Teaching English by the Book is about putting great books, wonderful poems and rich texts at the heart of English teaching, transforming children’s attitudes to reading and writing and having a positive impact on learning. It offers a practical approach to teaching a text-based curriculum, full of strategies and ideas that are immediately useable in the classroom.

Written by James Clements, teacher, researcher, writer, and creator of shakespeareandmore.com, Teaching English by the Book provides effective ideas for enthusing children about literature, poetry and picturebooks. It offers techniques and activities to teach grammar, punctuation and spelling, provides support and guidance on planning lessons and units for meaningful learning, and shows how to bring texts to life through drama and the use of multimedia and film texts.

Teaching English by the Book is for all teachers who aspire to use great books to introduce children to ideas beyond their own experience, encounter concepts that have never occurred to them before, to hear and read beautiful language, and experience what it’s like to lose themselves in a story, developing a genuine love of English that will stay with them forever.

PART 1 Teaching by the book

Introduction: a case for books: putting literature at the heart of primary education

1 Choosing the right texts: exploring the potential of great books

2 The English curriculum: planning for meaningful learning

3 English lessons: creating rich units of work

PART 2 Teaching reading by the book

4 A model for teaching reading

5 Teaching reading: becoming a reader

6 Choosing to read: building an authentic reading culture

PART 3 Teaching writing by the book

7 A model for teaching writing

8 Teaching writing: learning to be a writer

9 Teaching grammar and punctuation: using language features for effect

PART 4 Teaching English by the book

10 Spoken language: the importance of oracy

11 Drama: bringing texts to life

12 Multimedia and fi lm texts: developing visual literacy

Appendix I: Text-based curriculum map

Appendix II: The Labours of Hercules unit plan

Appendix III: Recommended books