With so many unseen texts in the new GCSE and an emphasis on challenging texts from KS3 upwards, it’s becoming all the more important for students to unlock the meaning of unfamiliar words on their own.
To prepare students for this daunting experience, you might be looking at the patterns that exist in English. In our latest guest newsletter, Victoria Honeybourne and Emela Milne devised a prefix and suffix slider to support students’ learning of these essential ‘parts’. Their newsletter and supporting resource is here.
If your students need some practice in recognising common patterns including negative words, then the resource Making negative words draws attention to common prefixes that perform this role.
If, on the other hand, your students are ready to face more complex words, then Work out the words might be more helpful.
From 28th Jan to 4th February it’s all about telling stories. So rather than rolling your eyes when your students tell you that their homework was eaten by their sibling, or that the school bus broke down, instead congratulate them on their vivid imagination and excellent storytelling abilities. Below is a roundup of resources and websites that will help you to celebrate this creative week.
The mystery story game (Teachit English resource)
A set of cut out cards with story prompts for a group storytelling activity. Notes for the teacher are included.
The society for storytelling website has lots of suggestions for how you can enjoy storytelling, as well as storytelling events that are being run around the country.
Science fiction story writing (Teachit English resource)
Hand out students a card with a scenario on. Then give them some prompts to help them flesh out their ‘story’.
Teaching Gothic literature? There’s a good chance that if you’re not teaching it now, you will be soon. As Victoria Walker explains in our latest newsletter, the Gothic is pervasive in English classrooms, and it’s appropriate at every key stage.
Victoria’s resource ‘A mansion of Gothic activities’ includes a huge selection of teaching activities ranging across the key stages, and is full of spooky inspiration.
If you’re on the hunt for scholarly articles or source materials to support your teaching of Gothic literature, the British Library’s collection includes many of these, including resources for ghosts in A Christmas Carol, the Gothic in Great Expectations, and the context of novels such as Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and even Oliver Twist.
To contemporise your teaching of the Gothic, you might want to involve the latest forms drawing on the heritage of Gothic fiction. These include forms such as ‘dark fantasy’ and ‘urban fantasy’ fiction, paranormal romances (vampire romance), horror-themed films and TV shows, thrillers and even new online media such as the ‘Slenderman’ vlogs (although these come with a sensitivity warning).
With rising levels of anxiety in children and an increasing atmosphere of intolerance, anti-bullying week feels particularly important this year.
There are a number of thought-provoking resources on Teachit English you could use with your classes to celebrate the differences in your students. What makes you unique? is a lovely discussion-based resource that explores what makes your students unique. All about me is another collaborative resource that helps students to get to know each other better.
Actionwork is calling for students to explore their creativity by entering their competition to demonstrate how bullying can be stopped. Based on the theme ‘Power for Good’, under 18s are asked to submit a story, poem, film or picture to be in with a chance of winning up to £300.
Finally, you could explore articles recently published that demonstrate the effect bullying – verbal, physical and cyber – can have on young people. NB Students may find some details in these articles upsetting.