Topic: Lessons

Classroom lesson plans and interactive smart board activities.

Tense in narrative: Activity 1

Activity 1: Tense consistency

Look at the following short passages. For each one, identify where the tense changes incorrectly, and then write a correct version which continues with the tense used at the start of the passage.

Tense in narrative: Activity 2

Activity 2: Past to present

The following extract uses past tense narration. Rewrite the extract, changing to present tense narration throughout. Take care to be consistent.

The dread came from nowhere. Without warning, my flesh began to crawl. I felt the hairs on my scalp prickle and rise. I couldn't see anything except the bear post and its cairn of stones, but my body braced itself. It knew.

Tense in narrative: Activity 3

Activity 3: Present to past

Now try reversing the process. This extract uses present tense narration, so rewrite it using past tense narration.

Panting, I fight my way out of the sleeping bag. The torch slips from my fingers and blinks out. Whimpering, I fall to my knees and grope for it. I can't find it. Can't see my hands in front of my face.

Again, compare the two versions. Does the change of tense have an effect?

Texting language

In this lesson, students explore the features of texting language, from a linguistic perspective.

Goals

  • Discuss texting language from a linguistic perspective.
  • Define some key linguistic terms relevant to texting language.

Lesson Plan

Part 1

Texting language: Activity

Text 1 Text 2

Hey Gems,how ru?How was last nite?Hope u had a gd time..;)I herd the party was rele bad…ppl had an awful time!I guess I shud b glad I didn’t go afta all…tbXx

Free Msg; Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To apply free reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP

The second-person pronoun and textual effects

Exploring the use of you in different texts

In this lesson, students explore the potential readerly 'effects' of the second-person pronoun you.

The use of tense in sports commentaries

This activity looks at the use of tense in two descriptions of the same event: a football match. Students are asked to think about why different tenses used, and what kind of role they play in creating the meaning of the text.

Using noun phrases to build worlds

Learn how writers use language to create rich and vivid mental images

How do writers use language to create images in your mind? Read this extract and think very consciously about the kinds of images the language is conjuring up for you.

A rustle in the tunnel darkness; the knife was in his hand, and then it was no longer in his hand, and it was quivering gently almost thirty feet away. He walked over to his knife and picked it up by the hilt. There was a gray rat impaled on the blade, its mouth opening and closing impotently as the life fled. He crushed its skull between finger and thumb. (Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere)

Variation and standards

In this lesson we ask students to think about variation in language - including reflections on their own language and the language around them.

Variation and standards: Activity

  • How is the way you speak English different from the way your parents speak English?
  • How is it different from the way your teachers speak English?
  • How is it different from the way the Queen speaks English?
  • How is it different from the English of the BBC?
  • How is it different from the English of Eastenders, Coronation Street, or Rastamouse?
  • How is it different from the English of Hollywood movies?

Verb endings

In this activity we will look at suffixes which change adjectives and nouns into verbs. This process is a part of derivational morphology

Verb identification

In this activity, students work through the criteria for identifying verbs.

Goals

  • Practise identifying verbs.
  • Recognise linguistic criteria for identifying verbs.
  • Remember the list of verb criteria for use and application later on.

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students move beyond what is called the notional or semantic way of identifying verbs as 'doing words' to explore grammatical ways of identifying verbs. (You can listen to Bas Aarts discuss this.)

Verb identification: Activity 1

Which words do you think are verbs?

Verb identification: Activity 2

He played cricket with Charlie.

Is played a verb?

  • Is it a doing word?
  • Can it show tense? Can you say Yesterday, I ____ed, for example?
  • Does it add -s to agree with a Subject like he or she, as in He ___s.
  • Can it take an -ing ending?

He played cricket with Charlie.

Is cricket a verb?

Verb images

This lesson asks students to think about tense and aspect, what they mean, and how else we can communicate those meanings.

Goals

  • Identify verb tense and aspect. 
  • Explain the meaning of verb tense and aspect. 
  • Use multimodal literacy skills to present information from words as pictures. 

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will be describing some pictures using language, and then drawing some pictures to describe language.

Verb images: Activity

The girls are rehearsing a song.

Several boys were playing football.

Sally has studied French for three years.

John has been studying French for one hour.

 

Verbs in fiction

Exploring verb choices in different literary texts

In this lesson, students identify verbs in fictional extracts and discuss the value of choosing verbs carefully in their own writing.

Verbs in fiction: Activity

Verbs in persuasive language

In this lesson, students will analyse persuasive language in a charity appeal, and then write their own charity appeal. There is a particular focus on the way modal auxiliary verbs can be used to persuade.

Goals

  • Identify modal auxiliary verbs.
  • Analyse persuasive language.
  • Practise writing persuasively.

Lesson Plan

Activity 1

Verbs in persuasive language: Activity 1

Activity 1

Identify the modal verbs in this extract by clicking on them, then check your score at the end.

Verbs in persuasive language: Activity 3

Activity 3

Write your own charity appeal, using the source material below. It is a statement from a charity about their aims and methods. Make use of a range of persuasive devices, including modal verbs.

The "Live Not Exist" charity has been set up with the following key aims:

Word choice

Why do writers use some words and not others? This lesson looks at word choice options, both grammatical and semantic.

Word choice: Activity 1

What word would you place in the blank slot?

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