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BritLit

Each BritLit resource kit contains a text and downloadable materials to help teachers using literature in the English language classroom. Find out more about the BritLit project.

WorldWords includes interviews with writers talking about their work.

Slog's Dad

Slog's Dad is a story by the renowned British author David Almond.

One bright spring morning Slog sees his dad across the square. Nothing unusual about that, you might think, unless you knew that Slog's dad had died some time before. So who, or what did Slog really see?

This the third of the BritLit kits produced by Russian teachers under the guidance of Alan Pulverness from NILE (Norwich Institute of Language Education).
 

Britlit 10th Anniversary kit: Joha and the End of the World

This BritLit kit, written to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the project, is the first of what we hope will be many tales taken from the traditional and given a modern makeover.

Joha is a traditional figure in many North African folk tales, and frequently represents a somewhat contradictory figure - he can be fun, simple, intelligent, cunning, naïve and lucky, often all within the same story. In this story, Joha finds himself in a contemporary North African society and so the traditional story has something of a modern feeling about it.

The High Master and Little Billy Clough

The High Master and Little Billy Clough is a humorous short story written by John Waddington-Feather (born 1933), a British author who belongs to the West Yorkshire 'school' of writers.

My Daughter, The Fox

Jackie Kay's story My Daughter, The Fox gives the reader an unusual view of the mother/child relationship. As the title suggests, the narrator's daughter isn't human, but the feelings generated between mother and daughter are universal and so the scene is set for the paradox to be played out.

Britlit Russia: Meet the team

My Daughter, The Fox is the first in a series of four kits written by school and university teachers from Russia, under the guidance of Alan Pulverness and co-ordinated by the British Council, Russia.

Strap Box Flyer

Giffen is an unpleasant man who is always on the lookout for ways to trick money out of 'suckers' and his amazing glue seems to be the perfect way to do this. Until he come across Flinty, that is.

Carapace

A young Sri Lankan woman needs some advice. Her mother wants her to marry a rich man that she has never met, but what does her boyfriend think?

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot is the story of a boy from a coal mining family who decides to be a ballet dancer. His decision causes, perhaps predictably, a great deal of family controversy. The novel by Melvin Burgess is based on the film of the same name.

The Mystery of the Stolen FA Cup Medal

David loves football, but his mum can’t afford to take him to see his beloved United play. One day he sees something over the garden fence that doesn’t look right.

Pink Bow Tie

A fourteen year old finds himself in trouble with the school Principal – again. This time, however, he has a genuine excuse, but is he likely to be believed?

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Chain Reaction

All seems to be going well on the cruise ship when suddenly there is a most unusual disruption. Louise Cooper’s very short story, previously unpublished, forms the basis of the latest kit for younger teens.

Emergency landing

'Emergency Landing' is a very short story by Louise Cooper, from her collection of very short stories called 'Short and Scary'. This kit is the third in the series for young teens. Engine problems during a flight cause the crew to look for somewhere safe to land and for passengers to wonder about what might happen when they make an emergency landing. But nothing is quite as it seems.

Ex Poser

Ex Poser is the second in a series of short stories selected for 13 and 14 year old learners of English. It is based on another authentic short story by popular Australian children's writer Paul Jennings, the first having proved so popular.

Genie-us

Louise Cooper’s stories usually have a twist in the tale, and this is no different. It starts off ordinarily enough with a king, a crying princess and a poor suitor for the princess’s hand. So, what happens to cheer the princess up? Probably not what you think.

Orange Juice

Children’s laureate Michael Rosen has a way of presenting vexing questions in verse.  In ‘Orange Juice’ the voice of a youngster is heard wondering how to get revenge on the thief who keeps stealing the orange juice left on the doorstep each morning by the milkman.

Pink Bow Tie

A fourteen year old finds himself in trouble with the school Principal – again. This time, however, he has a genuine excuse, but is he likely to be believed?

The Copy

This kit is based on a story by Paul Jennings, the third of his stories subjected to the BritLit treatment. Like most of Jennings' tales it centres on a hapless school student who, in this case, tries to find an ingenious way to shake off the bully who has been tormenting him and, at the same time, keep his girlfriend.

The Wolf's Tale

The traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood receives a curious twist in this offering by Louise Cooper. The kit has been produced by teachers from Italy, Spain and Portugal and is suitable for a range of abilities and ages.

A House in the Country

A House in the Country concerns a returnee, Ray, who has made enough money in London to rebuild a house in Colombo. He is helped by Siri, a young man from the country, and together they talk about building another house, in the country. This is set against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's ongoing civil war. When tragedy comes a bit too close to home, everything changes.

Bend it like Beckham

'Bend it like Beckham' is better known as a film, but Nharinder Dhami's book of the same name follows the film faithfully, even reproducing some of the dialogue. The materials in this kit are based on the pivotal Chapter 7 of the book, and also make reference to the film.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot is the story of a boy from a coal mining family who decides to be a ballet dancer. His decision causes, perhaps predictably, a great deal of family controversy. The novel by Melvin Burgess is based on the film of the same name.

Britlit 10th Anniversary kit: Joha and the End of the World

This BritLit kit, written to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the project, is the first of what we hope will be many tales taken from the traditional and given a modern makeover.

Joha is a traditional figure in many North African folk tales, and frequently represents a somewhat contradictory figure - he can be fun, simple, intelligent, cunning, naïve and lucky, often all within the same story. In this story, Joha finds himself in a contemporary North African society and so the traditional story has something of a modern feeling about it.

Carapace

A young Sri Lankan woman needs some advice. Her mother wants her to marry a rich man that she has never met, but what does her boyfriend think?

Celebr8 by Levi Tafari

‘Celebr8' is a poem about inclusion and diversity. It is by the Liverpool based poet Levi Tafari, himself of Jamaican origin.

Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie

Beryl Bainbridge's black comedy takes as its setting a noisy, argumentative working class family in Liverpool, getting ready to see a pantomime based on Peter Pan.

Coming Home

This BritLit kit is the first of an experimental kind in which video, audio and text are all used to create the full narrative; in fact, all three media need to be used for the story to be told.

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Baby Scorpion

Francesca Beard's poem, Baby Scorpion, deals with transformation and consequence.  A baby scorpion crawls from a burning log in front of a couple who are keeping warm by the fire.  At first the girl feels pity for the small creature's vulnerability but then imagines it as a grown scorpion and the danger it would pose.

Be Near Me

This extract from Andrew O’Hagan’s novel, Be Near Me, is centred around a boat trip that the narrator – a priest – is taking with two of his young parishioners. Mark, a 15-year-old boy, is recalling a football match that, temporarily, seemed to bring him a little closer to his father.

Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars

Inua Ellam's poem, Candy Coated Unicorns And Converse All Stars, is a dark look at the plight of individuals set against violence, both of a domestic and of a general nature. One of the protagonists in the poem has been beaten by her boyfriend. Against this there are images conjured, ranging from environmental degradation through to war.

Double Cross

This extract from Malorie Blackman's novel, Double Cross, is a dialogue between two people engaged in criminal activities. One, the narrator, seems to have been driven by a need for money to carry something illegal (in this extract we don't know what) and is asking his acquaintance, Dan, some questions before he delivers his mysterious package.

Genetics

Sinéad Morrissey's poem, Genetics, gives us a wistful recollection of the poet as a celebration of the coming together of her parents. The key line in the poem – repeated at the beginning and the end of the poem – is I know my parents made me by my hands (which appears in the plural as the final line of the poem).

King Rat

China Mieville's text is taken from the Prologue of his book called 'King Rat', and is the description of an ambitious rat setting off on a mission.  The narrator, the rat himself, says 'I have business tonight'.  The fact that it is written in the first person increases the threat implied throughout, the threat to humans, who the narrator clearly despises but who gleefully admits to feeding off 'your filth and liv(ing) in your house and sleep(ing) under your bed'.

Lament

Gillian Clarke's poem, Lament, is an elegy, an expression of grief. It can be a sad, military tune played on a bugle. The poem uses the title as the start of a list of lamented people, events, creatures and other things hurt in the war. All the details in the poem came from reports in the media.

Stone Cradle

This extract from Louise Doughty's novel, Stone Cradle, concerns the tragedy of infant mortality, particularly in vulnerable communities where the poorest members don't have the means to bury their babies.  This vignette from the novel gives us a graveside view of secret burials carried out by a vicar helping the most impoverished in the community.

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