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 →

The What How Why of WHW: Introducing and Using ‘What How Why’

Several years before becoming a secondary school teacher, I taught at university whilst completing a PhD and did a lot of private tutoring on the side. I didn’t have many resources but I did have one that I would use with all of my university classes and tutees: a single side of A4 with three... Continue Reading →

A Macbeth Model Essay: Macbeth and Ambition

Starting with the extract explain how Shakespeare presents Macbeth as ambitious When considering how Shakespeare presents the character of Macbeth as ambitious one recognises this extract is a pivotal moment in the play. This is largely because the scene is the culmination of a chain of events in which Macbeth has increasingly displayed his almost... Continue Reading →

Teaching Poetry: A Step by Step Guide

Ok: first of all an admission. The title of this post, with its impossibly bold claim to distil teaching poetry into a series of neatly packaged steps, is somewhat overzealous. In a manner somewhat, and unfavourably, all too familiar to the last year, I fear it will overpromise and underdeliver. However, what it will do,... Continue Reading →

An Analysis: Love’s Philosophy

Throughout the poem Shelley refers to the speaker’s love by comparing it to natural imagery and the natural order. He uses this imagery in order to try and seduce the woman he is addressing: he is attempting to justify why the woman should be with him by referencing how nature works in the world. Thus,... Continue Reading →

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