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Would It Be Different If…

I’m currently working my way through an excellent series of Massolit lectures by John McRae that looks at unseen poetry. They’re great, really useful for teachers preparing unseen poetry, with lots of excellent choices and ways of framing an encounter with them. However, I’ve been especially struck by a question John McRae asks across several... Continue Reading →

Just a Flashcard and a Visualiser: An English Lesson

I’ve used this lesson a few times now for different classes and texts and it always works well. It is super simple and low prep so I thought I would share. Here’s what you need to prepare in advance: 1. A set of mini flashcards or PPT slide with a selection of key images/quotations from... Continue Reading →

Poetry Communicates Before It Is Understood

Recently whilst reading an article in NATE’s excellent Teaching English I came across this from TS Eliot: ‘Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood’. I think this is a fascinating idea to contemplate. First, I’m interesting in the qualifier ‘genuine’. Does this therefore imply in Eliot’s mind there is genuine and then disingenuous poetry?... Continue Reading →

Atomic Post: Analysing Enjambment and Alliteration

Students often like to write about enjambment and alliteration, likely because they’re very easy to identify, but they rarely do so well. Often points about these two poetic strategies might align to something related to flow, making the reader want to read on, or the alliteration of ‘a’ somehow and inexplicably mimicking something that the... Continue Reading →

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