Follower by Seamus Heaney - teaching resource

Follower by Seamus Heaney Teaching Resources

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This two-lesson mini-unit of work explores Seamus Heaney’s ‘Follower’ in detail. Designed to teach pupils studying the AQA GCSE English Literature Love and Relationships Anthology, this resource analyses the poem in depth and explains how to write a comparative essay in the exam. 

The resource is made up of a 72-slide editable PowerPoint presentation and 10 worksheets. The two lessons contain the following:

Lesson One

Making predictions – From the title alone, what do you think the poem is about?

Context – Learning the importance of context. How knowledge of context helps us understand the poem in detail. Here we explore Heaney and the disappearing world of traditional Irish rural life

First Contact – An initial reading of the poem with a glossary included and comprehension questions with answers to assess understanding. 

Exploring Meaning – Analysing the poem in detail. Exploring key quotes and discussing them with comprehensive questions that delve deeper. Model answers are provided.

Essay Writing – An essay question task to assess initial understanding. Includes a model answer and peer assessment opportunities.


Lesson Two

Themes – Analysing the poem’s themes: parent/child relationships, youth, age and time, agricultural traditions and identity.

Language – Exploring Heaney’s use of language and poetic techniques. A line-by-line annotation of the poem and questions with detailed answers.

Structure and Form – How Heaney uses the lyric form, perspective, punctuation, rhyme, rhythm, and enjambment and how he organises the stanzas and uses a cyclical structure.

The GCSE Exam – How to write a comparison essay with model responses. Comparing ‘Follower’ with ‘Climbing My Grandfather’, ‘Mother, Any Distance’ and ‘Eden Rock’.

To preview the full resource (view all slides and worksheets), click on the images.

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AQA GCSE English Anthology - Love and Relationships Poetry

AQA GCSE English Anthology - Love and Relationships Poetry


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