Here you can find a wide range of ideas for using stories and poems in your secondary classroom. All of the materials are based on authentic texts or stories written especially for secondary learners and are designed to engage and motivate teenagers as well as develop their understanding of important themes and encourage personal, social and emotional development. Written by young learner experts from around the world, our ideas for using stories and poems are easy to use and aim to give your students the skills and confidence they need to enjoy learning English.

Choose a story or poem

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.

Double Cross

This extract from Malorie Blackman's novel, Double Cross, is a dialogue between two people engaged in criminal activities. 

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. 

Baby Scorpion

Francesca Beard's poem, Baby Scorpion, deals with transformation and consequence.  

Research and insight

Browse fascinating case studies, research papers, publications and books by researchers and ELT experts from around the world.

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