COVID-19 Links & Resources

Posted by boo11 at Apr 01, 2020 04:45 PM |
We have put together links to resources and activities to help support our members, parents, students, and teachers during this period. Updated 6 January 2021

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Shakespeare Teachers' Conversation

A hundred people from all over the world joined the recent 'Teaching Anti-Racism through Shakespeare' Shakespeare Teachers' Conversation, which featured Ayanna Thompson (Arizona State University) and Laura Turchi (University of Houston).  They discussed the importance of addressing race and identity in Shakespeare courses and also talked about learning conditions in the pandemic. The event was organised by Gill Woods (Birkbeck, University of London).

Watch a recording of this event and follow along on Twitter at #ShakeRace.

Shakespeare Teachers' Conversation - 29 May 2020

We're delighted that two of our very own Fellows - Jenny Stevens and Gill Woods - have organised the first online Shakespeare Teachers' Conversation, to take place at 10am GMT on Friday 29th May.  Liam Semler (University of Sydney) and Jenny Stevens (English Association) will discuss teaching in our socially distanced moment.  They'll be talking about teaching without a final examination, performance-led approaches, the gift of education, and #ShaxRedrawn.  Anyone teaching Shakespeare at any level is very welcome!

Watch a recording of the session

Future Englishes and Higher Education - 5 June 2020

Hosted by Professor Katy Shaw (Northumbria University), this one-hour session will provide space to connect with other members who are interested in looking to the future of English in HE. The discussion will be informal, and you’ll have chance to talk about the issues that matter to you. We’re keen to focus on looking ahead and finding opportunities for hopefulness in the face of challenging times. Below we suggest some prompts for discussion, and we invite you to suggest other questions when you register:

  • If you could change one thing about the discipline of English, what would it be?
  • What books, novels, plays, etc. are sustaining you at the moment and why?
  • How might higher education respond to the covid crisis in positive ways?
  • What are your thoughts on the British Academy’s research in the Qualified for the Future report?
  • What message would you like to give to all sixth-form students who are considering their degree options at the moment?

This event will take place on Zoom. Once you've registered for a ticket, you will receive information on how to join the meeting.

Request access to members-only resource

Have young people gone off English? - 1 July 2020

Why have young people gone off English? With A-level enrolment in English subjects down by about a quarter in less than 10 years and English degree course recruitment in similar decline, many people are wondering what has happened to English studies. Is it the allure of STEM subjects? Misperceptions about the value of an English degree? Or has something gone wrong with GCSE English? And, crucially, what can we do to reverse the decline?

Join an online discussion with English Association Chair of Trustees Rob Penman and expert witnesses Professor David Duff, Dr Sean McEvoy and Dr Jenny Stevens.

Request access to members - only resource

Just for fun!

  • Wordoku - Solve the Wordoku so that each box, and all horizontal and vertical lines, contain the letters to spell Education. The letters can appear in any order, apart from one diagonal line, which needs to correctly spell "education".
  • Book BingoWe've developed Book Bingo to help inspire reading at all ages, including children, young people and adults. We hope it will encourage players to read different genres for their own personal reading, or it can be turned into a social experience where people can play with others to finish a line of 5 and hit BINGO! Let us know if you discover anything in the books you read that surprises you by tweeting us @englishassoc!
  • Poetry Wordsearch: test your knowledge of poetry terminology with our wordsearch: can you solve the clues and find all the words? Here are the answers - no cheating!
  • Penguin book cover generator: create your very own Penguin classics!
  • The British Library: create your very own miniature books
  • Manchester Children's University have some wonderful KS2 resources to help support learning at home and in schools.

  • Why not take a look at Authorfy and check out their creative activities?


Primary Education (children aged 1 - 11)

The English Association Primary resources page offers a variety of resources:
  • Book reviews - be inspired by our reviews of books for children ages 0 to 11. There are hundreds of reviews to read, and we're sure you'll find something you like. *Useful for parents looking for high-quality literature to read at home*
  • Cinderella of the Nile: Planning of effective literacy units using high quality children’s literature by Sue McGonigle *Useful for newly-qualified teachers who are planning literacy units*
  • Top 5 reads - collections of favourite children's books selected by authors and education experts. Some are themed (e.g. poetry, fairytales, etc.). *Useful for parents looking for high-quality literature to read at home*

Useful for parents/home learning and teachers/remote teaching

  • IXL English - from phonics and reading comprehension to writing strategies and more, IXL helps learners develop the communication skills needed for success
  • Seussville - activities based on the popular Dr Seuss books

Secondary Education (children aged 11 - 16)

You might find the Bookmarks series particularly useful. The Bookmark pamphlet series supplements the enthusiasm of teachers and provides additional resources for readers wanting to broaden their engagement with literature. All Bookmarks are available to download free of charge.

Designed for teachers/remote teaching

  • The Joe Orton Creative Writing competition, kindly funded by Dame Vivienne Westwood, aims to teach students about Joe Orton and satire, and to show students how social and sexual inequality can be challenged through comedy. Access a free creative writing worksheet for teachers!
  • English Resources for Teachers: The EA's journal English - Drawing on the journal’s rich history of work on key texts in the canon of English literature, this issue has been designed to help teachers and students delve deeper into key exam board texts. UPDATED 1 JUNE 2020
  • The National Theatre on social media (#nationaltheatreathome). The Secondary Education Committee suggests setting tasks based on plays screened by the NT.

Useful for parents/home learning

  • The Wordsworth House website: lots of readings of Wordsworth's poems by celebrities, and children can submit their own readings too
  • The National Trust’s My Colonial Countryside project - A group of local primary school children have brought to life a series of objects from the Eastern Museum at Kedleston Hall using poems, stories and short films. Their take on the objects show the collection in a new light and are the basis for this new exhibition at Kedleston Hall

General resources: education and the pandemic

  • First News: a weekly national newspaper for children and young people
  • ABitLit: a library of conversation between researchers, performers, creatives, and makers of all sorts, where we discuss what it means to think about history, culture, and creativity
  • #AccessHEhour on Twitter: virtual coffee mornings / resources on higher education and COVID-19 (the EA doesn't check tweets to this hashtag, so we can't be responsible for any content therein)
  • Authorfy - videos and writing resources created by children's authors
  • BBC Bitesize Support - articles for older children (16 - 18) about education, school, and exams during COVID-19
  • Coronavirus: A book for children - a free digital book explaining COVID-19 for children (by Elizabeth Henner, Kate Wilson, and Nia Roberts, illus. Axel Scheffler (Nosy Crow, 2020)
  • GOV.CO.UK - specific guidance for schools and teachers
  • #Homeschooling2020 on Twitter: share stories with other people who are engaged in home learning (the EA doesn't check tweets to this hashtag, so we can't be responsible for any content therein)


General resources for teachers

Below are some links to online software and resource to help with teaching:

  • Avoiding video conferencing fatigue while working remotely - via UCL School of Management
  • The EA's journal English: The Editors of English: The Journal of the English Association warmly welcome you to this special virtual issue, designed for students and teachers of literature!  Drawing on the journal’s rich history of work on key texts in the canon of English literature, this issue has been designed to help you, whatever your level of study or teaching.
  • BBC Live Lessons - bring your subject to life with interactive lessons featuring some of the BBC's biggest brands and presenters
  • Google ClassroomClassroom helps classes communicate, save time, and stay organised
  • #twitterstaffroom - join other teachers to share ideas and thoughts (the EA doesn't check tweets to this hashtag, so we can't be responsible for any content therein)
  • Teachwire - home learning resources for Primary and Secondary
  • Young Minds - resources and materials for teachers and school staff to build their skills and make mental health and wellbeing a core, rewarding part of their job

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