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,... read more
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... read more
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... read more
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... read more
Many of you were grateful for the advice on assistive technology for writing in our recent e-newsletter by Malcolm Litten. One in six people struggle with fundamental literacy skills at some point in their lives, and unlocking some of the barriers at... read more
This year marks the anniversary of 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death, so there are even more Shakespeare themed celebrations going on than normal. See below for our highlights and a selection of websites covering all events.
Macbeth at the... read more
Our recent e-newsletter by Stuart Scott on ‘talk in the classroom’ has got us thinking about how you could harness the talk in your classroom, to improve students’ engagement. Stuart featured his Oliver Twist character card game, a role play task. He... read more
With the up-coming election putting the spotlight on oracy skills, we've chosen some of our favourite speaking and listening resources – guaranteed to generate plenty of discussion!
For student-friendly election information and news, The Day, a current... read more
#VeryRealisticYA - a Twitter hashtag that went wild last week – led teens across the world to consider how the heroes of dystopian fiction could possibly find the time to save the world, never mind finish their homework.
Some teaching ideas:
(Link... read more
AO3 Compare writers' ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
Using two newspaper articles from The Telegraph ('Ed two kitchens Miliband under fire in bizarre row' and The Daily Mail 'Why their kitchen tells... read more
Read this article, written by Hannah Earnshaw, explaining why she wants to be part of the Mars One mission. The aim of the mission is to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars.
Summarise what the article is about in a sentence
List three... read more
A letter from an 11-year-old girl recently caught the world’s attention, because it challenges DC Comics’ representation of female characters. Use this letter to elicit strong viewpoints and lines of argument in your students’ writing (AO5).
Teaching... read more
The controversial ban on anyone sending in books to prisoners is no longer in place having been ruled unlawful by the High Court. Use this article by Frances Crook, leader of the campaign to reverse the ruling, to help students write letters for impact... read more
Use this restaurant review, published in The Telegraph, to explore the author's choice of vocabulary and how it contributes to the effectiveness and impact of the article (AO2).
Read the article through, highlighting the words... read more
Please note some of the source material is explicit and may not be suitable for your students.
It’s World Human Rights Day today, and The Guardian is bringing together some of the most damning evidence from the report on CIA torture post-9/11 here.... read more
Kirsten Dunst has made a short film with Matthew Frost exploring the role of the selfie. Show your students the film and discuss some of the issues raised:
Have a discussion about how they feel about the message in general. Can they... read more
Malorie Blackman recently called on young people to remix great works of literature. Choosing from creative writing, comic strips, cover designs, trailers or music the aim is to reignite students’ creative sparks. It's a competition open to 13-19 year... read more
Read the article about Bob Geldof’s Band Aid 30 single release to help your students understand a non-fiction persuasive text.
Ask students to comment on Bob Geldof’s language. How is he trying to build support for the cause?... read more
Use the popular John Lewis Christmas advert to support some media and non-fiction activities.
Watch the 2014 advert. Analyse the advert using the conventional techniques, e.g. soundtrack, types of shot, colours used, overall... read more
Speaking and listening | discussion | feminism | gender | equality | video | PSHE | topical debate
Show students this short Youtube clip of an actor walking through the streets of New York and being subjected to numerous cat-calls and comments.
Ask students for their initial thoughts/reactions.
Then use these to prepare, in groups, for a... read more
The Into Film Festival is coming up soon (4-21 November) and includes free trips to the cinema and a range of film screenings as well as film-making opportunities. Films and resources appropriate to the English curriculum include: Much Ado About Nothing,... read more
With Remembrance day coming up, use the following presentation from BBC iWonder to explore issues of mental health.
Think about WW1 and the conditions that the soldiers would have had to endure. How might this have affected soldiers... read more
Use Emma Watson's recent UN speech to spark feminist discussion.
Before you watch the video get students to discuss what feminism means to them. Have they seen or read anything in the news recently related to feminism – what are their thoughts... read more
This article is the first in a series to be published by the Guardian, written by young people in the run up to the UK 2015 general election. It’s ideal for getting your students talking about how the election might impact them – especially if they... read more
These ‘creepiest abandoned places from around the globe’ are perfect for kick-starting discussion, triggering creative writing or getting students to think about how a carefully chosen setting can impact powerfully on a narrative.
A good starter... read more
Use the following photos to explore how children live around the world.
Ask your students to draw their bedroom and label the drawing, paying particular attention to the bits that ‘represent’ them – this could be a picture on the wall, or... read more
Play this video of images from the latest Travel Photographer of the Year competition to transport your students' imaginations. NB. Some of the images are graphic.
Print out some of the images and display these around the... read more
Analyse two articles - one from the Daily Mail and one from the Independent - on the same subject, focusing on language.
Depending on your school's context and your students' backgrounds, discuss their thoughts on immigration... read more
Use this video from The Guardian to support a research task on recycling or a video making activity.
After watching, discuss how students get rid of their rubbish. Do they recycle? Do they have any systems set up at home? Could... read more
Use this BBC video about a photo project to spark discussion and explore female stereotypes.
Before you watch the video, have a general discussion about how women are generally portrayed in the media today. Do they think women... read more
Planet Earth has a twin exoplanet, known as Kepler-186f, orbiting in another solar system. Use this article from the Guardian as a jumping off point for a range of KS3 activities.
Speaking and Listening:
After reading or summarising... read more
Watch the video and generate discussion about what Luke Cameron is doing and the issues it might raise.
Open up a broad discussion. Why do you think he’s doing this? Is it solely to be ‘kind’ or might there be other reasons?... read more
Get your students inspired and excited about poetry by showing them some of Kate Tempest's work. This particular poem focuses on what Shakespeare means to her.
Discuss their thoughts on the poem. Did they like it? Were they... read more
Extend students' understanding of the English Language with this fascinating insight into the process of phonological change.
As a pre-reading activity, ask students for their own mispronunciations and malapropisms, and share... read more
Read the letter that 16 year old Jenni Herd has written to The Times (also printed in The Guardian), expressing her exasperation at how young people are portrayed in the media.
Have an open and general discussion about whether... read more
Use this Telegraph article, arguing ‘for’ and ‘against’ a ban of children from museums, to analyse and practise persuasive writing.
Click to read the article.
After reading the article, have a general discussion... read more
Use this video from the BBC, reporting on the discovery of the first human footprints found outside of Africa, to inspire creative writing.
Click here to watch the video
Students could imagine the first human on Earth... read more
A number of powerful climate change adverts for students to analyse. Would work well with KS3 or 4.
Click to see the adverts
Show students the videos/images and ask them to explain which is their favourite and why. Which... read more
Use this restaurant review to analyse the language used and then get students to write their own.
Click to read The Telegraph review
Make a Wordle with an extract of the review. Display the Wordle and ask students... read more
A fun (and slightly eye-watering) feature which lists the 20 most expensive cities in the world. This could be used with KS3 classes for speaking and listening activities or research tasks.
Assign each student (or each... read more
The following activities focus on a humorous, obviously biased article. It is perfect for language analysis at KS4 or with a media focus exploring the differences between online and print content.
Click to read the Independent article
Teaching... read more
This article looks at people in 2013 who have made an impact of some kind. It would work well with KS3 classes and offers plenty of writing opportunities.
Click to read the Guardian article
Read through the Guardian's... read more
This article explores the cost of the Royal Train and whether tax-payers' money should continue to pay for the upkeep. Would be suitable for KS4.
Click to read the Daily Mail article
Highlight the phrases / words which... read more
A selection of awe-inspiring photos from the Wildlife Photographers of the Year provides the perfect stimulus for creative writing. Suitable for KS3 and 4.
Click to see the photographs
write a piece... read more