Magazine article NATE Classroom

Clear-Sited

Magazine article NATE Classroom

Clear-Sited

Article excerpt

Cross-curricular English is laced with idiosyncrasies; it is difficult to grasp and, simultaneously, the foundation on which most of the curriculum is delivered. The question for nonspecialist teachers is where can they teach, or capitalise on, English skills?

It is quite difficult to find resources by using the 'search engine' method. There are a couple of good sites: a simple search on 'cross-curricular English' offers a couple of worthwhile sites: http://www.teachnet.com--i.e. the sister site to http:// www.teachnet-uk.org.uk. Both sites are laid out it in similar ways: they are organised around 'projects' such as 'knife crime' or 'art'. These are quite broad in scope and vary in quality. The UK site is mainly primary focused, but there are some nice one-offs if you have time to do the skimming and scanning. The Irish site, which can be accessed via a link, is better organised around phases. For 'junior phase' read 'middle school' and 'senior phase' is Year 9 upwards. Again this is a bit of a mixed-bag which is to be expected if you have so many contributors. A lively site with plenty of ideas, if nothing else!

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So in looking for cross-curricular materials for English we are thinking both about English materials to support non-English specialists (especially in secondary school, but also to a lesser extent in primary schools); and for cross-curricular projects that could be taught simultaneously in multiple subject areas. A great free site for both of these needs is http://www. defencedynamics.mod.uk/, although you have to register to get a password this is a rich site with lots of ideas. The premise of the site is that the Ministry of Defence have made available a range of videos, maps and other resources that can be used in a wide range of subject areas. It draws together RE, History, Science, English, Citizenship, Design and Technology amongst others. It is a cross-subject site of the highest calibre, in my opinion.

The resources are aimed at teachers of 14- to 16-year-olds, but there are some real gems and it is well-worth a look for all levels from primary to post-16. The site is beautifully organised--a real lesson to many web designers out there--and very easy to navigate. It boasts over 100 lesson plans and 1000 video clips (which are available to download or, if you have any storage problems, can be slipped into an online resource folder that is accessible once you have logged on. …

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