Cover image for Discovering Literature – Teachers’ Toolkit (Download) [EMC-Free]

Discovering Literature – Teachers’ Toolkit (Download) [EMC-Free]

pages (print) 15 pages (pdf)


Written by the English & Media Centre with the British Library Learning Team, this free download suggests ways of using the rich and diverse range of contextual and critical materials on the Discovering Literature website

It shows you how to make the most of Discovering Literature in your classroom. There’s a guide to finding resources and a whole host of practical tips to refresh your teaching. You’ll discover innovative ways of using primary sources and articles to prompt debate, explore contexts, engage with critics’ ideas, inspire creativity and promote independent research. 


  • How to find what you’re looking for 
  • How to use the webspace with your students

Before Reading

  1. Icebreakers using British Library collection items
  2. Using articles

After Reading

  1. Using collection items, works and people pages
  2. Exploring critical articles on a text
  • Approaches for working on articles in class 
  • Approaches for helping students get to grips with articles when working independently 
  1. Critical trails - working on several articles across the Discovering Literature webspace
  2. Independent project work on a text or topic

What is Discovering Literature?

Discovering Literature is a free online learning resource, using British Library treasures to bring literature to life. The site is brimming with inspiration for English teachers and students. Alongside digitised manuscripts and vivid contextual sources, there are illustrated articles, short videos and teaching resources on a huge range of literary texts from Beowulf to The Bloody Chamber, from Macbeth to An Inspector Calls. Put the links on your school portal, share them with your students or embed the resources in your Schemes of Work.

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Viewing and using this print-only PDF

To use this PDF you need Acrobat Reader 7 or above. You can download this free program here.

This was a fantastic addition to my lesson planning. I used this booklet to stretch and challenge my top set Y8 students. Overall, a really useful resource that I will be returning to next year.

By on 23rd May 2022

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