When I teach what I love

Apologies for my hiatus, but I have the chaotic beginning of a school year as my excuse. But, I feel as if I am just starting to find a balance in my life, and with that balance comes a moment of time to pen a post.

This term I have found myself teaching what I love (thanks to a great school and department!). And that is, you may have guessed, Fantasy. I love Fantasy, my year nines love fantasy – I feel like I have a winning combination! I have focused the unit on the Fantasy genre as a whole, and have chosen The Hobbit; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe; and Northern Lights to compliment the unit. Why three books? Because all students are different – there is a huge range of reading and writing abilities in just one class – so I have chosen those books to meet range of abilities. I organised the groups myself, and so far, there have been no complaints from students.

My aim is to focus on the Fantasy genre, and as we do, students will bring to the lessons their own knowledge, and connect the taught content with the novel they are reading.

The first few days of the unit were spent introducing Fantasy, activating prior knowledge of what the already know about the genre, and looking at the conventions of Fantasy. On Thursday we did a really fun task, which involved watching the Lord of The Rings trailer. As students watched, the had to identify the Fantasy conventions:

Who is the hero? The helpers? The villain?

Where and when was it set?

What was the quest?

What magic is there?

What magical animals are there?

What is the destiny of the hero?

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