Tag Archives: The Knife of Never Letting Go activities

Knife of Never Letting Go, Storyboards.

Y9 are making a short advertisement for the book.  Their storyboards are here for them to refer to:

storyboard 3

storyboard 1

storyboard 2

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Filed under KS4, prose, Uncategorized

Reading and discussing literature: what we lose if Speaking and Listening is taken from the curriculum

The video link attached to this post is one I made in class last week. In it, three members of Year 9 (aged 13-14) discuss the novel The Knife of Never Letting Go. The model which was used when preparing was the BBC Radio 4 programme “A good read” and my students rose to the challenge well. I would be fascinated to receive some extra feedback to share with them!
My point is that since I work in a school which offers the Edexcel Certificate – IGCSE for state sector schools – I still have to prepare students for 10% of their final grade in Speaking and Listening. Meanwhile, this discipline is to vanish from the standard GCSE requirements.

Since it is important both in terms of developing children and giving them the tools to survive in the outside world AND it is important because it has the potential to improve GCSE grades, my department and I devote considerable time to honing the skills – hence beginning in Year 9 to promote good practice and to deliver substantial pieces of oral work. I really hope that colleagues find time to listen to the work shown here, featuring Yasoda, Zeeshan and Ritvik. They start slowly, but this develops beautifully. The film is unedited and the entire class had been given one hour-long lesson to prepare their thoughts, before being chosen at random. This sort of activity is threatened by the removal of the requirement to examine S+L- after all, to hear a class of 29 took well over a week of lessons!

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Filed under EDEXCEL CERTIFICATE, EDEXCEL CERTIFICATE, GCSE support, Paedagogy, teacher training

Twitter in action in the classroom


Do you use Twitter?

Many teachers do use social networking as a valuable source of CPD. Events like the brilliant and inspirational #TLAB14 exist through Twitter and the range of comment and discussion is often spectacular.

Yesterday it really worked.

The document attached shows two responses from authors whose work I am reading with years 9 & 8. Lovely work had been produced, so I copied it and tweeted to Patrick Ness (@patrick_ness) and Tim Bowler (@tim_bowler). The texts being read are The Knife of Never Letting Go, in 9, and Starseeker, in 8.

Within the lessons… a reply and retweet. Brilliant affirmation of hard work by the students and a reminder that authors are real people and alive!

My resource plans are below:
lesson 1-16

knife of activities guide

a reading guide to The Knife of never letting go

teaching outline

activity booklet starseeker

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Filed under Paedagogy, teacher training, writing skills

Knife of Never Letting Go Role on Wall

Year 9: here are three of your role on wall tasks to download and save. I think these are great, with real engagement with the text and subtext. Well done, Mathangi, Kavi and Aman.

todd by viola

The purpose here is to chat Viola’s feelings about Todd, up to the end of chapter 10. Todd has only just realised that Viola has been able to hear his Noise. The students needed to chart the noise she has heard (inside) and her reaction to it (outside)


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Knife of never letting go, final thoughts

The final thoughts rest with my class – 9EY3! Here are a selection of reviews and trailers for the book. I hope you enjoy these as much as they did.
All in all, I am very glad that i found this text and that I had the luck of a group of boys who really entered into the spirit of the work I devised. I hope that should Patrick Ness stumble across my study guide or awful attempt to represent him in interview, that hew won’t be too angry! I have not edited the reviews in any way, for public consumption – there are little errors- the enthusiasm wins through.

So, go ahead! The material works and the book enthrals.


review_on_the_knife_of_never_letting_go sajh


and the film clips: http://www.evernote.com/shard/s211/sh/ddb827b1-6b2c-43c1-9870-8250db2e26fd/d00f4cd3f03de0460c06498174e58713


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Tension graph – chapter 31 NONLG

Year 9 have been working on tension tracking in the novel Knife of Never Letting Go.

The graph sheets are here to download to sue as preparation for the task: “How does Ness create tension in Chapter 31?”

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Cricket in the classroom: an idea

My year 9 class (all male) are hugely enthusiastic about cricket. As I write this, the England/India ICC final is being ruined by the weather, so I thought I might bring my own cricket into the classroom.
Question cricket requires the preparation of a good “over” of 6 questions by each member of the class. This means that they must also prepare full answers to their questions.

I shall divide the class into teams and ask team captains to choose bowlers and batsmen based on a quick look at the available questions. Captains shall name their bowlers and arrange an order for the bowling attack of 5 bowlers. Meanwhile, the batting side shall do the same and arrange their batting line up. I have stipulated a maximum number of deliveries to be faced by any batsman to ensure that all the class end up taking part in some way.

Questions are posed to the batsman who has a time limit in which to reply. If he is correct he scores runs, based on the detail and accuracy of his response. If he is incorrect then he is out. During the game, all students should be taking notes to remind themselves of responses.

I hope that this will be fun and a good way to revise the text we are studying, whilst ensuring that the students get used to delivering detailed responses in full sentences when speaking in class.

question cricket

It worked: scorecard

One benefit for the teacher here was the fact that I could tell very easily which students had indeed completed the reading required. A couple of wickets fell to innocuous questions because the batsmen had not read as far as they should have done. I was also interested that some of the feedback focused on the pressure to deliver a good, full answer. I see no issue with this -neither did the boys – since it ensures that every now and then pressure that might mimic the examination room enters the classroom.


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Knife of Never Letting Go: Innocence and experience work

Year 9 charts to outline Todd’s “journey to manhood” in sections 1-3. This activity is not in the original work book, and provided a good opportunity for the boys to work together to generate ideas.

Todd innocence experience 1-3

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The Knife of Never Letting Go: Teaching ideas

I will update these resources as I write them. Meanwhile:
lesson 1-16

work in progress… powerpoint for lessons 1-16, to be used with the activities guide:

knife of activities guide

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teaching and learning activities for The Knife of Never Letting Go.

A booklet of teaching and learning activities to be given to students reading Patrick Ness’ novel in Year 9. To be used as a homework activity booklet and a framework for students studying English Literature at KS4.

knife of activities guide

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