Neutral Tones - AQA - teaching resource

Neutral Tones - AQA Teaching Resources

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Neutral Tones - AQA 

This two-lesson mini-unit explores Thomas Hardy’s ‘Neutral Tones’ in detail. Designed to teach pupils studying the poem at GCSE with the AQA exam board, this resource analyses the poem in depth and explains how to write an essay comparing it to another poem. 

The resource is made up of a 64-slide editable PowerPoint presentation and 8 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 Hardy, his world view and his literary influences.

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: love, loss, memory and emotional trauma.

Language – Exploring Hardy’s use of language, poetic techniques and the semantic field. Includes an exploration of imagery and a line-by-line annotation of the poem and questions with detailed answers.

Structure and Form – How Hardy 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 ‘Neutral Tones’ with ‘When We Two Parted’ and ‘Winter Swans’.

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

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