Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) - Setting Descriptions!

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This engaging and informative lesson enables students to make precise interpretations of the descriptive language used by Philip Pullman in his descriptions of settings in ‘Northern Lights.’ They also learn how the depiction of settings can have a profound impact upon the tone and atmosphere of a novel, and apply this understanding (along with their knowledge of the key language devices) to form their own vivid and imaginative descriptions of places.

The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:

Understanding the power of places and settings, especially the impact that they have on atmosphere and tone;

Defining each of the different types of descriptive devices, through completing an interactive group activity;

Reading extracts from the text in which Pullman describes ‘The North’ and ‘The Bear Palace,’ and identifying the language techniques used to paint an image of place in the minds of the readers;

Analysing the effectiveness of each of Pullman’s descriptive devices;

Creating their own description of an awe-inspiring place, utilising appropriate and effective descriptive devices throughout;

Peer assessing each other’s learning attempts.

Included is:

Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;

Cards for the Card Sorting Activity;’

Extracts from Northern Lights;

‘Bear Palace’ analysis worksheet;

Writing to Describe Helpsheet

All resources are provided in Word (for easy editing) and PDF (to ensure formatting remains fixed between different computers).

There are also opportunities for group learning, speaking and listening, peer assessment, and whole class discussion.

All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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