One of the resources that we are using for KS3 is the Twinkl Website. I know it has traditionally being thought of as a resource for primary years but they have created quite an impressive Secondary section. I must admit there are some areas of their Secondary site that we tend to use more than others (just the way it works out) and one of my favourite sections has to be their English Literature section. I really Love this section. Whenever we are choosing new books I always look at this section for inspiration and resources. And I must admit I don’t just stick to the KS3 section we have actually downloaded and used book resources from the KS4 section already (Pride and Prejudice and Romeo and Juliet)
They have split the Literature menu into logical subsections
- Modern Literature
- Literacy Heritage (this is where we find a lot of the resources that we use)
- Author Studies
What I tend to do is once we have selected a book I go onto the site and download the entire unit of work for that book (and I really do mean I download everything linked to that book). I do this so I can look through the resources beforehand and get a good feeling for what they have but also because once or twice they have included a resource under a certain lesson when I would have rather had it included somewhere else (completely personal preference). But by spending a little bit of time looking at the whole unit you get a better understanding of where you are going and what (if any) tweaks you might want to make. Because that is the beauty of these units, it is up to you how you use them. Some of the units we have worked through and done each and every suggested lesson, but more often we tend to focus on certain lessons in the unit, often downloading extra resources from the site to extend it or sometimes even using an outside resource with it. But that is one of the reasons why I like this format as much as I do, you pick the lessons, you pick what you want to print and you pick if you want to extend it. It is a suggested unit, a suggested framework which you can use as you want.
Each lesson comes with a PowerPoint explanation and normally at least one suggested activity of some sort (often a lot more than one). I really appreciate these PowerPoint explanation docs that they create. They include explanations about words, events and characters (depending on the story) and very often have something in them that makes my daughter think about an event or character in a slightly different way.
When I say we sometimes extend the lessons what I mean is we will often find a History element to a story – possibly a time period in which the story is set and then we will spend a bit of time going through the History linked to the story. Or sometimes we find something in the story – possibly a figurative language tool that someones picks up and then we might want to discuss something like Alliteration and then I will find extra resources on that. Which is why I find having the whole site at my disposal so incredibly useful I can quickly search for that Historical period or that language tool and find an activity on it.
I am still getting to know all the resources on the Secondary side of the Twinkl site (they are always adding new ones) but so far I must admit I have been very impressed with their English Literature units. We have used a few already and I have downloaded our next unit so it is ready and waiting (We are going to be doing A Midsummer’s Night Dream Next).