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 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

the
table
now
is
filthy

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 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:

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

Goals

  • 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 ouit 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.

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