Key Concept: Perspective

In our first unit for grade 7 English this year we will be using PERSPECTIVE as our key concept. Before we started digging in to this big idea, we had a brief discussion about what we already think we know.

perspectiveFollowing this, we had a look through the following presentation, completing a ‘See: Think’ routine and then added to our earlier ideas.

So in conclusion, we decided that PERSPECTIVE is… how different people see, think and feel about things, depending on their point of view.



Concepts vs. Topics: What’s the Difference?

Today in class we discussed the difference between a concept and a topic.  After some discussion, we came up with the following ideas…


So basically, concepts are big ideas that are timeless, universal, and can relate to many of our subjects at school, whereas topics are more about specific times, people, things and places.

We then had an in-depth discussion about the following image – is Dinosaurs a concept or a topic? Have a look at the drawing and decide…

dinosaur analogy

We decided that as dinosaurs are not timeless, nor universal, they are a topic.  We also brainstormed possible concepts that could be studied in relation to dinosaurs, and we came up with ideas such as evolution and change.  Cool huh?

Finally, have a look at some of the words below. Concepts are listed on the left, whereas topics are listed on the right. Keep an eye out for more big ideas and ask your teachers what key concepts you will be learning about this year!

concepts vs topics

Image credit: IBO MYP Language and Literature Guide (Next Chapter)


“Globe-Trekkers!” Travel writing and international mindedness

Today we started our final G8 English unit.  We will be exploring a range of travel writing – just in time for our summer holidays!  In order to ‘tune in’ to this topic, students considered the unit question and wrote some tentative ideas in the comments section.  Have a look and tell us what you think!


“Fiction over Fact!” Getting creative with true stories.

Today we introduced our final unit entitled ‘Fiction over Fact!” Getting creative with true stories.  A brief summary of our unit follows:


Following a brief tuning in exercise, where we used the ‘See: Think: Wonder’ routine to begin investigating some sources connected to our upcoming texts, we brainstormed some tentative answers to the unit question.  Have a look at the following Google presentation – it seemed as though student responses fell into one (or more) of four categories:


Analysing Texts – ‘The Big 5’

To analyse means to break down in order to bring out the essential elements or structure.

 1. Audience and Purpose
Context of composition

– Describe the time and place that this text was produced in.
– Who wrote the text?
– Why was the text produced? (purpose)  What makes you say this?

Intended audience
– Who was this text aimed at?  How can you tell?

Context of interpretation / reception
– What are your circumstances? (time and place)
– How do these factors influence your reading of the text?

2. Content and Theme
Content is what is in a text.  Themes are more what a text is about (big ideas).

 – Describe what is going on in the text (key features).
– What is this text about?
– What is the author’s message?
– What is the significance of the text to its audience?
– What is the text actually saying?

3. Tone and Mood
Tone refers to the implied attitude of the author of a text and the ‘voice’ which shows this attitude.  Mood refers more to the emotional atmosphere that is produced for a reader when experiencing a text.

– What is the writer’s tone?
– How does the author sound?
– What kind of diction does the author use to create this tone?
– How does the text make the reader feel? (mood)
– How does the diction contribute to this effect?

4. Stylistic Devices
Style refers to the ‘how’ of a text – how do the writers say whatever it is that they say? (e.g. rhetorical devices, diction, figurative language, syntax etc…)

– What stylistic devices does the writer use?  What effects do these devices have on a reader?

5. Structure / Layout
Structure refers to the form of a text.

– What kind of text is it?  What features let you know this?
– What structural conventions for that text type are used?
– Does this text conform to, or deviate from, the standard conventions for that particular text type?

Schools of literary criticism

While it may not be that useful at the moment, the following site will definitely come in handy when we begin to look at literature later this year.

There are also handy guides on reading, analysing and writing poetry.  Also, there is a section on subject-specific writing that may come in handy for other subjects.

Have a look when you get some time.  I hope it comes in handy later this year!


Learning how to learn: one stop resource!

Looking to learn some useful techniques on how to manage your time?  How about some tips on research?  Or maybe you need some help with reading and writing?

Whatever it is you are looking to improve, you can find it at the following site.  It really is a great collection that addresses many approaches to learning.

Check it out, and let me know if you find any part of the site particularly helpful in the comments below.


So many key linguistic terms and concepts to remember…

There are quite a number of key literary terms and concepts out there, and we come across these unfamiliar terms quite frequently.  This is a nice glossary to consult for reliable and useful information (much better than the Internet, which can be quite inconsistent!).

Abrams, Meyer H., and Geoffrey Galt. Harpham. A Glossary of Literary Terms. Tenth Edition ed. Boston, Mass. [u.a.: Thomson Wadsworth, 2012. Print.

If you happen to find a reliable Internet site, post it in the comments section below!