“Baby I’m a Star”

I don’t want to stop, ’til I reach the top
Sing it (We are all a star!)

Prince – Baby I’m a Star – Purple Rain


‘You’re a Star’ – I’ve said it to many people over the years. The title of this blog quite literally means to praise someone’s efforts, especially by way of thanks. And this blog is a sort of re-payment for all the kindness other teachers who share resources that have taken a long time to put together. I pay back their #sharingiscaring by way of sharing my most popular requests and a big mushy – we are all a star!

Why is this blog different to “Extraordinary” – well they were my favourite steals and swipes from other people.

This blog is a collection, 14 to be exact, of “my” most commonly requested lessons/resources, from now on, you can just come here and download! You can download and edit as you see fit, or adapt for your own KS, topic or students.


1 Where can Alevels take you?!


A PDF of various careers (18 I think) that can be used to promote A-level English Language or Literature.

Where can ALevels take you?! PDF

2 Board Games

If you’re looking for a revision activity or set of end of term lessons to consolidate learning in a different way, try these board games. The images are from google so I can’t take credit. Students need to come up with questions, character and themes from texts studied. Here’s the instructions – I printed off, gave one to each ‘group’ and also kept 1 slide on whiteboard.

Students made dice themselves (using math skills!), counters, money etc from coloured paper. Board templates

3 Newspapers

I like this lesson a lot. You can use with any text or theme you want. Here’s the resources I used for Of Mice and Men:


4 Speaking & Listening task

Getting students to talk, when you want, isn’t that easy. This is a persuasive S&L lesson. The ‘mat’ is the main resource/part of the lesson. When I made it, the objective was students could work their way around the edges of the mat to get a higher grade/band/level. My main purpose was individually each student writes a line using a persuasive technique, then put together in their groups to make a paragraph. At the end one person from each group to read our the ‘whole’ paragraph. You can then ‘tick’ individual, group, progress etc. But it does need you to circulate a bit with this.


5 Writing to Argue

Fairly straightforward lesson – pick a subject that gets students twitchy! The age rating on games such as COD etc is a good one. At the end they have to write an argument for or against using ideas from the lesson.


6 Shakespeare

This lesson gets students thinking about Shakespeare on stage as a performance. For this I get students in groups. It’s simple – they have to match up the quotes to the image (fairly straightforward). I get groups to cut up the quotes and images, pick one set each then stick in their book; the difficult part comes when they have to justify their ideas in a paragraph.


7 Zombie Apocalypse

This is actually my colleague @sarahruain lesson. She ran at the end of a unit with writing tasks, group work and a S&L presentation from students at the end. She gave it to me: It’s mine now!

8 Resources (one off)

Yes, yes, yes I know in “Gold” I said how much I now dislike many time wasting resources. I still agree with that statement, it doesn’t mean I completely hate them, just the novelty has worn off a bit! Here are some resources I’ve used over time that I regularly share with my department. Some I saved as PDFs some word doc, so you can either re-create or edit.


9 Wall Display


Sorry not a lesson but this gets a special mention because I still LOVE it. The idea came from @JamesTheo originally – if you go to his twitter page, follow link to his blog, his original version is there. I totally stole it and adapted for my school with his permission.

  • Display Here you have the terms (I printed A5)
  • Display 2 Here you have some literature extracts with a technique for Students to spot.


10 Newspaper Bias

This goes without saying, this lesson needs handling with care! I can’t find the ppt I had to go with the lesson, but it would be easy to put one together. Also there are loads of clips on youtube to go with this. It is a great lesson to teach bias.


11 War poetry

So many great poems/lessons to pick from, I decided on this one because students had a fantastic debate at the end.

For this particular lesson I used War Photographer (you can easily find poem online) mainly because of stanza 2 (BBC Bitesize explains). I put the first image of the ppt up on the whiteboard and ask students what did they think was happening. Towards the end of lesson (after briefly analysing each line/stanza – without giving too much away) I put up the last image. This final piece of the learning puzzle gave way to some excellent debate about war/children and the poem. Students re-evaluated their understanding of the poem with this final piece.


12 Library reading passports (yr 7 and 8)


I adapted the passport from a twitter resource  tweeted. We use these as a summer reading challenge in years 7 and 8. I revamped our library SOW. Has to be pointed out my HOD heavily edited the final version, but here’s my original SOW for 7 and 8, you can edit however you want.

13 Looking at mood and atmosphere in a non-fiction text


Non fiction text can be difficult to analyse. I did this lesson with year 8, to improve their skills at analysing language in groups. Basically put into groups (I only photocopied 1 page of the text, otherwise too much copying), then each person had a task to complete. At the end the class came together for a big think/pair/share. The video clip I used was on youtube under mood/atmosphere.


14 KS3 Read list

I know it’s not a lesson – but a lot of people asked for this. I made it up June 2016.


15 Assembly idea

I did this assembly to encourage students to accept responsibility for their own learning. The ‘chat’ behind it was “no matter what your ‘background’ story is, only you are responsible for changing things and your own learning!”

I probably should clarify, the first slide of celebs all had a type of learning difficulty at school, the second slide all came from troubled backgrounds. The video can be found on youtube.




2 thoughts on ““Baby I’m a Star”

  1. The fresh idea is here). I have read the post with great satisfaction and even could know
    something brand new I will use for my further requirements.
    The article is clear and bright, with no further worthless facts
    or else, it reminded me https://savefridaynightlights.com/preparing-sources-for-a-research-paper/. The speech is both brilliant and vivid, so the more I read,
    the more I really do enjoy it! Anyway, the information is rather cutting-edge,
    so just like it.


  2. Pingback: “Betcha by golly wow” | alwayslearningweb

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s