Topic: Lessons

Classroom lesson plans and interactive smart board activities.

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:


Analysing representation in romantic fiction

Lesson plan for Mills and Boon exercise


  • 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


    • 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


    • 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


    • 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:

    Building verb phrases

    In this resource we’ll look at how verb phrases can be built up by putting auxiliary verbs and main verbs together.

    Building verb phrases: Activity

    In this activity, use the interactive whiteboard to build verb phrases. Can you use all the words and make every verb phrase grammatical?

    Encourage your students to explore the meaning of the verb phrases they construct: how does the use of modal verbs affect the meaning of the main verb, for example? What about the tense?

    Drag words next to each other and they will 'snap' together. Double-click to 'unsnap'.

    Building words

    Exploring the internal structure of words


    • Identify prefixes, base words, and suffixes.
    • Build words by combining prefixes, base words, and suffixes.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of word classes by identifying the word class of the newly derived words.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of derivational morphology by using newly derived words in sentences.

    Lesson Plan

    The Activity page appears in the menu entitled 'This Unit' in the upper right.

    Building words: Activity

    In this activity, explore how words are built out of a prefix, base form and a suffix

    What meanings do different prefixes and suffixes have? Can any base form take any prefix or suffix? How can you manipulate language to create new forms? For example, deread is not an English word. What might it mean?

    Certainty and uncertainty

    Sometimes we make confident statements, while at other times we want to express some uncertainty. In this resource we will explore the expression of certainty and uncertainty. This is one of the areas of meaning we call modality.

    Certainty and uncertainty: Activity 1

    Imagine that you are not sure about the following statements, and find ways to make them sound less certain.Write three different versions for each example.

    1. Amy has gone home.
    2. I will definitely have the essay written by tomorrow.
    3. This disease is caused by a virus.
    4. The British team will win this match easily.

    Certainty and uncertainty: Activity 2

    Rank the given examples in order from most certain to most uncertain, with most certain at the top and most uncertain at the bottom. Identify the words in the examples that help to convey certainty or uncertainty. Are they modal auxiliary verbs? Adverbs? Main verbs? What conclusions can you make about the way that individual word choices affect the certainty of expressions?

    This may not be easy, and some examples may be debatable!

    Compare your rankings with somebody else. Are there any areas of disagreement?


    Changing voice


    • Practise changing voice: from active sentences to passive, and passive sentences to active.

    Lesson Plan

    The teacher explains that today, we will practise turning actives into passives, and passives into actives.

    Activity 1 in the right hand menu presents students with active sentences. Ask students to work individually, in pairs, or in groups and to write down a passive version of the sentence.

    Changing voice: Activity 1

    Two guards examined the BMW. → The BMW was examined by two guards.

    Renoir painted the same road a few months later. → The same road was painted by Renoir a few months later.

    His critics were attacking him on all sides. → He was being attacked by his critics on all sides.

    Changing voice: Activity 2

    The leader of the party is elected by the political party. → The political party elects the leader of the party.

    The full costs of their care are met by the NHS. → The NHS meets the full costs of their care.

    Classroom language and TV drama

    In this lesson, students identify and analyse elements of classroom dialogue.


    • Identify the elements of classroom dialogue.
    • Analyse some examples of real classroom language and classroom language presented on TV.
    • Analyse some elements of real classroom language at students' own school. 

    Lesson Plan

    Activities 1 and 2


    Englicious contains many resources for English language in schools, but the vast majority of them require you to register and log in first. For more information, see What is Englicious?

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