Unseen Poetry Teaching Companion for GCSE

Unseen shouldn’t mean unprepared! Equip your class for the daunting unseen poetry component of the new English Literature GCSEs with this invaluable companion, exploring the work of a variety of poets from different time periods. Suitable for all boards!

An extensive resource, presented in a good, easy-to-follow format with information essential to studying poetry of any kind

K Young, English Teacher, AQA Examiner & Peer Reviewer

By working through the resource, students will learn and practise essential skills for analysing unseen poetry. For each poet:

Poets covered:
  1. Robert Frost
  2. Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  3. Seamus Heaney
  4. Maya Angelou
  5. Siegfried Sassoon
  6. DH Lawrence
  7. Margaret Atwood
  8. Thomas Hardy
  9. Charles Causley
  10. Sarojini Naidu
  11. Emily Dickinson
  12. Ted Hughes
  13. John Clare
  14. Edgar Allan Poe
  15. Helen Dunmore
  • Insightful and stimulating activities for a selected poem ask all the right questions
  • Examples of possible interpretations offer a starting point for independent analysis
  • An annotated sample essay shows how to tackle unseen poetry in an exam context – a range of example responses across the resource demonstrates how different levels are achieved
  • A practice question gives students a chance to develop essay-writing skills

A comprehensive, well-written guide to what you really need to succeed in this area

A Baiden, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

Engaging student tips for getting into poetry, a bank of suggested teaching ideas, and a key terms glossary complete this priceless pack.

What do teachers say about this resource? (5929)

What a lovely resource! The work that has gone into putting together such a varied selection of poetry, biography and work based on them is excellent. The activities are varied and they would enable the teachers who were using it to photocopy and go which is a great labour saver. The worksheets are also lively and interesting and I think you could easily adapt some of the resources to make them suitable for displays... As a teacher, the unseen element can be mystifying as you're never sure where to start when it comes to teaching poetry texts. Well, this provides an excellent starting point and a list of very good and varied poetry material to work from.

K Chanter, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

It allows the student to feel successful with their previous knowledge and yet challenged at the same time. Brilliant tone and a very student-friendly voice used without being patronising. I loved the sense of humour [and] I liked that the students were given ownership of how they wanted to learn...

D Mistry, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

I LOVE the biographies and many of the questions raised, key terms used and glossary... I like that such a range of poems is included.

J Stockford, English Examiner & Peer Reviewer

A comprehensive, well-written guide to what you really need to succeed in this area... I like the fact that it offers ‘suggestions’ rather than ‘answers’ with interpretations, encouraging the idea that personal response is key... The variety of activities will keep students engaged and challenged... The sample responses are excellent models for those wondering what they are aiming for and most useful for teachers as sometimes it is difficult to find time to write/locate these. The range of poetry types is also most helpful as learners with explicit knowledge of set forms will be at an advantage (at least in terms of their confidence) if they were to meet such a form on their exam... It is rigorous and comprehensive.

A Baiden, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

It is useful as it guides the student on what to look for in the poems... I liked the Quotation/Evidence/Analysis section, which will give students some ideas about what to look for in the poetry. Useful phrases to use and practice questions are interesting for poetry discussion.

S Fallon, Retired English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

This is an extensive resource, presented in a good, easy-to-follow format with information essential to studying poetry of any kind. It could be used as a generic resource for teaching the skills of analysing any poetry for any component of any examination... I also liked the fact that for each poem, a bank of quotations and possible interpretations was provided to help students begin their analysis.

K Young, English Teacher, AQA Examiner & Peer Reviewer

This is the type of resource (clear, pitched appropriately and something which wouldn’t stress/panic students) I look to include in exam packs for my students... I have reviewed this as I teach iGCSE Literature, which has an unseen poetry section in the exam... If you are looking for a resource that will build up the confidence of your students, especially if they have never tried this before or do not feel comfortable with poetry, this resource could benefit your department... There is a good range of tasks. Some shorter tasks help to break the poem down and the longer tasks demand a more detailed response from students. As a teacher, you can easily dip in and out of the resource and differentiate effectively for your students.

K Greaves, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer