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Paper 1: sample responses27 April 2021

Sample paper 1 responsesLinked from this page are a range of paper 1 responses with teacher marks and comments. It is important for teachers and students to look at a range of examples so that you become... more

Global Issues23 November 2019

The final Individual Oral is a complex and challenging task so students need focused and scaffolded practice on the different elements of what they are asked to do in this assessment. A central part of... more

Paper 13 February 2020

Paper 1, the first of two external examination papers, is now called Guided Literary Analysis for both HL and SL students. In this examination students will be given two unseen passages, each from a... more

Paper 1: sample guiding questions30 October 2020

For paper 1, guided literary analysis, students are given two unseen literary passages which can come from any of the four literary forms on the Prescribed Reading List: drama, poetry, prose fiction and... more

'Seeing' the unseen4 April 2017

Whether it is literature, music, painting, dance, architecture, or indeed any kind of art, the response you have when you see a work for the first time is a vital part of the way you 'see' it finally.... more

Structuring the oral26 July 2021

Organising the Individual Oral Presentation is no easy task. There are many factors to bear in mind and many decisions to make in order for the assessment to score as highly as possible. Students might... more

Reading unseen passages4 April 2017

Elsewhere in this section of the site is the (repeated) recommendation that skills in responding to unseen texts are improved when students learn to break down the various means through which they are... more

10 Tips for Paper 110 October 2020

The following 10 tips are designed to help students adopt a systematic and effective approach to Paper 1, the Guided Literary Analysis. Many of these strategies focus on what happens in that first, crucial... more

HL essay exemplar 5: The Handmaid's Talefree28 August 2021

HL Essay Exemplar 5: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The sample essay is available as a PDF and can also be seen by clicking on the icon below. Sample HL Essay: 'The Handmaid's Tale' more

20 lesson starters...5 February 2019

There can be little doubt that the opening few minutes of any lesson make a big difference to the quality of learning that will subsequently take place. Opening moments are vital to establish an atmosphere... more

Introduction to literary analysis: talking about thinking21 January 2017

In order to encourage awareness of the differences between so called ‘lower’ and ‘higher’ order thinking skills, try to highlight some of the following simple principles with your students. more

Responses to prose fiction8 May 2021

Paper 1 responses to prose fictionFor many Literature students, prose fiction is their path into literature and remains their preferred genre for independent reading. However, while fictional prose is... more

Non-fiction sample extracts22 April 2021

Finding suitable extracts of non-fiction for use in Paper 1 can sometimes be a challenge. On this page, therefore, is a selection of extracts, along with guiding questions, for you to use - whether in... more

Getting to know your new class...8 September 2018

Meeting new classes at the start of an academic year is always exciting and one goal for any teacher in the first few lessons is to get to know the individuals they will be teaching over the next two... more

Paper 1 sample response #1214 August 2021

Higher Level response to Campbell of Kilmhor by J. A. FergusonThis is a response to the Drama text used on the first examination of the new Literature course in May 2021. While the passage is short and... more

10 steps to help you prepare for the IO27 November 2020

This page is for students and includes a 10 step guide to help them prepare for their Individual Oral. This guide is a suggested approach and is not the only way to produce a successful IO; many students... more

Identity 26 August 2019

Identity is one of 7 concepts that underpin teaching and learning in the English A: Literature Course. Linking to the 3 areas of exploration, these ideas allow students to make points of connection and... more

Individual oral: sample extracts and outline6 January 2020

The requirements for the Individual Oral, as outlined in the guide and the TSM published by the IB, present teachers and students with some challenges when it comes to preparing and practising for the... more

Higher Level Essay23 September 2019

It is clear from the guidance on the Higher Level essay that this assignment should be set up and conducted as an independent inquiry, with students developing ideas from their learner portfolio into... more

Properties of language21 January 2017

Although the course in no way demands close analysis of the linguistic properties of literary language, a fairly 'scientific' examination of the linguistic means through which texts are constructed can... more

The Learner Portfolio - a guide for students20 May 2019

While students will have experience of keeping a record of their work for English, whether in note books or on computer, the concept of the learner portfolio will be a new one for them and will require... more

Individual Oral: further advice21 May 2021

The Internal Assessment individual oral is clearly a challenging task. Students are asked to fulfil a number of objectives that bring together different ways of thinking about, as well as responding to,... more

Practise Paper 1 Skills: poetry3 December 2016

Poetry is typically seen by students as something 'difficult', abstruse or even indecipherable. It is not unusual, for this reason, to hear students say that they approach Paper 1 determined to choose... more

Individual Oral question bank1 May 2020

After a student has delivered their individual oral for ten minutes, the teacher is required to ask questions for a further five minutes. Some students may also need help before the ten minute mark, while... more

Individual Oral exemplar #2: The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea and The Turning26 August 2021

This oral is a good one to play for students as it illustrates many of the qualities that examiners look for, although it is not without flaws that they will hopefully spot. The candidate engages thoughtfully... more

HL Essay: a guide for self/peer review6 February 2021

A guide for self/peer review This page is designed for students as a guide to help them review their essay, or for peer review of essays before submission.These guidelines can also be downloaded as a... more

The 4 C’s, adapted for Literature 10 June 2017

The 4C’s is a thinking routine from the excellent Making Thinking Visible book by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church and Karin Morrison, designed to help students organise their thoughts in response to a text... more

A lesson on narrative voice and perspective13 September 2020

This is a fundamental question - arguably the fundamental question - when faced with any prose text, as David Lodge explains:“The choice of the point(s) of view from which the story is told...fundamentally... more

The 12 step approach to any poem 8 July 2021

"You can’t write a poem out of emotion only, there must be insight."As well as sage advice for aspiring poets, Philip Larkin's statement can also be adapted and adopted by students of Literature in... more

Synonyms for analysis17 January 2019

For many students, the challenge of the Literature course does not lie in reading, understanding or engaging with texts, but rather in articulating their appreciation with clarity, precision and sophistication.... more

The Learner Portfolio20 May 2019

As well as being a requirement for the Literature course from 2019, the Learner Portfolio is an opportunity for students to create a ‘space’ where they can analyse, explore, inquire and imagine in... more

A thinking sequence23 April 2021

When it comes to Paper 1, many teachers provide students with different kinds of 'advice' sheets, each designed to present them with some kind of structural or procedural architecture, which can be learned... more

HL Essay: final checklist13 February 2021

HL Essay: final checklist for students before submission This page is designed for students as a guide for a final check of their essay before submission.These guidelines can also be downloaded as a document... more

Reading for Character19 June 2017

It is almost a certainty that the unseen passage will contain reference to, or even focus entirely on, particular people - or characters. If it is a prose extract then you will have little or no context... more

100 Slides23 April 2020

Interrogation of the details of literary texts is something that should be happening all the time in this course - and the more frequently this takes place - of the widest variety of text types - the... more

Writing good paragraphsfree2 May 2017

Writing good paragraphs is inevitably an essential element of all good essays, and one that you will spend a good deal of time developing throughout the course. But what does it take to write them consistently... more

What is literature?2 September 2018

Many students (perhaps sadly) will arrive at the course with a number of preconceptions about the qualities of 'literary' works which, perhaps more often than not, derive more from previous teachers,... more

Reading for Action30 November 2016

The particular events of an extract are inevitably going to present you with material for comment. However, term 'Action' can be used to describe any event that creates a sense of narrative interest.... more

Perspective12 October 2019

Perspective is one of 7 concepts that underpin teaching and learning in the English A: Literature Course. Linking to the 3 areas of exploration, these ideas allow students to make points of connection... more

Inquiry questions: course example8 July 2019

As stated on the main page, one way to organise your course and to develop the sense of a course narrative, is to structure it around a series of questions. This could lend a sense of coherence and development... more

Paper 1 sample response #118 May 2021

Higher Level response to Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol BirchThe following example guided literary analysis is written in response to the prose (fiction) extract Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch and a... more

TOK: 'truth' in literary non-fiction21 August 2021

What do we mean by truth and reality in literature?Below are some suggested questions to get students thinking about literary non-fiction in relation to the Theory of Knowledge course. These could be... more

Critical thinking through painting21 January 2017

Whether you are talking about music, literature, theatre, painting or indeed any kind of art, it is important to practise different ways of thinking - both in terms of the so called 'lower' levels as... more

Course Requirements Tracker 17 June 2019

One challenge with designing your course is making sure that all the requirements are met; this is particularly true as we start this new course (first teaching 2019) because there have been significant... more

Intertextuality: text choices8 December 2019

No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. In many ways, of course, any literary... more

Structuring essaysfree12 May 2017

Organising ideas in essays and then presenting them in a meaningful, developed manner is one of the most challenging technical elements of the course - but success with structure is an essential means... more

Different kinds of readings30 November 2016

In addition to thinking about literature in different ways, talking and writing about it can vary accordingly. So called 'reading practices' invoke different methods we might adopt in relation to literary... more

The literature classroom: some basics2 May 2017

The IB programmes of study make explicit allusion to the notion of cognitive and affective development - the former being a description of the ways in which students make progress in academic knowledge... more

Creating student accounts24 October 2018

Many of the pages on this site are accessible to students, and some are actually addressed to them. The information below explains how to provide your students with the means to use the site; if there... more

Writing introductions30 January 2017

It hardly needs pointing out how important the opening of any essay is. This is the first thing of course that your teacher or examiner will read, and it is where the first impression of your writing... more