Posts Tagged ‘lesson plans’

Last year our school moved to a Vertical Curriculum style program – this means that our English classes, which run for a semester, all follow a particular theme. The year nine class I ended up with was the Crime and Mystery class – typically one of the few genres I don’t read very much (although I love Midsummer Murders, Poirot, Miss Marple etc on the telly!) So I found it pretty hard to get my head around what I would cover and how I might build in the usual text analysis skills etc I was used to covering in a ‘normal’ year nine class.

In the end I decided to begin by looking at how narratives are created (I might post that later….) and then moved into an examination of crime fiction itself. I have included here the first unit of work – we looked at the conventions of crime fiction in a general way, then looked at one of the very first examples of crime fiction – The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Poe, which included the students creating a multi- media project – then moved onto The Hound of the Baskervilles (fantastic story – theresourcehound naturally loves this one….). I have included here a power point which outlines the genre’s features; a conventions of crime fiction checklist we used a lot in class to ‘pick the stories to pieces’, and the broad outline of what I  did in class. (aimed for anyway!) Plus the task sheet for the Murder’s in the Rue Morgue activity – I have adapted this in different ways depending on the equipment available at the time – if you can think of different ways to do this please let us know.

Crime Fiction – what’s it all about

Crime Fiction unit outline

Conventions of crime stories checklist

Interviewing the witnesses video task

As we were not able to purchase any new resources for our new subjects I relied a lot on online versions, including audio – there are lots of Sherlock Holmes stories available. When you look at the outline of the unit you will see I make mention of class sets and library resources – obviously you may not have access to these specific titles, but if you are a teacher you are most likely used to (like the resourcehound) digging around until you find what you need…..



Following an older post about creating poetry mash-ups in class I had a request for further information on how I actually taught this. This power point outlines the basic lesson and might be of help. I have also included a copy of the poem ‘Stealing’ by Carol Ann Duffy, it is one of my favorites.


As the government begins its roll out of computers for every child it would be prudent to stop and consider what expectations regarding ‘online’ class behaviour we might have as teachers. We need to think about the management of computers (they are far more interesting than us for many students – imagine that!), for example how will you get students attention? Will there be key phrases you will use to signal expected actions? What will the consequence be if a student misuses one? What if they don’t bring them to class etc?

What we also need to consider is how we will teach students to be good digital citizens. Obviously much of what we teach in class now is aimed at preparing students for ‘the real world’ and while it might be done indirectly we are teaching them good ‘social behaviours’. The online world has its own set of rules and expectations – its own set of ethics – that students must be made aware of and, in a lot of cases, directly taught. Plagiarism is a prime example. We all know that ‘cut and paste’ is the answer for many students when you set them a research assignment. It is up to teachers to consider what aspects of being a good digital citizen we need to teach.

Not sure where to start? Glad you asked –

This site has sections for teachers, parents and kids. A search under the teachers link reveals good lesson plans that include all the handouts and resources you will need. Examples of lesson plans include Digital Values and a good one on plagiarism. It is a UK site but still highly relevent to our schools.

It will also be useful for staff who need a place to start getting a handle on what digital citizenship is all about – start by viewing the short film that explains what it is (hint – use the link for medium quality version to get it to play).

Well worth thinking about and well worth a visit.