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English Tutors - Useful Texts

Hi all!

I tend to find that I have a few different extracts and poems that are fantastic for different age ranges and abilities. I just thought it would be nice to share ideas for resources that we have found really useful. I am always looking for poems, in particular, that students enjoy studying and that work well for a range of students.

My go to poems are: The Listeners, The Raven and The Eagle.

My go to fiction extracts are from Peter Pan (the introduction of Captain Hook), Great Expectations (the description of Miss Havisham) and A Monster Calls (first meeting with the monster).

My go to non-fiction extracts are from Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the UN, an extract from her autobiography describing her old house and new house, King George’s speech about WWII, The MLK ‘I have a dream’ speech and an article about a haunted house that I found ages ago that I like. :sweat_smile:

What poems or extracts do you find really useful?

1 Like

‘The Listeners’ is an incredible poem! I love teaching it as well.

I mostly teach History but I also do some side hustling as an English tutor because I love it so much!

My go-to poem is ‘The Tyger’ by William Blake. You can tailor a lesson to Year 7s all the way up to A-level, depending on what kind of angle you take. Ditto with ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’. I love teaching poetry in themes- World War I and the Romantics are my favourites.

I’m a bit of a Shakespeare nut so most of my students will have to study Shakespeare at some point. My favourites to teach are ‘MacBeth’ and ‘Much Ado’. Another play I love to teach is ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. With regards to novels, I always teach ‘Private Peaceful’ to my Year 7s, it’s my go-to book. I love teaching Gothic literature to my Year 9s, so I’ll rake through various novels and pick out some good extracts- ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein’ are obvious classics there.

I love the suggestions for non-fiction texts, Heather! Until now, I’ve never really had any go-to extracts, so I’ll definitely be checking out your suggestions.

Really, I don’t think you can go wrong teaching English! I love how versatile it is and how many different options there are!


Oh I love doing Dulce et Decorum est. I like teaching it close to Who’s for the Game.
I love Macbeth and Much Ado too. I also love Taking of the Shrew. Fab one to teach and get kids interested.
I love gothic too! Frankenstein and Dracula are both ones I always come back to. Language can be a bit heavy for lower ability, but fab for mid to high.
I also absolutely love Jekyll and Hyde!