2 Jul 2013


Revision for the Common Entrance Trials

Techniques to Revise:
Alliteration (see below)
Onomatopoeia (see below)
Metaphor and Simile (see below)
Personification (see below)
Pathetic Fallacy (see below)
Learn these words as they often appear in exam questions:
Vividpowerful feelings or strong, clear images

Portrays - shows, creates

Books you might like:

You can get fifteen of the James Bond books here as a set for a mere £15. My son started on Dr No and is currently chomping his way through the rest. They're less graphic than the Young Bond books but you might like to check them first to be sure that you're happy with them.

Insignia (Insignia Trilogy), S.J. Kincaid 2012 - Waterstones Children's Book Prize Teen List, also an Oxford University Press class reader

Amazon Customer Review:
'What if playing computer games could save the world... And the Government's secret weapon was you? Tom Raines is suddenly recruited into the US Army to train as a virtual reality Combatant to see if he is good enough to help fight World War Three. 

Equipped with a new computer chip in his brain, it looks like Tom might actually become somebody. But what happens when you start to question the rules? In this first book in this fast-paced trilogy, Kincaid asks significant questions concerning the use of technology and the value of human life. Perfect for fans of Anthony Horowitz and Eoin Colfer.'

My son loved this book!
He likes computer games (what boy doesn't?), this is fast-paced and was chosen by Oxford University Press as a class reader for KS3 (age 11-14). There's more substance to it than Horowitz, though it's in the same line. This will hopefully lead to some to good conversations - including some about how writers create tension.

Read 'Nettles' and pick out as many mood words as you can.

Then answer the question:
How does the poet want us to feel about the nettles. Explain your points giving as much evidence as you can.

What effect does the personification have? In other words, why does he use the idea of an 'army'?

My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I saw
White blisters beaded on his tender skin.
We soothed him till his pain was not so raw.
At last he offered us a watery grin,
And then I took my billhook, honed the blade
And went outside and slashed in fury with it
Till not a nettle in that fierce parade
Stood upright any more. And then I lit
A funeral pyre to burn the fallen dead,
But in two weeks the busy sun and rain
Had called up tall recruits behind the shed:
My son would often feel sharp wounds again

+What is Personification

NEW Homework due Friday 2 August

On paper, in ten minutes, write a description of a place which is familiar to you. Then spend five-ten minutes checking it using your targets: use 'then' (instead of 'as' in some places), full stops. Use the links below to get:
+ more interesting ways to start sentences
+ more interesting describing words
+ examples of how to describe light, colour and shade
Mongoose Question
Read a bit more of How It Works

Use this post on AND, BUT and BECAUSE to write your own 100 word story with the title: 'If I were a Millionaire I would...'
You must use the words AND, BUT and BECAUSE at least once each and not put them at the start of a sentence!

Homework - due 18/07:
Write a description of extreme weather. Try to create a strong mood.

Homework Question: How does the writer use language (words) to get across a feeling or mood at the start of the poem?

This house has been far out at sea all night,
The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,
Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet

Till day rose; then under an orange sky
The hills had new places, and wind wielded

e.g. The onomatopoeia in 'booming hills' suggests the hills are a basin, empty, stretched tight like a drum, closing him in, trapped with the noise. Where the 'woods are crashing' could suggest the smashing noise of wind, or even that the trees are moving, crashing towards and encircling him.

Pathetic fallacy is only in weather! I will test you on this next time.

We're looking at what words mean, what mood they create and why the writer has used them.

Books You May Like:
+ Going Solo
+ Insignia
+ The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
+ Hunger Games


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