'The Tempest' can be confusing for students, however there are excellent resources available to support student understanding of this great play.
This is an extension resource (or, rather, it is a collection of resources hyperlinked from one document) to support students studying Robert Frost for the first time. It is particularly designed for students studying Robert Frost's poems 'Tuft of Flowers', 'Mending Wall', 'Home Burial', 'After Apple-Picking', 'Fire and Ice' and 'Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening'. However, it includes resources on how to analyse poetry, Robert Frost's poetry generally, common themes and messages in his work, and more. As such, it is a valuable resource for any student, tutor or teacher seeking to gain or facilitate a deeper understanding of Robert Frost and his poetry. Just $0.90 or more (pay what you like, but Sellfy only allows $0.90 as the minimum) on our Sellfy store!
This is an introduction to the Area of Study: Discovery for use by students, tutors, parents and teachers. It includes activities (you will need to have a printed copy of the rubric, which is available for free on the BOSTES site) and a list of 20 sample related texts that students can consider. I have tried to come up with some variety with this list and to include some unique examples that will surprise markers and help students' essays to stand out from the crowd.
Wilfred Owen's powerful war poem 'Mental Cases' has recently been taken off the HSC reading list for Standard English, and I couldn’t be happier. This is one of my favourite of Wilfred Owen’s poems. It is extremely powerful and I don’t know of a single person who remained unaffected by a good reading of it. I recite this poem with my year 9 classes each year when we cover WWI and it is regularly met with silent awe. Coming from large groups of hard-to-please fifteen year olds, that should tell you something of its enduring power.
The reason I’m so happy about this is that it means we can now use it as a related text for discovery. It covers unexpected discovery, provocative and challenging discoveries, transformative discoveries, and it leads us as the audience to share vicariously in the narrator’ discovery about the negative and ongoing consequences of wartime experiences on individuals.
This resource analyses the poem in depth from a discovery view point. It includes sample analytical paragraph responses that can help students to learn how to present their analyses effectively in an English essay. If you would like a similar resource to be created from the lens of a different concept please contact our team.
New Studies of Religion (yr 11/12) resource available: 'Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the Covenant (intro)'
A new resource is available for Studies of Religion students, tutors and home school parents that focuses on introducing the concept of the covenant between God and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It includes analyses of passages of the Torah, detailed explanations and independent and group (optional) activities. It has been used in the classroom setting and as a homework activity.
It is not easy, and would work well as both a guided introduction in the classroom and as an extension activity (or series of activities, as it i a 12 page resource split into sections examining each figure). Students will need an introductory lesson that includes a verbal overview, but this is very useful to clarify key points and to extend students' understanding and interest in this area. This resource was developed in response to common questions that arose in class discussions with year 11 students, and so may at times go further into certain points than might be necessary, but I found that it helped students to look to the text and learn how to read more critically than they otherwise might. I found students gained interest and confidence from this approach. This includes a lot of information, annotation of texts, questions and activities. It can be used as a class resource, homework resource, or a combination of both.
I've talked about Irlen Syndrome before - in fact, there is an entire page on Irlen Syndrome on this website. But I'd like to take the time to refocus on it here.
Irlen Syndrome is similar to Dyslexia, and it is actually incredibly common (approximately 20% of people are expected to have it, and about 50% of people with reading difficulties). To put it (probably too) simply, it is a visual processing issue caused by difficulty processing certain wavelengths of light. This difficulty can result in a variety of symptoms, and each individual might have a different mix or different levels of these (and more) symptoms:
We have a new worksheet/skills test available for those wishing to extend their students' skills and confidence in this area. I use this resource to help extend advanced year 4 students who are preparing to take the Selective Schools entrance exam and for those who need extension. I also use it with year 5 students who are not advanced in order to help increase their skills, understanding and confidence. It is designed to expose students to a variety of question types and terminology that is necessary to understand in maths in order to further support their understanding.The resource is only US$2 and comes with an answer sheet and a teacher's guide for beginning teachers, home schooling parents or casual teachers. Please note that this is a zip file, however if you prefer to be sent a word document or PDF files instead, we would be happy to arrange that.
New resource available, suitable for Studies of Religion (NSW Preliminary course), Australian History (focusing on Indigenous Australians), Aboriginal Studies or Elective History classes looking at Indigenous societies and cultures.
This is directly based on the Catalyst documentary 'Australia - The Dreaming', which is available through Avenue Education and various libraries in Australia. However, the questions could easily be adapted or given as research questions for independent or group work research tasks.
The product includes the worksheet itself and an answer sheet and includes questions that go beyond merely regurgitating facts heard int he documentary, as it encourages students to think a little more deeply about what they have watched.
Homework article analysis on the place of body art in Aboriginal spirituality - challenging but scaffolded, with answers.
This is an activity that can be used as an independent learning lesson for a casual or as a homework task for grades 11 & 12. It focuses on Australian Aboriginal spirituality and aims to lead students to a deeper understanding of the diversity of the Dreaming and the role of symbolism and art in Aboriginal spirituality. It was created as a challenging homework task for gifted and talented students undertaking Studies of Religion at the NSW preliminary level in Australia. It would be suitable for older students studying Aboriginal spirituality and Aboriginal culture.
The resource includes a detailed answer sheet.
Reporting season can be incredibly tough at the best of times. You have extra demands on your time and aren't usually given any extra time to complete the task. For new teachers, however, it can be overwhelming. That's why we've created support in the form of 30 sample comment points that can be used to create valuable, meaningful report comments while at the same time saving you a great deal of valuable and all-too scant time. The document concludes with five complete sample comments for fictional students of high, average and low ability/performance levels to illustrate how these points work together to create varied, but meaningful and valuable feedback. This resource costs USD$4 and would suit secondary teachers in the junior years (7-10). They would also be useful for elementary school level students and other educational systems.
This resource outlines a lesson activity that could be made to extend for a full class period (45 minutes to 1 hr). It focuses on using Wilfred Owen's 'Mental Cases' as a primary source to examine the psychological impact of WWI on soldiers. It includes detailed annotations and explanations of the techniques in the poem and would also suit English teachers/tutors looking at analysing this poem for Standard English (NSW HSC) or other courses. To view and purchase this product for $US4.00, please click here.
Here comes the Medieval fun!!
I've been designing a year 8 unit on the Middle Ages, so you will see a number of resources posted relating to this topic over the following weeks. This particular resource provides an overview of the barbarian invasions and the fall of Rome, and encourages students to reflect on the impact this had on the lives of the people living in the area at the time, as well as just how this time became known as the 'dark ages.'
Please note: This post is intended for current or future year twelve students, or for their friends, parents or caregivers. If you have received your HSC (or other final examination equivalent) and you haven't got the ATAR (or equivalent) you were hoping for (or that you need), please click here for a more relevant post for you.
The thought of life after school can be extremely daunting. "The future" looms large and intimidating when you're in year 12. Once you leave, it just kind of rolls around in such a way that you barely notice the years going by. It seems scary and unknowable now but life has a way of working out, especially if you tackle it with equal measures of planning and flexibility.
Click 'read more' for a brief analysis of Siegfried Sassoon's 'Does it Matter?', which is often studied by students as part of a unit on war of as Close Study of Text. It makes a great related text for anyone studying Wilfred Owen, and it is excellent for English-minded people who are trying to wrap their minds around the physical and psychological effects of WWI on soldiers. If you are the latter, I thoroughly recommend you read Wilfred Owen's poetry, too. Please keep in mind that there is more to this poem - make sure you analyse it in detail yourself if you have an assignment due.
Quite often students come to us without good related texts for the HSC Area of Study 'Belonging', and with no clue as to how to find and analyse a suitable text on short notice. The TransAmerica film poster is an extremely valuable related text for Belonging. There are a few different versions of the film poster, so make sure you follow this link to the relevant poster.
The TransAmerica film poster explores the idea that individuals often experience a conflict between the desire to belong to a group – which requires conformity – and the desire to maintain a sense of self-belonging. The poster depicts a person standing with their back towards the camera, facing two bathroom doors, one male and one female. The pose suggests inner conflict and indecisiveness, which is further reinforced by the lack of movement suggested in the image. This is explained by the title TransAmerica, which reveals that this figure is a transgendered person facing the conflict between their own desires and their society's expectations. This text highlights the state of confusion and lack of belonging that individuals often experience when they don’t conform to society’s expectations of gender and behaviour. It also reveals the conflict between the need to conform to society’s rules and expectations and the desire to stay true to ones own sense of self...
These days I find that my mind gravitates to HSC texts in my down time. Sad, I know. Recently, I've been thinking about the significance of the ghost in Hamlet, and I've come to a few conclusions that I thought I'd share here. Basically, I've come to the conclusion that the ghost may well be the original cause of the 'rottenness' of Denmark. This is only a brief post - if you were to use this argument, I would recommend you find all the relevant quotes to support your argument. If you'd like a more in-depth study guide on this, or an essay scaffold, please keep an eye on our online store or register your interest.
In the play, it becomes clear that Claudius' corruption is destroying the kingdom. This is shown through the motif of disease and the use of language associated with disease and corruption throughout the play. It is also evident in the description of Claudius as a drunkard. The audience is then led to the conclusion that in order for order and balance to be restored to the kingdom, the source of corruption - Claudius - must be removed. This justifies Hamlet's quest for vengeance and supports the idea that his vengeance has divine sanction (which is originally suggested by his interaction with the ghost - more on that later)...
Here is a brief introductory profile of Herodotus to help get you started with History Extension. I recommend that you add to it - look for quotes, research Herodotus a bit more and make sure you go through any and all class notes you receive for this topic. I cannot stress that enough. Welcome to History Extension!
Recently, I've been working with a year 12 student on analysing Cosi and coming up with strategies to help with essay planning. It can be difficult to think up a good line of argument sometimes, and the prospect of writing an essay can be quite daunting to many students. However, if you break the process up into smaller more manageable tasks, you may find the process substantially easier.
For an essay on the exploration of insanity/mental illness, we went through a variety of essay prompts for Cosi and chose three that seemed similar but led us to think about different aspects of the play. The introduction is often the thing that stumps many students. Searching for similar essay questions/prompts can also help you to come up with some ideas for thesis statements and introductory points. At this point, a draft introduction is a lot less difficult, and once the body of the essay has been completed the introduction can be refined further.
Hellenistic religion is extremely difficult to define, given the diversity of peoples and cultures that made up the Hellenistic kingdoms. However, if we choose to look at traditional Greek religion (Olympian religion), as being the traditional religion of the Hellenistic kingdoms, it becomes easier to examine any shifts in the presentation of religions and draw conclusions about the cultural, social and historical significance of such changes.
I've just recently completed a short essay on the use of symbolism in 'The Dead' and 'A Wet Day,' and out of interest spent some time googling the two. There seems to be an unfortunate lack of interest in these stories, at least in terms of blog posts, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts. Please note that these stories are full of symbolism, and I've only focused very briefly on a few examples. If you have any specific requests, questions or suggestions, feel free to contact us.
Joyce uses symbolism throughout his short story ‘The Dead’ to highlight the dichotomous themes of Ireland’s loss of cultural influence and her loss of cultural independence. Joyce uses music to symbolise a state of cultural paralysis that exists as a result of a combination of the oppression of the individual at the hands of Western civilisation, the Irish Catholic Church and Ireland’s own inflexibility. The discussion of Julia’s losing her place on the choir highlights these separate yet interlinked concerns by introducing the idea that Julia is being silenced or stifled by Irish society and the Irish Catholic religion.
Our primary contributor is Elissa, who is a qualified high school teacher and Irlen Screener.