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Lesson Plans: English Year 8 PeaceWeavers'

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Thank you to Liz Wickins and Sarah Keenan of Margaret Beaufort Middle School for generously sharing their enthusiasm and experience of teaching this text.

These activities refer to the hardback edition, which has a different cover to the paperback. It is a good idea to have at least one copy of the hardback to compare with the paperback cover.

Lesson 1

Objectives: To discover what the book is about.

Starter: Sentence construction and accurate punctuation.

Main Activity:  Discuss the front cover and ideas about the text from the illustrations. Discuss pupils’ suggestions. Steer towards a discussion of the banners, where would they be seen? What are the slogans referring to? What could the bones be on the bottom half of the cover?

Read the blurb and discuss and compare with the original ideas about the text from the illustration.

Read and discuss the author’s note and how this will affect their understanding of the book.

Opening with a map. Why? Illustrates Maethilde’s journey and emphasises the point that it is based on historical accuracy. The use of maps makes the writing seem more “real”.

Read chapter 1 and discuss how the writing makes this section appear set in the past. Talk about the font and the language choices. Discuss the early impressions of the character and setting.

Read chapter 2 and discuss the characters and the conflict. What are the pupils’ initial impressions of Hilde?

Pupil Activity:  Make mind map of Hilde’s character. Emphasise the need for PEE: P= point, E= evidence/quote, E= explanation.

Activity may be suited to pair work

Plenary:  Discuss the pupil’s ideas about the novel opening. What has author done to “hook” the reader with the opening of the novel?

Lesson 2

Objectives: To investigate Hilde’s character.

Starter: Pupils brainstorm the features of a diary in pairs/groups.

Whole class discussion about those features and clarification if necessary.

Main Activity: Read and discuss Chapter 3

In pairs produce a summary of the chapter.

In pairs hot seat Hilde to clarify her actions and feelings e.g. why didn’t she return the brooch when she had the opportunity?


Select some pupils to role-play Hilde in front of the whole class. Ask pupils to suggest suitable open questions for this point in the text to clarify Hilde’s actions and feelings. See if the Hildes can suggest suitable explanations for their actions and ask pupils to comment on these ideas.



Produce Hilde’s diary for chapter 3.


Lesson 3

Objectives: to investigate the relationship of Maethilde and her mother.


Expanding nouns

Main Activity:

Read pages 42 – 43

In pairs role- play the characters of Maethilde and her mother or the messenger.


Pupils perform their role plays. Ask class to comment of the portrayal of the character and their understanding of them at this point in the text.


Lesson 4

Objectives - to examine the author’s use of syntax.


Use an OHT of p29. Read the description together and ask the pupils to highlight examples of long sentences to describe the treasure and short sentences to describe Hilde’s action and reaction. Discuss with the pupils the possible effect of this combination of long and short sentences.

Main Activity:

Read pages 51-53, 54, 56 and 58 and 62-68


Pupils write their own description of a precious treasure trying to repeat some of the techniques from the starter activity.


Ask pupils to read some of their ideas. Comment on their use of long and short sentences.


Lesson 5

Objectives: to investigate features of a newspaper report


Ask pupils to brainstorm the features of a newspaper report. Go through the main features as a whole class.

Main Activity:

Read and discuss chapter 7

Pick out the main details from the chapter for use in the newspaper report. Activity could be completed in pairs.


Go through main details and ask for suggestions for ideas for newspaper headlines for their story. Identify good examples that make use of puns and alliteration.


Lesson 6

Objectives: to evaluate Maeve’s character and action


Direct and indirect speech

Main activity:

Read and discuss chapter 10 p84-86


Pairs discuss Maeve’s character and answer question using PEE.


Ask pupils to discuss ideas about Maeve’s actions. Was she behaving as a responsible parent? Can her actions be defended?


Lesson 7

Objectives: to organise a report


Read the model report. Discuss the features of a report. Get pupils to jot them down.

Main Activity:

Using research on Iraq war from library lesson, in pairs pupils complete a mind map to organise the notes. Give pupils a skeleton plan with headings to follow.

This website is useful.


Go through pupils’ ideas and add to or clarify understanding of the issues and features of a report to include.


Lesson 8

Objectives: speaking and listening - discussion between Hilde and Maeve


Expanding verbs p12

Main activity:

Read and discuss p84-96

In pairs pupils role play an imaginary phone call between Hilde and Maeve.


Watch and discuss imaginary phone conversations. Look for examples where pupils have understood and conveyed ideas about the character and their justification for their actions.


Lesson 9

OHT of p29 the description of Hilde finding the treasure.

Look at the sentence structure, words used to describe the find and Hilde’s reaction.

Write own description of a special treasure.

Read to p68


Lesson 10

Brainstorm newspaper features. Use Alan Peat for guidance if necessary.

Read and discuss chapter 7

Pick out details for writing from the chapter.


Write a newspaper report about the skeleton’s discovery.


Lesson 11

Direct and indirect speech

Read and discuss chapter

Answer question about Maethilde’s character using PEE


Lesson 12

Direct and indirect speech

Read and discuss chapter

Maeve’s character using PEE


Lesson 13

Discuss report writing features

Expert group feed back


Write reports about Iraq war


Lesson 14

Starter: expanding verbs p12

Read and discuss p87-96

Role-play phone call with mum


Lesson 15

Starter: comma splicing

Chapter 12

Chart arguments for and against Iraq war


Lesson 16

Writing to argue

Discuss example and pick out text features

Identify connecting words and phrases


Discussion text about gulf war.


Lesson 17

Comma use

Pages 127 – 138

PEE Manfried’s proof of love for Maethilde

Read pages 139-155 produce whole class summary


Lesson 18

Group reading to ch21

Role play reporter interviewing Beth Sid and Policeman.


Research writer and write 10 questions for interview.


Lesson 19

Assess role plays

Mind map themes in book


Lesson 20

Read chapters 23 and 24

Personal response to the book

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:58 )