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Tess of the d'Urban Quills

I'm a passionate secondary English and History teacher and am the main planner of resources for my department; as such, I thought I would start sharing them here with the wider community of teachers and professionals. I am Australian trained, but currently teaching GCSE and A- Level (AQA specifications). All lessons are very visually engaging, with images, clips and a variety of activities. You won't find any boring/blank resources here!

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I'm a passionate secondary English and History teacher and am the main planner of resources for my department; as such, I thought I would start sharing them here with the wider community of teachers and professionals. I am Australian trained, but currently teaching GCSE and A- Level (AQA specifications). All lessons are very visually engaging, with images, clips and a variety of activities. You won't find any boring/blank resources here!
Year 7: Writing a book review
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Year 7: Writing a book review

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I set this for my low-ability year 7 class just before the half-term break (holiday homework!), but you can use this lesson at any point throughout the term. A lesson that introduces book reviews and provides students with a checklist for writing their own. The worksheet helps students understand how to structure their review. Enjoy!
Year 7/8: Form, Structure, Language
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Year 7/8: Form, Structure, Language

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A great lesson for introducing these English terms or revising them. The lesson looks at the poem “I Carry Your Heart” by EE Cummings; an excellent poem for examining language, structure and form. Lots of structured activities included: paragraph writing, revision of language techniques, peer marking, and an extension creative writing task.
Year 7: Introduction to Poetry
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Year 7: Introduction to Poetry

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My year 7s are about to undertake a poetry unit, and so I thought I'd share my first two lessons. Lesson one covers form, structure and language with related activities. Lesson two looks at meaning in the poem "The Word Party" which is a great introduction poem for little newbies. Happy new year everyone!
Year 7/8: Short Stories 3 Lessons
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Year 7/8: Short Stories 3 Lessons

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Suitable for higher ability classes, these 3-4 lessons cover: - An introduction to the short story form - Recap of form, language and structure - An analysis of the short story "The Flowers" by Alice Walker - Creative writing - Self and peer marking activities Enjoy :)
Year 10/11: Language Paper 2 (Perspectives & Viewpoints) Q4
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Year 10/11: Language Paper 2 (Perspectives & Viewpoints) Q4

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For GCSE Language Paper 2 (non-fiction), this lesson facilitates students' development of comparison and critical writing skills, for question 4 of the exam. Clips introduce comparison skills, which are consolidated in examining non-fiction extracts surrounding the Titanic (original news report and survivor's journal).
Year 9/10: Ready Player One (lesson designed like a video game!)
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Year 9/10: Ready Player One (lesson designed like a video game!)

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An awesome lesson for boys in year 9 or 10, language analysis skills are made fun through a lesson designed like a video game. Each activity is a "mission", and students have to complete all three in either single, two player or combat mode (individually, in pairs, or in competition). Included: - All activities - Video resources (right click the image on slide 4 for hyperlink to video) - Extract from Ernest Cline's "Ready Player One". - Formative progress check (using playstation symbols- how cool is that?) - Creative writing activity Very proud and excited for this lesson, so please enjoy!
Year 7: Villain's Speeches
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Year 7: Villain's Speeches

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My year 7s are studying non-fiction at the moment, which I personally find very boring! To spice things up, we’ve been looking at non-fiction textual forms through the theme of comic books (see my other lessons for examples). This lesson/2 lessons examines the features of speeches, with examples being the grand speeches comic villains perform. Included: Two clips of Ego and Bane- why are their speeches convincing? Analysis activities for the Joker’s speech from The Dark Knight Model critical paragraph Creative: students write their own villain speech Extension: Students create a comic page featuring their villain and given speech. My class loved it. Enjoy!
Year 8 Exam Papers
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Year 8 Exam Papers

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At our school, year 7, 8 and 9 all do formative and summative assessments that mimic the GCSE style Language Paper 1. Students are given a literary extract and then complete the following: One comprehension question One language analysis quesiton One creative writing question in response to a prompt. These are some exam papers that I created for my class to practise, and can be used either at the beginning of term as a broad diagnostic of skills, part way through the term to assess progress, or as a end of year paper. The three extracts for these papers are from The Hobbit, The Eye of the World, and The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.
Literary Devices Quiz
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Literary Devices Quiz

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A good formative or summative revision tool. This quiz is included in my "Literary Devices" pack (22 lessons covering all different language techniques geared at KS3-4) but am posting it for free as it can be used separately. Enjoy :)
The Tyger- William Blake
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The Tyger- William Blake

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An in depth series of lessons (2-4 depending on ability) for KS3 looking at William Blake’s “The Tyger”. In-depth, structured activities focusing on themes, language, form and structure. Am quite proud of this lesson! Enjoy
Teaching Iambic Pentameter
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Teaching Iambic Pentameter

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A really straightforward and clear introduction to poetic meter. This lesson can be taught as a one off, or extended based on ability of your class. The lesson clearly demonstrates what meter is, and how to identify iambs through sound and rhythm. Students learn how to mark for iambs on lines of poetry/Shakespeare, building to the main activity of marking iambic pentameter in Orsino’s “Food of Love” monologue from Twelfth Night. A stretch and challenge activity at the end prompts thinking about other metrical forms (useful for if you’re teaching Macbeth, and looking at the witches’ patterns of speech). Enjoy!
The Awakening , Kate Chopin - AQA A Level
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The Awakening , Kate Chopin - AQA A Level

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This unit of work is designed for AQA's A Level "Love through the Ages", looking at Kate Chopin's "The Awakening." All content is what I taught over the course of two terms. Find enclosed - Whole lessons covering plot, context of creole culture etc - Worksheets - Critical theory (particularly philosophy of Descartes, Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre and de Beauvoir) Enjoy!
Year 9: Introduction to Crime & Punishment
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Year 9: Introduction to Crime & Punishment

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We’re rolling out a new topic this year for year 9 which I’m super excited about: Crime & Punishment. The purpose of the topic is to introduce students to the crime genre, explore both fiction and non-fiction texts, and begin to respond to GCSE style questions for Language Papers 1 and 2. Find included in this pack: Lesson 1-2: Introduction and expectations (you’re welcome to change this if you like). Conventions of the crime genre, examination of these in two crime extracts. Lesson 3: Archetypes in literature overview and introduction to crime archetypes from “Rue Morgue” extract Lesson 4: Types of detectives Lesson 5: Practising language skills; applying Q1 and Q2 style analysis to “Rue Morgue.” A great starting point for beginning the unit, and I’ll be editing and updating this resource as the term unfolds, so watch this space! Have also included a termly homework grid and all worksheets. For all other worksheets, print the single page of the PP as they appear in the resource.
High Ability: Macbeth Unit
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High Ability: Macbeth Unit

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I’m very proud to share with you my 12 week unit of work on Macbeth. This unit is aimed at a high ability class and includes 12 weeks worth of lessons, power-points, worksheets, resources, homework etc. The first few weeks focuses primarily on contextual details, followed by elements of tragedy, higher order terminology, and skills pertaining to form, genre, language and structure. Furthermore, this unit is designed as a flipped-model project. Students should read the play at home and focus on discussion and writing skills in class. I’ve included the 12 week program I wrote for my students, that details the breakdown of lessons, key terms for each week and required readings prior to each lesson. Feel free to adapt this to suit your own schedules. My students really engaged with the program and the flipped-model fosters independence, study skills, and student autonomy. Enjoy! Please note that character profile sheets are based on the Schmoop resources (https://www.shmoop.com/)
Year 9: Crime & Punishment unit
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Year 9: Crime & Punishment unit

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Introducing my 12 week Crime & Punishment unit! Introduce your students to the two GCSE language papers through this fun unit, focusing on the crime and detective genre. This program of study explores the history of the detective genre, conventions, characterisation, archetypes, language, genre, textual form, and structure. Students will build their critical and creative writing skills through a close study of several key 19th century and modern crime texts, such as “The Speckled Band” and “Perfume: Story of a Murderer.” They will experiment with crafting crime stories of their own. The unit is split between fiction and non-fiction, so as to cover the skills required for the GCSE Language Papers 1 and 2, questions 1, 2, 3 and 5. Included: All power-points and lesson resources Worksheets and homework A social justice project focusing on the inquiry question: when is the law unjust? You can choose to therefore draw connections between the Crime & Punishment unit and real-world application. We personally took part in the Amnesty International “Write for Rights” Campaign, where we investigated unjust political processes around the world and unfair detainment of political prisoners. Practise GCSE Language Paper 1 exam Group projects (2-4 lessons alone) Model texts (non-fiction and fiction) I’m very proud of this unit- I hope you enjoy!