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Teaching English

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Stepping stones to GCSE: using King’s ‘I have a dream.’ “Let’s enjoy it while we can (let’s enjoy it while we can) Won’t you help me share my load (help me share my load) From the dark end of the street To the bright side of the road.”Van Morrison ‘Bright Side of the Road’.

Stepping stones to GCSE: using King’s ‘I have a dream.’

I’m happy to publicly admit it: I am going through a full Van Morrison obsession. It is insatiable, he is leaving all other musical alternatives behind in the dust. Even the Boss himself is cowering in the corner at the moment. This week ‘Bright Side of the Road’ has been blaring out of the car on the journey to work. As this term reaches its conclusion the song has got me rather cheesily pondering: how could more of teaching be spent on the bright side of the road? So, as Van would say (we are intimate enough to be on first name terms by now), what can we do to “share the load?”

In this context I came across this fascinating article in the Harvard Business Review this week, which outlines the vital importance of self-reflection: 1. 2. A free resource – but not for everyone: literary terms display. I recently wrote about how a colleague and I plan on approaching the teaching of 19th century fiction extracts as part of the new English Language GCSE.

A free resource – but not for everyone: literary terms display

To support the introduction of some more sophisticated figures of rhetoric, we’ve also produced some A4 posters to display in classrooms, the idea being that they don’t give definitions of the devices but are merely there to be memory cues for pupils. We want pupils to learn the devices – if they contained more information, we feel that pupils would rely too heavily on them, which isn’t helpful when they get to the exam hall. I’ve had loads of requests for the display so, as promised, I’m sharing it here. I’ve written before about why I think people selling resources to teachers is wrong. JamieClark85 Resources. BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth. Connotation vs Denotation. English Lit Timelines.

Speed Writer-Neil's Toolbox. About The Speed Writer How long does it take you to write 150 words?

Speed Writer-Neil's Toolbox

An hour... two? How about 5 minutes? Welcome to the world of speed writing. As the name suggests, speed writing is producing writing much faster than you are used to. This is not about typing faster... it's not typing speed that slows most people down. The major idea is that the number one thing that slows down your writing is stopping to think. Speed writing doesn't just get work done fast. Using The Speed Writer Tool There are three main preparation steps. Firstly, split your target word count into blocks of 150 words. Secondly, for each block choose a question to answer (rather than a title). Finally, choose at least 3 words (preferably 4 to 6) that you want to include somewhere in the text.

So, you should have a question for each block, and 3-6 words under each. Then, you're ready to go... On the next page (click the link above to go there now) you'll choose your typing speed, then enter your question and words. Vocabulary Strategies. At first glance sentences. Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing. Me and Mr Benn I was born in 1975, and the cult children’s animation Mr Benn was part of my childhood.

Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing

I must have watched re-runs, since the only series made (which consisted of a paltry 13 episodes) was first aired in 1971. For the uninitiated, Mr Benn employed a recurring plot sequence. The bowler-hat-wearing protagonist would leave his home each morning and end up in a strange fancy dress shop, run by an even more mysterious shopkeeper. Untitled. Doing language analysis. Copyrighted image Credit: Production team.

Doing language analysis

Teaching Literary Analysis. Literary analysis is a vital stage in the development of students' critical thinking skills.

Teaching Literary Analysis

Bloom's Taxonomy illustrates that analysis should come at the fourth level, right after comprehension and application. What this means is that students must be able to understand and describe the text before they are able to analyze its elements. Teaching literary analysis is often a daunting and overwhelming task. After all, it is essentially guiding students slowly through the process of critical thinking and understanding literature. That’s not a simple undertaking. To guide students toward discovering literature all on their own, the steps of this process need to be introduced in a simplified form. 1. Some students need guidance when choosing a topic, but others have ideas that they would like to explore.

Characters Themes Literary devices Setting Narrative. Teaching Writing. The posts I have been most pleased with on this blog have been those on writing.

Teaching Writing

I will cautiously assert that I think I am a better teacher of writing as a result of the thinking that has gone into these. Today (12th May, 2015) I am updating to include some of my recent posts. Here’s a short chronological directory: 1. The beauty of paired writing. Hemingway Editor. Poetry: Read and Analyse. Rhyme by Hannah Tyreman. How to analyse a poem. Alex Quigley- Collection of Online Resources. We are fast approaching the new school year and it is a time of mild anxiety and hurried organisation.

Alex Quigley- Collection of Online Resources

We are left with the big questions, such as what is my code for the photocopier and how do you teach teenagers again? Alongside the obligatory sleepless night before we return, we can also feel the optimism of a new start. What better way to start as we mean to go on than by, slightly deferring our planning to do some interesting reading! English teachers have a busy year ahead. When I say busy, I mean head-spinning-like-in-the-Exorcist busy. To prepare for the onslaught, some English teachers ready their rooms and hunker down, whereas others read some books or a bunch of articles, whilst some do both. Useful English Language and Literature related websites: – Engchatuk has crowdsourced a barnstorming wealth of resources to share here. – Geoff Barton‘s website is a treasure trove of resources here. – The National Theatre website has some great packs for English teachers here.