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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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KS4, KS3, reading, inference, language, structure, James Bond, Kingsley Amis, "Colonel Sun"

KS4, KS3, reading, inference, language, structure, James Bond, Kingsley Amis, "Colonel Sun"

This lesson was originally planned for year 9 to develop the skills that they’ll need for GCSE but could also be used at KS4 in preparation for the GCSE Fiction paper. The lesson uses an excerpt from Kingsley Amis’s “Colonel Sun”. Amis was the first writer to continue the James Bond series after the death of Ian Fleming. The lesson aims to build the pupils’ skills of inference, looking at how it’s possible to infer from both language and structure. There are 15 slides in total, including a short homework (the writing of an extended paragraph as a demonstration of the skills built on in the lesson).
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AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 2 Question 3 Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, "Common Ground", explain

AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 2 Question 3 Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, "Common Ground", explain

Planned for year 10 after a very disappointing outcome in the internal exams, this lesson deals with Paper 2, question 3 and really tries to embed the idea that when explaining the effect of a writer’s language the students must explain HOW and WHY. The text used is from Rob Cowen’s “Common Ground”. The lesson uses whole-class, shared ideas and a model response, after which the students are asked to work in pairs to develop the skill of explaining how and why - after which they are asked to complete an exam-style response working individually (though of course paired writing could be used as for continued differentiation here).
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KS3, KS4, reading, explaining effect of methods, fear, dread, tension, Joe Hill, "NOS4A2", analysis

KS3, KS4, reading, explaining effect of methods, fear, dread, tension, Joe Hill, "NOS4A2", analysis

I made this lesson for a year 9 class after their end of year exam had revealed that, while they are good at picking out the relevant methods, they are not explaining HOW and WHY these methods affect the reader as they do. The text used is from Joe Hill’s “NOS4A2” and it is similar in length to the texts that the students will encounter at GCSE. For differentiation, the pupils are asked to produce a paired response; this could easily be adapted with pupils being asked to work independently for greater challenge.
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KS4, KS3, Lit, Unseen poem, analysis, close reading, "Drought" Wiliam Henry Ogilvie, personification

KS4, KS3, Lit, Unseen poem, analysis, close reading, "Drought" Wiliam Henry Ogilvie, personification

This lesson was planned for year 9 as they work on the skills that they’re going to need for GCSE. The lesson uses “Drought” by William Henry Ogilvie and takes the pupils through what we mean by a writer’s methods with a specific focus on personification. The lesson leads the pupils towards this question: In “Drought”, how does the poet present ideas about the speaker, Drought?" This lesson would also work at KS4, particularly in the early stages of teaching the response to the unseen poetry question.
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KS4, KS3, James Bond, structure, Fleming, "From a View to a Kill", methods, semantic field, contrast

KS4, KS3, James Bond, structure, Fleming, "From a View to a Kill", methods, semantic field, contrast

Created for a year 10 class but may also be of use in those centres beginning to focus on key GCSE skills in year 9, this lesson uses an extract from the opening of Fleming’s James Bond short story, “From a View to a Kill”. The reading focus is on the identification of the semantic field of violence at the start of the story. Students are taught what’s meant by a semantic field and given an opportunity to comment on its effect. The focus then shifts to Fleming’s use of a contrasting semantic field and students are asked to explore the effect of that contrast. The final slide of the powerpoint is a skeleton of an extended paragraph of response in which the pupils formalise and write their thinking over the lesson. My students found this useful as part of their work on the analysis of structural features - and the text used does feature a plethora of language features and so could be used further to develop language analysis (perhaps as homework).
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KS3, KS2, "Ark Angel", Horowitz, CRR, comprehension, spies, fiction, cover, homework, 20 questions

KS3, KS2, "Ark Angel", Horowitz, CRR, comprehension, spies, fiction, cover, homework, 20 questions

I made this for a year 8 class but it could be used elsewhere at KS3 and also at the top end of KS2. The text is the account of the arrival of a group of hitmen at the hospital where Alex Rider is recovering from an injury. There are 20 questions focusing on the effect of the writer’s methods, on vocabulary and on comprehension. This activity could be used for homework, for cover, as a formative assessment task - or the questions could be used to structure a guided reading activity.
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KS4 AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 1  Fiction, Fleming, "OHMSS",  q 2  language, q 3 structure, analysis

KS4 AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 1 Fiction, Fleming, "OHMSS", q 2 language, q 3 structure, analysis

Planned for KS4 but useful in those schools where GCSE studies begin at KS3, this uses an exciting excerpt from Ian Fleming’s “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. The focus is on the analysis of the effect of language and structural choices (questions 2 and 3 on the exam). After lots of questioning and discussion the lesson then concludes with the setting of two, formal, exam-style questionsi which could be completed independently, in class, or used for homework to ensure that the lesson’s learning has been embedded.
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KS3 poetry, KS4 GCSE Unseen Poetry, Maya Angelou, "Woman Work", writer's methods, effect, analysis

KS3 poetry, KS4 GCSE Unseen Poetry, Maya Angelou, "Woman Work", writer's methods, effect, analysis

I planned this for KS3 but it would also be a good introduction to the analysis of unseen poetry at GCSE. The chosen text is “Woman Work” by Maya Angelou. The lesson is a 16 slide powerpoint that goes right back to basics in terms of the ideas presented in a poem and the methods that are used to present those ideas. Pupils are asked to name methods that have already been picked out and then to work with a partner to explain the effect of one of those methods. Moving on to the second part of the poem, the pupils are asked to identify and articulate the change that takes place. There is then a focus on the use of imperative verbs and personification in the second part of the poem - and the effect of these, of course! Towards the end of the ppt is a slide which presents the pupils with two paragraphs of a response to the poem and asks them which is the better paragraph - and why. The better paragraph can then be used as a model. The intention of the lesson is to prepare the pupils for a homework task which is to answer the question: How does the writer present the speaker’s ideas about her life in the poem.
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KS3, KS4, poetry, Romantics, dramatic monologue, Browning "The Laboratory", writer's methods, effect

KS3, KS4, poetry, Romantics, dramatic monologue, Browning "The Laboratory", writer's methods, effect

This is a lesson planned for an able year 9 class as part of a unit on poetry and developing the skills that they’ll need for GCSE. It uses Browning’s “The Laboratory” and there is a focus, through questioning, on the methods that the writer uses to suggest the character of the speaker in the poem. At the end of the lesson, the pupils are asked to focus independently on two further methods (alliteration and contrast) and explain their effect in the context of developing the character of the speaker. There is a brief mention of the fact that Browning was influenced by the Romantic poets and the homework after the study of the poem is for the pupils to write an extended paragraph (perhaps bolstered by independent research) about the attitude of the Romantics to the French Revolution.
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AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 2 Non Fiction Question 3 Language Analysis Effect Homework WAVE

AQA GCSE Eng Lang Paper 2 Non Fiction Question 3 Language Analysis Effect Homework WAVE

Planned for a year 11 class after a disappointing outcome in the mock, this lesson focuses on the skills tested in English Language Paper 2, question 3 (commenting on the effect of language). The lesson uses a very short (only 2 paragraphs) excerpt from an article from the ‘Financial Times’ about a surfing accident. Students are reminded of the criteria for marks and the powerpoint uses some of the comments from the report by the Chief Examiner. Students are then asked to work independently to complete their own answer after which there is an opportunity for peer assessment. There is a homework task which uses an abridged extract from a ‘Guardian’ article about a tsunami in Japan in 2011 and which asks the students to embed the skills they’ve developed in the lesson by answering a second, similar question.
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AQA GCSE Eng Lang, Paper 1, Question 1, Question 2, "Career of Evil", reading, exam prep

AQA GCSE Eng Lang, Paper 1, Question 1, Question 2, "Career of Evil", reading, exam prep

Created for a year 11 class in the run-up to their English Language GCSE, this looks at the first two questions on paper 1 (reading fiction) and focuses on questions 1 and 2. The focus on question 1 is pretty brief as it is the most accessible question. It asks the students to identify which of two responses is best in order to clear up any misconceptions about the demands of this question. The focus then moves to question 2 where the powerpoint requires a whole-class model that is structured to meet the bullet points of the mark scheme. The model is of the first paragraph of the response; the students are then asked to use the structure and format of that model to write the next two paragraphs of their answer.
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KS4, AQA, GCSE Eng Lang, Turkey, Istanbul, Viewpoints, Perspectives, Question 4, Compare, Methods

KS4, AQA, GCSE Eng Lang, Turkey, Istanbul, Viewpoints, Perspectives, Question 4, Compare, Methods

Planned for a year 11 class, this uses a challenging non-fiction text by David George Hogarth recounting his travels in South West Turkey against Jason Godwin’s modern description of visiting Istanbul. There are two lessons. The first focuses on the methods used by a writer to convey his viewpoint and the text used is the more challenging, older text. The second lesson introduces the comparative text and takes the students through a model paragraph of comparison which is then assessed against the mark scheme before the students embark independently on the rest of the comparison. For more able students, or those who have already been introduced to this question, you may find that you can combine the two lessons into one.
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KS3 Poetry

KS3 Poetry

This is a bundle of lessons and resources (some suitable for cover and homework) all suitable for pupils at KS3. Many are also suitable for KS4, particularly for introducing those skills that are needed for the analysis of unseen poetry.
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KS3, KS2 Poetry, "Rain", Shel Silverstein, symbolism - good link to "Holes" by Louis Sachar

KS3, KS2 Poetry, "Rain", Shel Silverstein, symbolism - good link to "Holes" by Louis Sachar

This is a short and simple lesson with the aim: explain the effect of rain as a symbol. Demonstrate understanding through writing. The poem used is Shel Silverstein’s “Rain”. The lesson begins with a hinge question to assess what pupils already understand about symbolism. There are then two questions (best used in a sort of pitch-pause-pounce-bounce kind of way) which ask how rain could be used as a symbol in two different contexts, that of a funeral and that of a desert. The lesson then introduces Silverstein’s poem and points out that it can be read on two levels, both as a nonsense poem for children but, with more depth, with the rain as a symbol. Pupils are asked to explain what they think the rain could symbolise, and why. I planned this to work alongside Louis Sachar’s novel “Holes” though it would work as a stand-alone lesson or as part of a unit on poetry.
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"Countdown" Grace Chua, CRR, comprehension, analysis, reading, unseen poetry, hw, cover

"Countdown" Grace Chua, CRR, comprehension, analysis, reading, unseen poetry, hw, cover

Created for a year 9 class as a homework to help them build their skills of talking about an unseen poem, this would also work at KS4, either as a scaffold for pupils to develop their ideas prior to writing an exam response, as a structure for guided reading or as a homework or cover activity. It uses Grace Chua’s poem “Countdown” and there are 11 questions focusing on the effects of language and structure. There is an exam-style question before the comprehension questions to remind the pupils of the overarching question that they need to hold in their mind.
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KS3, KS4, Unseen Poetry, "Brothers" by Andrew Forster, questioning, pair work, written response.

KS3, KS4, Unseen Poetry, "Brothers" by Andrew Forster, questioning, pair work, written response.

This is a straightforward lesson planned for a year 9 class as part of a unit about transition to GCSE. That said, it would also work as an early lesson on the response to unseen poetry for a KS4 class. The lesson uses the poem “Brothers” by Andrew Forster. The first six slides are intended for class discussion and to elicit shared ideas. When I taught this, I gave out the complete poem at slide 7 (which also serves as the printable slide to furnish you with your copy of the poem). After slide 7, the intention is that the pupils should work through the next four slides in pairs, without sharing their answers, so that they are furnished with some ideas for their written response without having been given the answers on a plate! This lesson does not provide a detailed analysis of the poem as the intention is that the pupils will come up with this themselves, using the questions as a steer.
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Andrew Marvell "To His Coy Mistress", KS3, KS4, writer's methods, purpose, analysis

Andrew Marvell "To His Coy Mistress", KS3, KS4, writer's methods, purpose, analysis

Planned for a year 9 class to introduce the skills that will be needed at KS4 and introduce them to an important poem, this lesson has 15 slides and the aim is to link the writer’s methods to the speaker’s purpose in the poem. This would work as an introduction to Marvell’s poem which, let’s face it, deserves more than one hour’s study. The lesson recaps what’s meant by a writer’s methods, focuses on Marvell’s ‘If…But…Therefore’ structure of argument, uses questioning to look closely at two lines (‘Time’s winged chariot’ and ‘skin like morning dew’). The lesson then opens out to look at the flattery used in the first part of the poem and then explores other strategies that can be used to persuade (the use of threat and logic). The lesson culminates in the pupils being asked which strategy for persuasion they consider most effective and why. To conclude, they write a P.E.E paragraph in response to that previous question.
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KS3, KS4, Poetry, unseen, "Love Song With Two Goldfish", cover, h/w, quiz, close, guided reading

KS3, KS4, Poetry, unseen, "Love Song With Two Goldfish", cover, h/w, quiz, close, guided reading

I created this for my year 11 class as a homework task to help embed and develop their skills in tackling an unseen poem. That said, it could also be used in class at KS3 or KS4. The multiple-choice quiz could provide a structure for a guided reading session or could be used ‘cold’ at the start of a session to identify gaps in pupil knowledge and understanding so that subsequent teaching can be more precisely focused and targeted. The poem itself is absolutely charming but does contain a wealth of methods that can be unpicked and analysed in some detail.
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