The How To Teach Series

There are lots of educational 'resources' out there that will identify the features of different English skills students need to master in our classes. They'll tell you what's in a good text response essay or what the attributes of an effective oral presentation are. That's easy. How do you actually teach it? Much harder. At Ticking Mind our resources are different. We're interested in giving you the best quality, blow-by-blow resources on how to teach different English skills. For each of our works the criteria is this: Can you, as a teacher, pick up these activities and walk into your classroom tomorrow and use them. If the answer isn't yes, then the resource doesn't make the cut. 

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How To Teach...Students To Argue Effectively

How To Teach Students To Argue Effectively is a comprehensive introduction to strategies and resources for teaching secondary school students to think critically about debates and to employ effective language and structures to present their contentions. This book takes teachers through a comprehensive range of strategies to support students to: be engaged about why it's important to argue effectively; understand that there are different types of debates; have a range of techniques for brainstorming arguments; understand different ways to structure an argument; be able to use a number of important rhetorical techniques.  This book comes complete with a set of handouts which are classroom ready to teach different aspects of arguing effectively.

How To Teach...Students to Analyse Persuasive Language

How To Teach Students To Analyse Persuasive Language is designed as a teaching toolkit for teachers of senior secondary English students. This book includes sections on teaching students to: comprehend an opinion piece and identify the key persuasive techniques an author is using; how to analyse persuasive language rather than summarise; how to create non-formulaic language analyses. The book comes complete with handouts that are classroom ready to support students to develop their pesuasive langauge analysis skills.


How To Teach...Students To Write Quality Text Response Essays

How To Teach Students To Write Quality Text Response Essays is the most comprehensive and practical guide available to equip the English teacher with the full range of strategies they need to get their students writing the bext text response essays they can. This guide begins by giving strategies on how teachers can aid students to pull apart an essay topic in order to have a deep conceptual understanding of all that a topic is asking them to discuss. Subsequent chapters deal with strategies to help students come up with the best ideas to write about in their essay, how to structure an essay, and how teachers can support students to develop the sophistication of their writing.


How To Teach...Students To Give Engaging Oral Presentations

How do you get students to make eye contact during an oral presentation? To stop swaying on one leg? To stop speaking like an automaton and actually use a natural, engaging voice? How To Teach Students To Give Engaging Oral Presentations gives teachers a set of resources and strategies they can use to build the skill of their students to speak confidently and to engage their audience. 


How To Teach...Students To Understand And Respond To Film

Films aren't novels - but often we teach them as if they were. This guide emphasises the importance of teaching films that are good examples of some things in particular - whether it's characterisation, symbolism or its thematic message. Over many chapters How To Teach Students To Understand And Respond To Film lists dozens of films and discusses how the filmic aspect they are a good example of - genre, music, characters, imagery or themes - can be taught in way that supports students to discuss and write about films as films not just as any generic text. Like our other guides, this one is packed full of helpful and practical handouts.


How To Teach...Students Through Meaningful Feedback

Effective feedback is one of the strategies that can have the most impact upon student learning - yet it can be one of the things we find most difficult. Some of our favourite feedback phrases that we most rely upon can even have a negative impact. This booklet, filled with practical strategies and resources, takes teachers through the evidence for the impact of feedback, how having specific goals shapes meaningful feedback, different models for written feedback, alternatives to written feedback and how to build students' peer and self feedback skills.


How To Teach...Students Grammar and Punctuation In Context Meaningfully

 Grammar and punctuation instruction can make a dynamic difference to students' writing. But so often grammar instruction is carried out in isolated lessons with no real sense of purpose of what it's meant to achieve apart from vague notions that it's 'on the curriculum' or 'it makes for better writers.' This practical book gives dozens of activities that demonstrate how grammar instruction can be student centered and actually achieve our aim of improving student writing. Each unit we teach needs to have a grammatical element linked to the text type students are to write. This book gives a comprehensive range of examples of how grammar can be linked to particular text types along with many, many strategies on how to teach particular grammatical elements in ways that engage students and lead to long term recall of the information. Complete with many resources this is 'the' guide on how to teach grammar and punctuation in context.


How To Teach...Vocabulary and Spelling In The English Classroom

 A student's current academic vocabulary can be one of the most accurate predictors of their success in a school environment. The better their word knowledge - the more they'll understand and the better they'll write. What we also know, is that systematic vocabulary instruction can significantly scaffold students of all abilities in their writing. How To Teach Vocabulary and Spelling In The English Classroom tells you how this can be practically achieved. Importantly, this book makes the link between teaching spelling rules and strategies and the vocabulary lists we investigate with students over the course of a unit. Read this book to discover dozens of engaging strategies that can be used to meaningfully extend students' word understanding, improve their conceptual knowledge and better their writing.

How To Teach...Students To Proofread, Edit and Revise Their Work

Proofreading, editing and revision aren't the same thing. They're distinct skills and phases in the drafting process. Often we can use them synonymously in the classroom and be vague about what it is we really expect students to do during the drafting process and how we can help them do it. This book looks at specific strategies for teaching students how to proofread, edit and revise their work. For example, with proofreading, it looks at how we can raise student alertness to high frequency mistakes that can be made in their work; for editing, it looks at building peer capacity to provide constructive feedback; and for revision, it looks at how we can get students to actively experiment with their writing - rather than just tinkering with fixing spelling mistakes and adding the odd piece of detail. This books provides a comprehensive set of drafting strategies and is complete with handouts that are reading to go.

How To Teach... English Skills With Short Films

They may be short in length but they can be big in ideas and techniques. We tend to study feature length films and novels in the English classroom - but short films make much more sense for the time poor classroom. In the space of twelve minutes of less we can give students some powerful stimulus for reflective or creative writing, compare and contrast two or more films in terms of genre, technique and theme or have enough material for students to write a whole text response on. This guide takes teachers through over 20 short films that can freely be accessed on the internet (links included) and a range of different ways they can be used to teach writing, genre, technques and ideas in the English classroom.


How To Teach...Shakespeare

Believe it or not there's more than one way to skin a cat - and there's more than a few ways to teach Shakespeare. Of course you can read through a whole play, like Romeo and Juliet or Julius Caesar and teach it as a text response. This book has some great strategies for keeping students on track as they read through a whole play and gives ideas for activities to help students articulate more complex ideas on it once they've read it. But this book looks at other ways of teaching Shakespeare as well, such as using some of his characters' iconic speeches for analysing persuasive techniques; or looking at the creative process Shakespeare went through in adapting sources for his plays as models for students' own creative efforts; or looking at Shakespeare as an inventor of words and his place in the history of English; or just messing around with sonnets. Refresh your approach to teaching Shakespeare by taking a look at this book.

How To Teach...Students Creative Writing

Students' creative writing can often fall down because of a lack of ideas and a poorly designed assessment format that doesn't really provide them with the best medium for their writing. This book contains dozens of ideas to help students generate plot, character and setting ideas for creative narratives. It looks at how we can teach students about characterisation, narrative structure and improve their writing at a sentence and word level by meaningfully integrating grammar and vocabulary activities. Importantly, How To Teach...Creative Writing also discusses ways students can produce their best creative narrative writing in ways other than simply writing an entire short story. But this book isn't just about narrative writing. It also includes sections on descriptive writing, a whole range of activities on poetry, a select set of activities on creating picture books as well as tools and techniques teachers can use to improve students' editing and drafting skills. As always, a comprehensive set of ready-to-go handouts is included with the book that will help students develop many different creative skills.

How To Teach...Students Who Need Scaffolding In English

This text, designed for English teachers at year levels 9-12, sets out a range of strategies that scaffold and support students to achieve outcomes in text response writing, persuasive and creative writing and language analysis. It's not about simply making work easier, it's about giving students strategies that act as a bridge towards an improved outcome. Importantly, many of the activities in this book are about teaching at the micro level:  word level and sentence level strategies that address a range of different text types tand can make a significant change in the outcome of our weaker students' writing.


How To Teach...Advanced Students In English

Meaningfully extending stronger students can often seem a more daunting task than supporting weaker students. This book, for teachers of Years 9-12 English, goes beyond the entrenched paradigm that seeks to respond to the needs of advanced students in English by simply giving them more work or harder work. What is it that we do in English that really marks the difference between more sophisticated efforts and weaker pieces of work? How To Teach Advanced Students in English looks at the level of abstraction involved in typical tasks we do in reading and responding to texts, writing about ideas and producing persuasive and creative texts. The book gives a comprehensive range of activities that challenge stronger students to think and write in ways that move beyond the concrete, obvious and small picture, to the more insightful, abstract and bigger picture. Additionally, this text also looks at numerous activities that extend stronger students by requiring them to more actively experiment with the structures, words and style of the writing they produce.

100 Great Strategies To Effectively Teach Texts

At the core of the English classroom is reading and responding to texts. It's the bread and butter of the English teacher's day to day job. And the thing is, we can easily begin to do it in an uninspired way. 100 Great Strategies To Effectively Teach Texts is ideal for the new English teacher seeking ideas on how to teach novels and films or for the experienced teacher looking to refresh their practice. This comprehensive resource, which comes with dozens and dozens of photocopiable/printable handouts for instant use in the classroom, features chapters on: engaging students with texts; building students' familiarity with texts; supporting students to analyse the text; building students' capacity to respond to a text and creative text response options. Each chapters is filled with different strategies - from different learning styles, and from different levels of Bloom's taxonomy - to achieve specific purposes.


How To Prepare Your  Students For The Unit 3&4 English Exam

Apart from writing essay after essay, how do you study for English? Students can find this a difficult question to answer. This booklet provides checklists of study goals for each of the text response, context and language analysis sections of the exam - that give students specific targets to prioritise and work towards. They can't succeed in their English exam unless they know what they need to work towards. How To Prepare Your Students For The Unit 3&4 English Examalso equips the teacher with a suite of activities for revising plot, characters, themes and techniques for a text response; examples, ideas and planning procedures for different types of context responses; and for engaging in micro-practices for the language analysis. These revision tasks can become models of effective study procedures for students.

Homework, Revision and Study Strategies For Every Classroom

Homework that's busy work, study that's aimless and revision strategies that don't really work. Unfortunately this  can happen more often than not in our classes. Homework, Revision and Study Strategies For Every Classroom starts by looking at the three different types of homework we can give: checking for understanding; practising and consolidating; and extending - and procedures and tasks that can be used for each of these purposes in every subject area. Importantly, these homework tasks can become models for effective study. The second half of this book looks at how we can support students to set specific study goals and use homework and revision procedures as models of study strategies. 

Unit Planning in English for The Australian Curriculum

Implementing the Australian Curriculum in English doesn't need to be another tiresome exercise in curriculum compliancy. It can, in fact, be an an opportunity for meaningful regeneration of your Year 7-10 courses. Unit Planning in English for The Australian Curriculum is not simply another book that offers a template for unit design. This book is about the type of units we can create and how these units can respond effectively to Australian Curriculum standards in English. Each chapter of this book looks at a different unit type in detail: Thinking About The Big Idea; Understanding Genre and Text Type; Responding To Texts; and Being Critically Aware. Unit Planning in English for The Australian Curriculum provides specific examples of each different unit type as well as practical teaching strategies and ways each unit can be assessed. Importantly, this book provides a comprehensive list of suggestions about different texts that can be used to meaningfully engage with the cross curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum and the English standards which require multimodal texts to be taught. As part of its chapter on teaching grammar for the Australian Curriculum, this resource also includes a copy of How To Teach Grammar and Punctuation in Context Meaningfully.


The Practical Teacher's Thinking and Learning Activity Toolbox

Do you teach in a subject area where students need to understand procedures and process information? Of course you do - because it's every subject area. The Practical Teacher's Thinking and Learning Activity Toolbox is full-to-the-brim with activities for starting a lesson or unit, supporting students to explore and think about procedures and information more deeply during a lesson or unit, and to help students reflect back over what they've learnt at the end of a lesson or unit. The focus in this book is very much on creating independent and collaborative learners and activating students as teachers of each other. The book contains detailed descriptions and examples of a wide range of activities in different learning styles, from different subjects areas, so teachers will easily be able to see how a teaching procedure can be used in their own classroom. And most important of all - it's practical! Every strategy is a strategy teachers can use instantly in their classroom.

How To Help Students To Understand What They Read

Effective readers use a whole range of strategies at every stage of the reading process to ensure they are thinking about the text and monitoring their understanding of it. How To Help Students Understand What They Readprovides teachers with a wealth of practical activities to do in their Grades 5 through to 10 classrooms to develop students text prediction, 'during' and 'after' reading skills. This book contains detailed chapters on each three stages of the reading process: Before, During and After - and gives teachers a range of detailed examples to show exactly how each reading strategy works. Teachers will find in this book strategies that can be used as one off lessons, or as part of text response, media issues or research based units. The book comes complete with many handouts making this the ideal resource that can be used instantly in the classroom.

How To Improve Student Writing

How To Improve Student Writing covers three essential strategies that can be used in the English and Literacy classroom to improve student writing:

1) Teach vocabulary: Importantly this chapter is not only filled with great activities for building students' vocabulary, but it contains activities for showing students how they can create clusters of interesting words in their sentences.

2) Improve sentence structure: No matter how good the structure of a piece is - good writing relies on good sentences. This chapter shows teachers how to help students develop the variety and sophistication of their sentence structures.

3) Set manageable writing tasks that allow for crafting: Good writing should be read, re-read, revised and crafted - but that's impossible if teachers have no time and students have no motivation to rewrite a first draft. This chapter shows how we can set students manageable writing tasks that allow for active revision and crafting.