Category Archives: podcast for english revision

Oral commentary: Merchant’s Tale lines 945-999

In my endeavour to focus Y12 on AO2, I recorded this today in a lesson. Please take a lesson – it was not pre-prepped and I make no apologies for the rough edges…

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Filed under OCR A level, OCR English Literature, OCR NEW English Literature, podcast for english revision, Uncategorized

Upper 6th: Dolls House/Merchants Tale discussions

There seems to be a terrible outbreak of the lurgy at school (or it might be Friday period 6).  Here is the discussion from today’s lesson about linking Ibsen and Chaucer, based on the June 2016 AS exam passage for analysis from Merchant’s tale (starting L.525).

In another reduced class, we discussed Feminist readings and the conversation took a turn into the discussion of critical theories. I am keen to remind students that all critical theories are applied after the event – Feminism, Marxism, Freudian et al…

My favourite moment here is when one student asks: “bit isn’t that unfair…”

Once again, a reminder that we are linking Chaucer and Ibsen for the OCR A level.


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Debate: THB believes Johnny Byron to be a victim of an immoral and unjust society

A class debate.  The boys worked well to display an understanding of the text and a willingness to explore all sides.

I am not convinced by the Opposition line here – surely there must be more responsibility on society than they wish to concede, but I really enjoyed this. Dig in.

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Filed under OCR A level, OCR NEW English Literature, Paedagogy, podcast for english revision

Introducing: Ibsen – A Doll’s House

This will be an A level text in the new OCR Literature course, pre 1900 poetry and drama paper. It will run alongside Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale.

doll’s house

A screencast introduction can be found here, on the JLS English Department You Tube channel
Doll’s House Introduction

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Filed under ks5, OCR A level, OCR NEW English Literature, podcast for english revision

Journey’s End intro MP3

Two audio files and a short PDF from Leicester University make up my intro pack for Sherriff’s play in Yr 9.

School and Journey’s End

Journey’s End Intro.


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Filed under EDEXCEL IGCSE, KS3/4 drama ideas, KS4, podcast for english revision

Chaucer: An introduction to the Merchant’s Tale

This powerpoint and screencast link offer an introduction to Chaucer to provide context for reading The Merchant’s Tale as part of the new OCR A level.

chaucer intro

The screencast is on the John Lyon English Department You Tube Channel:

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Filed under AQA LitB 4, OCR A level, OCR English Literature, OCR NEW English Literature, podcast for english revision

CIE: notes on a Literature passage question

The following sound file is a “give back” for my year 11s based on a close study of the following passage from All MY Sons, Act 2:

George: (To Ann) What more do you want! (There is a sound of footsteps in the house).
Ann: (turns her head suddenly toward house) Someone's coming.
Chris: (to George, quietly) You won't say anything now.
Ann: You'll go soon.  I'll call a cab.
George: You're coming with me.
Ann: And don't mention marriage, because we haven't told her yet.
George: You're coming with me.
Ann: You understand? Don't... George, you're not going to start anything now! (She hears footsteps) Shhh!
Mother enters on porch. She is dressed almost formally. Her hair is fixed. They are all turned toward her. On seeing George she raises both hands, comes down toward him.
Mother: Georgie, Georgie.
George: (he has always liked her) Hello, Kate.
Mother: (cups his face in her hands) They made an old man out of you. (Touches his hair) Look, you're grey.
George: (her pity, open and unabashed, reaches into him, and he smiles sadly) I know, I...
Mother: I told you when you went away, don't try for medals.
George: (laughs, tiredly) I didn't try, Kate. They made it very easy for me.
Mother: (actually angry) Go on. You're all alike. (To Ann) Look at him, why did you say he's fine? He looks like a ghost.
George: (relishing her solicitude) I feel alright.
Mother: I'm sick to look at you. What's the matter with your mother, why don't she feed you?
Ann: He just hasn't any appetite.
Mother: If he ate in my house he'd have an appetite. (to Ann) I pity your husband! (To George) Sit down. I'll make you a sandwich.
George: (sits with an embarrassed laugh) I'm really not hungry.
Mother: Honest to God, it breaks my heart to see what happened to all the children. How we worked and planned for you, and you end up no better than us.
George: (with deep feeling for her) You... you haven't changed at all, you know that, Kate?
Mother: None of us changed, Georgie. We all love you. Joe was just talking about the day you were born and the water got shut off. People were carrying basins from a block away... A stranger would have thought the whole block was on fire! (they laugh. She sees the juice. To Ann) Why didn't you give him some juice!
Ann: (defensively) I offered it to him.
Mother: (scoffingly) You offered it to him! (thrusting glass into George's hand) Give it to him! (To George, who is laughing) And now you're going to sit here and drink some juice... and look like something!
George: (sitting) Kate, I feel hungry already.
Chris: (proudly) She could turn Mahatma Ghandi into a heavyweight!
Mother: (to Chris, with great energy) Listen, to hell with the restaurant! I got a ham in the icebox, and frozen strawberries, and avocados, and...
Ann: Swell, I'll help you!
George: The train leaves at eight thirty, Ann.
Mother: (to Ann) You're leaving?
Chris: No, Mother, she's not...
Ann: (breaking through it, going to George) You hardly got here. Give yourself a chance to get acquainted again.
Chris: Sure, you don't even know us anymore.
Mother: Well, Chris, if they can't stay, I don't...
Chris: No, it's just a question of George, Mother, he planned on...
George: (gets up politely, nicely, for Kate's sake) Now wait a minute, Chris...
Chris: (smiling and full of command, cutting him off) If you want to go, I'll drive you to the station now, but if you're staying, no arguments while you're here.
Mother: (at last confessing the tension) Why should he argue? (she goes to him. With desperation and compassion, stroking his hair) Georgie and us have no argument. How could we have an argument, Georgie? We all got hit by the same lightning, how can you...? Did you see what happened to Larry's tree, Georgie? (She has taken his arm, and unwillingly he moves across the stage with her.) Imagine? While I was dreaming of him in the middle of the night, the wind came along and...
Lydia enters on porch. As soon as she sees him:
Lydia: Hey, Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! Georgie! (She comes down to him eagerly. She has a flowered hat in her hand, which Kate takes from her as she goes to George)
George: (As they shake hands eagerly, warmly)

The question:  How does Miller use dramatic devices and language to convey the character of mother in this extract?

150506_001  The Give back
 all my sons  The CIE marking criteria

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Filed under All my sons, CIE IGCSE, IGCSE support, KS3/4 drama ideas, KS4, podcast for english revision

I’m the king of the castle revision lecture

On Thursday I will give a lecture on Susan Hill’s I’m the King of the Castle for my yr 11 as part of their revision programmme. I will publish the MP4 file here. In the meantime, here is the PowerPoint that will form the basis of the lecture.

I found the raw materials on line a while ago and am no longer able to give credit to the original writer of these notes. I have altered the detail from time to time and obviously will be discussing my own ideas. If the original writer contacts me and asks me to credit them publicly, I will be only too glad so to do.

IKOTC setting


150423_001  This is the talk that accompanied the slides… around 30 minutes..

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Filed under CIE IGCSE, exam techniques, IGCSE support, KS4, podcast for english revision

Introducing King Lear

These three videos introduce King lear to a new Year 13 group. My focus is to consider first the nature of Kingship and then to look closely at the first two scenes of the play, to help to establish some good working practices and also to clarify the plot as it develops.

There will be more, but I do not intend to treat the whole play in this way.

I hope it is of use.
Lear 1 nature of king

lear 3

Lear 2 scene 1


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Filed under OCR A level, Paedagogy, podcast for english revision, poetry, Shakespeare

CIE IGCSE Poetry suggestions

A second post relating to the 2015 selection fro Songs of Ourselves.  In this post I have commented on Summer Farm, City Planners and Where I come from.  There are PowerPoints and a screencast link for Where I come from.  The screencast is not intended to be definitive – I hope it will provoke debate and discussion.

Summer Farm

Where I come from

City Planners version 2

Screencast link to  the John Lyon English Youtube course:

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Filed under CIE IGCSE, IGCSE support, KS4, Milton, podcast for english revision, poetry