Topic: Lessons

Classroom lesson plans and interactive smart board activities.

Adjective identification

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying adjectives.

Adjective identification: Activity 1

Which words do you think are adjectives?

Adjective identification: Activity 2

Somehow, it didn't seem wise.

Is wise an adjective?

Adverb identification

Applying the semantic and structural criteria for adverbs

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying adverbs.

Adverb identification: Activity 1

Which words do you think are adverbs? Remember the following clues:

Adverb identification: Activity 2

The feeling of hopelessness she'd experienced earlier that afternoon swept over her again.

Is earlier an adverb?

Adverb placement

In this activity, students explore the possibility of placing adverbs in various places within a sentence.

Goals

  • Practise constructing sentences with adverbs.
  • Identify a key trait of adverbs - that they can often be placed at various points in a sentence.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will be building sentences with adverbs.

Adverb placement: Activity

she
combed
quickly
her
hair

we
will
soon
have
dinner

Adverbials and positioning in clauses

Exploring the effect of adverbial placement in different texts

In this lesson, we look at ways of teaching adverbials and the different ways they can be positioned inside clauses.

Ambiguity and headlines

Newspaper headlines often compress sequences of actions into very compact structures. Sometimes the meaning becomes ambiguous as a result.

Ambiguity and headlines: Activity

Police chase driver in hospital

Violinist linked to Japan Airlines crash blossoms

BT ducks break-up with price cuts

Reagan wins on budget, but more lies ahead

Juvenile court to try shooting defendant

Analysing language choices in reviews

In this lesson, students examine word choice in a pair of published reviews.

Goals

  • Identify words with particular effects in a particular genre of English writing, the review.
  • Discuss the effects of word choice in real language in use.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will look at two published reviews and analyse the language choices that the writers made.

Analysing language choices in reviews: Activity

It’s reasonably compact, compared to most smartphones these days, with a 3.7in screen that’s slightly bigger than the iPhone’s. It looks neat enough, but when you pick it up it feels like no other phone around. The screen is slightly curved, and so are the edges of the phone. It all feels like a smooth, tactile pebble, with glossy front and matte back. It’s made from polycarbonate, that is plastic, but it’s put together like it’s one piece. Even the tiny holes on the bottom edge for the speaker are individually precision-milled.

Analysing representation - The Da Vinci Code paratext

A lesson analysing representation in an interesting short text

After the acknowledgements and immediately before the main text of the novel, The Da Vinci Code has a short text titled 'Fact' that asserts the accuracy of certain elements of the novel:

Fact:

Analysing representation in romantic fiction

Lesson plan for Mills and Boon exercise

Goal

  • Use linguistic tools to analyse representation in romantic fiction

    Lesson plan

    Gathering the noun phrases and verbs relating to particular topics in a text can be a good first step in analysing the representation of those topics. This lesson uses blurbs from the Mills & Boon website to discuss how those texts represent gender and how that might suit its readers.

    Give students the blurbs and have them read out.

  • Analysing representation in romantic fiction: Materials

    Reunited by their Secret Son by Louisa George

    It started with one night…

    Will it end with them becoming a family?

    Analysing structure in literary texts

    Exploring structure through patterns and attention

    Goals

    • Understand a method for analysing structure in literary texts.
    • Analyse the use of structure in a real text.

    Lesson plan

    • This lesson is focused on the GCSE English Language 'structure' Assessment Objective.
    • It begins by considering what is meant by 'structure', and then introduces an analytical method for exploring the structure of literary texts.
    • This approach is then applied to a short extract. 
    • Some further texts are provided at the end, for us

    Attitudes to language use, variation and change

    In this lesson, students will explore some of the different attitudes that people have towards language use, variation and change. They will be encouraged to adopt a critical approach to language study, thinking carefully about how language is intertwined with sociocultural factors. They will also be asked to reflect on their own attitudes to language.

    Attitudes to new modes

    In this lesson, students will explore new modes of communication such as texting, online chat, and Facebook, which often come in for criticism from people who believe that they are damaging the way we use language.

    Attitudes to new modes: Activity

    From a BBC News article about the expression LOL entering the dictionary:

    "There is a worrying trend of adults mimicking teen-speak," says Marie Clair of the Plain English Campaign, in the Daily Mail.

    "They [adults] are using slang words and ignoring grammar. Their language is deteriorating."

    Baby Sentences

    Goals

    • Use implicit grammatical knowledge to translate examples of infant speech into complete sentences.
    • (For older students) use explicit grammatical knowledge to identify the types of changes that have been made in translating from the original examples.

    Lesson Plan

    The teacher explains that today, we will look at some real examples of English spoken by infants, and translate it into adult speech.

    Baby Sentences: Activity

    Daddy go work

    Mummy read

    Daddy bike

    What that

    Where blanket

    Sock off

    Teddy fall

    Sammy tired

    Building characters

    Analysing the language of characters in a literary text

    Goals

    • Understand some of the ways that writers use language to create characters
    • Analyse the use of language in a literary text

    Lesson Plan

    • You could start by asking students to think about some of the ways that writers use language to create fictional characters. What makes a convincing character? What are some of their favourite characters from fiction, and why?
    • Next, talk students through the first passage from Jekyll & Hyde.

    Building characters: Activity

    This extract is from later in the novel, where Mr. Hyde attacks a stranger in the street. Read it through, and think:

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