Reading Skills, Inference, Prediction

Planned for my year 9, mixed ability class the aim of the lesson is: to use structure, language and genre to infer. The third slide gives a link to a pdf, printable version of the story in case you do not have a copy of it in your school. The lesson guides the pupils through the reading of the story, stopping at various points for discussion and for consolidation of ideas so far about character, leading to prediction. Good for developing reading skills, particularly those of inference. Also good to remind the pupils to support their ideas with references to the text.
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KS4, AQA GCSE Eng Lang, paper 2, question 2, question 3, CHILDHOOD, inference, synthesis, language

KS4, AQA GCSE Eng Lang, paper 2, question 2, question 3, CHILDHOOD, inference, synthesis, language

Planned for my year 11 class, whose mock exam had revealed weaknesses in their approach to English Language paper 2, this lesson uses two texts about childhood - Henry Mayhew’s description of the watercress girl and an abridged extract from the Guardian - ‘Living Dolls’ about child beauty pageants. The lesson begins by using images to help the students hone their skills of inference and synthesis. Moving onto question 3, the lesson uses the mark criteria to reinforce for the students the shape and content of their response. The intention is that the students will write their response to question 2 in class and will work on the response to question 3 for homework.
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KS3, KS2, John Masefield, "Sea Fever", poetry, analysis, lang, reading, personification, viewpoint

KS3, KS2, John Masefield, "Sea Fever", poetry, analysis, lang, reading, personification, viewpoint

Created for a year 7 class as part of a unit of work on "Treasure Island", this lesson invites the children to explore Masefield's poem, "Sea Fever", identifying the speaker's attitude towards the sea and focusing on the use of personification and other language features. The lesson uses hinge questions at key points, requiring all children to feed back with one from a choice of answers. In my classroom we use our arms to make letter shapes; you could use mini-whiteboards. At the end of the lesson, the children are asked to produce a written response focusing on Masefield's use of personification and two other language features of their choice, explaining what's revealed about the speaker's attitude towards the sea (and here you could introduce or embed the idea of viewpoint). There is a separate homework available for this lesson which is a series of multiple-choice questions about the poem.
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KS3 reading skills, analysis, explaining effect of language, PEE, creepy writing, commenting, impact

KS3 reading skills, analysis, explaining effect of language, PEE, creepy writing, commenting, impact

Planned for my year 7 class after their in-school exam had revealed that while they can select writing that is creepy and, in most cases, name the specific language feature that makes the writing creepy, they find it very difficult to explain WHY the writing is creepy, commenting on the impact on the reader. This lesson takes them through and is intended to build their skills of explaining. First, they're asked to explain why a picture is creepy, next, they're asked to find the evidence while an extract is read to them and then they have to complete a PEE grid. The lesson then asks them to write up their thinking from the grid in PEE paragraphs. For the most able, there is a final slide encouraging them to use specific words (like 'connotation') in their response. When I used this with my own year 7 group, it did provide responses that significantly improved on their exam answers.
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KS3, "Wind", Ted Hughes, Poetry, Analysis, PEE, Language, KS4, Unseen Poetry, English Literature

KS3, "Wind", Ted Hughes, Poetry, Analysis, PEE, Language, KS4, Unseen Poetry, English Literature

I made this lesson for my lower ability year 8 class. The aim of the lesson is to pinpoint specific words that communicate power and danger and explain why they suggest these ideas. The lesson is intended to enable them to tackle a demanding poem via a more accessible route. They're guided through an exploration of some of Hughes's language when describing the wind with a specific focus on 'flung' and 'wielded'. The pupils are asked to record their idea about the effect of the language in a table and are then asked to respond to this question: In “Wind”, how does Ted Hughes present the wind to the reader? The success criteria for this task are given at the very start of the lesson and then again at the end of the lesson so that the pupils can complete some self-assessment either before handing in the work as a form of proof-reading or instead of teacher marking. This lesson could also be used at KS4 with weaker students who are intimidated by the unseen poetry question for English Literature; it's a gentle way in which will make the students feel as though they have achieved some success.
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KS3, "The Tempest", Shakespeare, Act 3, scene 1, reading, understanding, love, PEE, card sort

KS3, "The Tempest", Shakespeare, Act 3, scene 1, reading, understanding, love, PEE, card sort

For teaching after Act 3, scene 1 has been read through (possibly in pairs, depending on the ability of your pupils). I originally planned this for, and taught it to, a mixed ability year 8 as part of a SOW on "The Tempest". This lesson focuses on explaining how the language shows that Ferdinand and Miranda are in love. Once the scene has been read, there are a few multiple-choice questions to ensure the pupils' understanding. In our classroom, all students respond simultaneously to these, making the letter shape with their arms, YMCA-style. However, mini-whiteboards could be used just as well. The pupils are then asked to zoom in on specific language features. For this lesson, language features include things like compliments as well as exaggeration and question. To support the understanding of the format of their answer, there is then a card sort (the Word document) so that the pupils can set out their own, model answer. The card sort also features an extension activity so that the more able can be stretched by extending their own response. Although I've taught this as part of a SOW on "The Tempest", it could be taught as part of a general Shakespeare scheme - no prior knowledge of the play is needed as long as the pupils know that Ferdinand is being held as a slave and Miranda is feeling sorry for him.
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KS3 Poetry, "Blessing", Imtiaz Dharker, Reading, Analysis, Writing a PEE response, Differerentiated

KS3 Poetry, "Blessing", Imtiaz Dharker, Reading, Analysis, Writing a PEE response, Differerentiated

Planned for my mixed ability year 8 class, this lesson takes the pupils through Imtiaz Dharkar's "Blessing", asking them to focus on simile, metaphor, personification and onomatopoeia. The lesson begins with hinge questions, testing the pupils' understanding of these language features (they're asked multiple-choice questions where the answers are 'A', 'B' or 'C'. In my classroom, I ask them to respond by making the shape of the letters with my arms, 'YMCA'-style). The pupils are then asked to create their own descriptive features in response to a photograph. The poem is then introduced and, drawing together the learning so far, the pupils are asked to write two PEE paragraphs. There is a support sheet for weaker pupils and an extension for the more able. The copy of the poem and the support sheet form part of the ppt for printing off if required. I have used this lesson, in its existing format, as an introduction to the unseen poetry element at KS4, though for a low ability set.
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KS3, KS4, non fiction, "Red Dust", Ma Jian, close reading, analysis, crr, comprehension, analysis

KS3, KS4, non fiction, "Red Dust", Ma Jian, close reading, analysis, crr, comprehension, analysis

I created this for my year nine class who needed cover to be set. They're asked to read a non-fiction text by a writer called Ma Jian who describes being close to death, longing for water, walking in the desert. There are ten questions alongside the text which focus on inference and on explaining the effect of Jian's language choices. Could be used for homework and would work at KS4 in terms of developing and embedding those crucial GCSE reading skills.
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