Topic: 'A' level

Relevant for England and Wales National Curriculum at 'A' level (Key Stage 5).

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

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?

Word choice: Activity 2

Read this extract from a novel and think about the ways in which the writer has chosen specific words to convey his description.

My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables, and rats that scampered along the beams above my head. But I remember well enough the day of the horse sale. The terror of it stayed with me all my life.

From Michael Morpurgo, Warhorse

Word clouds in action

Goals

  • Examine a poem as a corpus, like a body of linguistic data.
  • Linguistically analyse the words used in a poem.
  • Create a word list based on a poem.
  • Present linguistic findings visually using Wordle.

Lesson Plan

Wordle is a simple corpus tool which allows you to paste in text and create a ‘word cloud’ that displays the frequency of words by their relative size in a cloud.

Word frequency

What are the most frequently used words in English? And could we do without them?

Word frequency: Activity

The 10 most common English words are:

the

of

and

a

in

to

it

is/was

I

for

Can you answer the following questions without using these 10 words?

World Englishes debate

This is a challenging lesson that can be a fantastic springboard for discussion with more able students. How do we decide whether regional, non-standard English is acceptable or not, and what role does context play?

World Englishes debate: Activity

In 1991, Professor Randolph Quirk and Professor Braj Kachru published articles in English Today debating the value of World Englishes.

Prof. Quirk argued that we must have a strong standard for English that does not allow for incorrect vocabulary or grammar.

Prof. Kachru argued that English must serve different purposes for millions of people around the world, and therefore, because a single standard is impossible, we must appreciate the variation in English worldwide.

Where do you stand?

Writing with different sentence types

In this lesson, students explore the effects of using different types of sentences, such as simple sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences. In the National Curriculum compound sentences and complex sentences are now lumped together as multi-clause sentences.

Writing with tense and aspect

This lesson asks students to apply theirr understanding of tense, aspect, and time to structure passages of writing.

Goals

  • Arrange sentences in order based on tense and aspect in the sentences.
  • Practise ordering and re-ordering sentences in various ways using tense and aspect to convey the appropriate order of events.

Lesson Plan

The teacher explains that today, we will arrange a passage of writing and explore expressions of time in English.

Writing with tense and aspect: Activity 2

Here is the outline sequence of events (don’t forget that you can add more):

Active or passive voice?

Are the following constructions active or passive?

Adverb or adjective?

Work out whether the highlighted word is an adverb or an adjective

In each of the following examples, indicate whether the highlighted word is an adverb or an adjective:

Agents or non-agents?

In each of these examples the Subject is highlighted. For each one, decide whether or not the Subject identifies an agent (or more than one agent) who carries out an action.

Aspect and tense

Look at the highlighted verb phrase in each example, then decide which category of tense and aspect to place it in.

Direct Object or Subject Complement?

Is the highlighted Complement a Direct Object or a Subject Complement?

Finite or nonfinite?

In each of the following sentences, indicate whether the highlighted verb is finite or nonfinite.

Identify the adjective phrase Head

Find the Head word (the most pivotal word) of each highlighted phrase

In each example an adjective phrase is marked in square brackets. Identify the Head word of each phrase by clicking on it.

Identify the adjectives

Click on the words that you think are adjectives to select or deselect them.

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