Discussing the Conceptual in English: A Concrete Classroom Strategy

It all too easy sometimes to get lost in the small stuff of textual analysis. The micro. The single words and images. This is, it goes without saying, key to any literary discussion, but so is the macro. The big stuff. The conceptual. How might we build into our classroom routines more opportunity for such... Continue Reading →

A Resonance Index: Harnessing the Affective in English

When thinking about English and English teaching I like the word ‘resonance’. It seems to me to capture so much of what good English teaching and thinking is about.  When we read ourselves, no doubt, we traverse the texts for little light bulb moments, moments of insight and connection. We’ve all experienced this: ‘Ah, that... Continue Reading →

Brief Notes on the Concept of Solastalgia

Earlier today I was reading, or rather listening, to Rob MacFarlane’s excellent book Underland when I came across a fasctaining concept that I wanted to share, and that I think will have a lot of mileage with various GCSE and A Level texts.  The concept is that of ‘solastalgia’, which, as MacFarlane outlines, comes from... Continue Reading →

Resonant Reading: A Poetry Reading Strategy

Before outlining this strategy to help students to encounter and explore a poem, first a question: when teaching poetry, what is the appropriate weight to give to our own interpretation of the poem? I think this is a really interesting question. Presumably, before we teach a poem we read and think about it first, perhaps... Continue Reading →

A Model Response for GCSE Unseen Poetry: At Sea & The Sands of Dee

The Question In ‘At Sea’ how does the poet present ideas about loss?  [24 marks] In both ‘At Sea and ‘The Sands of Dee’ the speakers describe ideas about the power of the sea. What are the similarities and/or differences between the ways the poets present these ideas?                                             [8 marks] The Response Thematically speaking,... Continue Reading →

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