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Checkpoint English
Clare Constant, Steve Eddy, Naomi Hursthouse and lan Kirby

Series Editors: Julia Burchell and Mike Gould

Stage 9: Teacher’s Guide


Chapter 1 ● Writing to explore and reflect

1.1 What is travel writing? 1.5 Understanding grammatical choices in
1.2 Selecting and noting key information in travel writing
travel texts 1.6 Varying sentences for effect
1.3 Comparing tone and register in travel 1.7 Boost your vocabulary
texts 1.8 Creating a travel account
1.4 Responding to travel writing

Chapter 2 ● Writing to inform and explain

2.1 Matching informative texts to audience and 2.6 Shaping paragraphs to suit audience and
purpose purpose
2.2. Using formal and informal language in 2.7 Crafting sentences for a range of
information texts effects
2.3 Comparing information texts 2.8 Making explanations precise and
2.4 Using discussion to prepare for a written concise
assignment 2.9 Writing encyclopedia entries
2.5 Planning information texts to suit different

Chapter 3 ● Writing to argue and persuade

3.1 Reviewing persuasive techniques 3.6 Organising a whole argument
3.2 Commenting on use of language to effectively
persuade 3.7 Organising an argument within each
3.3 Exploring layers of persuasive language paragraph
3.4 Responding to the use of persuasive 3.8 Presenting and responding to a question
language 3.9 Producing an argumentative essay
3.5 Adapting grammar choices to create
effects in argument writing

Chapter 4 ● Descriptive writing

4.1 Analysing how atmospheres are created 4.6 Sustaining a cohesive atmosphere
4.2 Developing analysis of a description 4.7 Creating atmosphere through punctuation
4.3 Analysing atmospheric descriptions 4.8 Using structural devices to build up
4.4 Using images to inspire description atmosphere
4.5 Using language to develop an 4.9 Producing a powerful description
Chapter 5 ● Narrative writing
5.1 Understanding story openings 5.7 Creating character
5.2 Exploring setting and atmosphere 5.8 Using tenses in narrative
5.3 Introducing characters in stories 5.9 Using pronouns and sentence order for
5.4 Responding to powerful narrative effect
5.5 Pitching a story 5.10 Creating a thriller
5.6 Creating narrative suspense and climax

Chapter 6 ● Writing to analyse and compare

6.1 Analysing implicit meaning in non-fiction 6.4 Comparing effectively through punctuation
texts and grammar
6.2 Analysing how a play’s key elements create 6.5 Analysing two texts
different effects
6.3 Using discussion skills to analyse carefully

Chapter 7 ● Testing your skills

7.1 Reading and writing questions on 7.3 Assessing your progress: non-fiction
non-fiction texts reading and writing
7.2 Reading and writing questions on fiction 7.4 Assessing your progress: fiction reading
texts and writing


Blank Check your progress sheets

Welcome to the Collins Checkpoint English Teacher Guide 9. We hope it will
provide useful support to teachers worldwide, as they prepare students for the freedom,
challenge and enrichment offered by the Cambridge Secondary 1 course for Stage 9.

Using the Student Book

The Student Book is structured so that it builds the fundamental skills that underpin success at
the end of Stage 9. It is divided into seven chapters. Each of the first six chapters focuses on a
different writing ‘purpose’, while the seventh offers the chance to put all the skills into practice
through exam-style tasks.
Chapters 1 to 6 address these different purposes in detail and cover the Stage 9 learning
objectives that relate to them:

• Writing to explore and reflect

• Writing to inform and explain

• Writing to argue and persuade

• Descriptive writing

• Narrative writing

• Writing to analyse and compare

Chapter 6 focuses on literary analysis. While this is not a requirement of the Cambridge
Secondary 1 English curriculum framework or assessments, it nevertheless has the benefit both
of broadening the range of material students encounter and beginning to embed skills at a basic
level, which will be useful in literature studies.

Chapter 7 offers a series of resources for assessment practice. While these can be used
separately to secure a particular assessment style, as each question type is covered, they could
also be set together as a more formal ‘mock’ end-of-stage assessment.

Features of the Student Book

Each of the first six chapters is based loosely on a theme such as the natural world or space
travel and enables students to learn and practise a range of general reading, writing, speaking
and listening skills, in particular those that are part of writing for the featured purpose. Students
will read a wide variety of texts from writers from many social, cultural and historical Cambridge Checkpoint English
backgrounds and will write a wide range of texts themselves. Each chapter provides them with
opportunities to complete two substantial tasks to show what they have achieved: one on
reading and responding to texts, and one on writing for each type or purpose. From these, you
will be able to assess students’ work to see how their abilities are developing across the
learning objectives for Stage 9.

The book has also been designed so that students revisit particularly important skills several
times across the chapters. In some cases, this is to make sure that they can apply the skills in
new contexts; in others it will be because a new aspect of the skill has been introduced to help
them to progress. Key features of the book include Check your progress panels at the end of
each two- or four-page unit. These will help students to assess their own progress. Three other
text features to note are Checklists for success, which lists criteria that students should cover
when completing a task, Key terms, which define important literary and language terms, and
Stage 9

Vocabulary panels to support students when reading an extract.

© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 Introduction • 1

Using the Teacher Guide
Each two-page (or four-page) section in the Student Book is intended to provide work for one
lesson (occasionally two), and is supported in the Teacher Guide by a one- or two-page lesson
plan, plus worksheet(s) and PowerPoint slides (PPTs).

The Teacher Guide is designed to help you with the following.

• Key references to the specification for Stage 9 are listed at the start of each lesson plan,
with the learning objectives identified so that the wider application of learning is clear.
• Detailed, ready-to-use lesson plans offer all you need to teach. These are divided into
sections that match the Student Book – Introducing the skills, Developing the skills and
Applying the skills – ensuring progression and pace in the activities, as well as opportunities
for consolidation of the learning.
• Worksheets and PowerPoint slides (PPTs) supplement and extend activities in the
Student Book. These are itemised in each lesson plan, meaning that time-consuming
preparation is kept to a minimum.

• Each lesson plan begins with learning outcomes differentiated by level of achievement so
that you can monitor the level at which students are working and help them progress.
• Further differentiation opportunities are provided in the Give extra support and Give
extra challenge boxes, ensuring that all students are stimulated towards reaching their
• Worksheets and PPTs offer additional activities and support mechanisms to suit a range of
learning styles and abilities.

• Chapter 7 revisits the assessment questions from the Student Book, offering additional
guidance on how to help students self-assess their work.
• Peer- and self-assessment is regularly used to help students understand how to progress
towards their target level of achievement. Any success criteria included in the book are our own.

Our resources are designed to enhance performance so that candidates can work towards the
next stage of the Cambridge Secondary 1 course with confidence. We hope you enjoy using them.
Cambridge Checkpoint English

Julia Burchell
Series Editor
Stage 9

2 • Introduction © HarperCollinsPublishers 2016

1.1 What is travel writing?
Learning objectives Checkpoint progress test
9Rw1; 9Rw4; 9Rv1; 9Rv3 • Paper 1, Section A

Differentiated learning outcomes Resources

• Lower: All students must recognise some features of • Student Book: pp. 8–11
non-fiction writing.
• Worksheet: 1.1
• Mid: Most students should identify some features and
purposes of travel writing. • PPT: 1.1
• High: Some students could analyse the impact of • Workbook links: Unit 1.1, p. 5
language in travel writing.

Introducing the skills

Ask students to look closely at the picture in Question 1 and discuss the two questions in pairs.
Take feedback from the class. Encourage a range of answers, for example:
• Someone might want a complete break from work and life at home. They might want to get
away from a European winter and enjoy some warm weather.
• Appealing details include: blue sky combined with palm trees, suggesting a hot, sunny
climate; a clean, sandy beach; paddle boats that are attractive and could belong to
fishermen, which suggests a simple, undeveloped local economy (not a big city with
Students could complete Question 2 in pairs. Take class feedback, then show slides 1 and 2
from PowerPoint 1.1, which list the different features of fiction and non-fiction. Ask students if
they have changed their views on how these two types of text are similar or different.
Emphasise that literary non-fiction, including travel writing, has a great deal in common with
fiction. In particular, highlight that non-fiction is not just a matter of recording facts – there is
plenty of scope for imaginative language, narrative technique and even characterisation (of
real people).
Students should work on Question 3 individually, reading the extract and noting down the
phrases they find. Afterwards, ask them to suggest phrases that convey the writer’s emotional
reaction. Point out that the writer does not state her reaction obviously (with phrases such as
‘I gasped with fear when I saw...’, for example). Instead, she conveys her reaction through
word choices. Show students slide 3, which offers examples of these.

Ask students to identify words and phrases in the extract that appeal to the senses. After the
discussion, display slide 4. Did students identify all the examples there. Talk about any they
did not. Cambridge Checkpoint English
Finally, ask for words and phrases that make the grotto seem exciting then display the
examples on slide 5. Point out, again, that excitement is conveyed by word choices.

Developing the skills

Read the extract on page 10 of the Student Book aloud to the class. They could discuss the
account in pairs and then write answers to Question 4 on their own. They should write their
answers in sentences.
Note that there does not need to be a single effect for part a) of the question. For example, the
piece is factual, so it is informative, but its main purpose is to entertain. At the same time, the
author seems to be amazed by the experience.

For part b) of the question, you could display slide 6, which gives some examples of
descriptive words and phrases from the extract to help students identify and select phrases to
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comment on.

© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 1.1 What is travel writing? • 3

When students have completed part c) of Question 4, take brief feedback. You could suggest
that the writer’s attitude seems to be one of gently humorous but appreciative amazement that a
bus service like this could still operate.

Give extra support by offering Worksheet 1.1 as a framework for Question 4.

Give extra challenge by asking students to find the account of Adelsberg Grotto online and
then to make comments on another paragraph or two of the text.

Applying the skills

Students should work alone to write their comparisons in response to Question 5. Afterwards,
they should compare notes in pairs or small groups.

Plenary Finish by asking students to sum up their answers to Question 5. They should agree that both
passages aim to entertain, but that there is no attempt at humour in the account of Adelsberg
Grotto. Both pieces have some sense of narrative, but this is much more pronounced in the
description of the bus journey. In different ways, both pieces attempt to create a sense of
wonder for the reader.
Cambridge Checkpoint English
Stage 9

4 • 1.1 What is travel writing? © HarperCollinsPublishers 2016

Selecting and noting key
1.2 information in travel texts
Learning objectives Checkpoint progress test
9Rx1; 9Ri2; 9Rv3; 9Wa1 • Paper 1, Section A

Differentiated learning outcomes Resources

• Lower: All students must find and list facts in a text. • Student Book: pp. 12–15
• Mid: Most students should choose from a variety of • Worksheet: 1.2
note-making methods.
• High: Some students could summarise information and
• PPT: 1.2
reproduce it in a new format. • Workbook links: Unit 1.2, pp. 6–7

Introducing the skills

Explain to students that this lesson will help them to develop transferable note-making skills –
what they will learn is not just applicable to travel writing.
Look at Question 1 as a class and make sure that students understand the terms:
• skimming: getting the gist of a text, focusing on its key information and particularly on
paragraph openings (which may contain topic sentences, proper nouns and numbers)
• scanning: looking for specific information (like looking for something in the fridge)
• close reading: reading in detail to take in as much information as possible (could be done
after skimming).
Read the extract on page 12 of the Student Book aloud to the class. Check that students
understand what facts are (as opposed to opinions). They should work individually or in pairs
on Questions 2 and 3 to first identify five facts and then find more. Afterwards, display slide 1
of PowerPoint 1.2, which lists the five facts from the extract then identifies three more.
For Question 4, students should work in pairs to discuss which note-making method they felt
worked best for them. Do they think this was because it fitted the task or because it suited
their individual learning style?

Recap with students the concept of implying information (suggesting it) and inferring it
(deducing, or working out). Explain that sometimes the word ‘infer’ is wrongly used in place of
‘imply’. Emphasise that being able to infer what is implied in a text is a vital reading skill.
Students should then work in pairs on Question 5, writing down the numbers and the
corresponding letters from the grid (the answers are 1E, 2A, 3B, 4C, 5D). Check that everyone
Cambridge Checkpoint English
understands how the phrases imply the information:
1 If someone needs to be ‘assured’, this suggests that they are worried.
2 Note use of the word ‘ordered’ not ‘asked’.
3 ‘Something about’ is vague.
4 ‘Or maybe’ suggests different versions.
5 This body language suggests not knowing or caring.

Developing the skills

Students should complete Question 6 on their own. Point out to them that they can use a
combination of facts from Question 3 and implied information such as that used in the example.
This is a good point at which to stress the importance of providing textual evidence in
comprehension answers and to recap with students how they can do this. You could mention
the use of embedded quotes, which often make an answer more fluent and therefore more
effective. For example:
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We know from the author’s ‘growling’ stomach that he was hungry and had brought no food
with him.

© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 1.2 Selecting and noting key information in travel texts • 5
Applying the skills
Students should complete the scanning exercise in Question 7, jotting down the information
they find, then share this as a class. Afterwards, display slide 3 and talk through the
information listed. Point out that the extract begins with two topic sentences – the second one
explains the first.

Students could experiment with different methods of combining notes for Question 8. Stress that
they need information from both extracts.
Question 9 can be completed in class or for homework and students could illustrate their
guides. When completed, the guides could be used to create a wall display.

Give extra support by offering Worksheet 1.2 as a framework for Question 9.

Give extra challenge by displaying slide 2 and asking students to use this instead of the grid
in the Student Book for Question 5. They should look at the each of the explanations and work
out what phrases in the text imply that information.

Plenary Finish by holding a class discussion in which students tell you (and remind themselves) what
implied information is.
Cambridge Checkpoint English
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6 • 1.2 Selecting and noting key information in travel texts © HarperCollinsPublishers 2016
Comparing tone and register in
1.3 travel texts
Learning objectives Checkpoint progress test
9Ri2; 9Rw1; 9Rw3; 9Rw4; 9Rw5; 9Wa10 • Paper 1, Section A

Differentiated learning outcomes Resources

• Lower: All students must be able to identify register. • Student Book: pp. 16–17
• Mid: Most students should be able to comment on use • Worksheet: 1.3
of tone and register.
• High: Some students could compare the use of tone
• PPT: 1.3
and register in different texts. • Workbook links: Unit 1.3, p. 8

Introducing the skills

Show students slide 1 of PowerPoint 1.3, or read out the two statements and ask the class
which they think is more formal.

• I’m really fed up with this train journey. (informal)

• I am deeply disappointed by this experience of rail travel. (formal)
Explain that register is used to describe degree of formality. (It can also apply to some other
aspects of language – for example, advertisements that adopt a ‘scientific register’ to sound
impressive, but its main usage is for degree of formality.)
You could add that register also applies to speech. Ask students how their register would differ
according to whether they were explaining themselves to a teacher or telling a friend about their

Explain that tone and register are closely related but they are not the same thing. Display
slide 2 and discuss the examples of tone. Students should then complete Question 1 in pairs.

Developing the skills

Students could complete Question 2 in pairs or it could be the basis for a class discussion.
(The passage is ‘warm and personal’ in tone.)

Students could write answers to Question 3 individually. If necessary, display slide 3, which Cambridge Checkpoint English
shows an example answer to part a) to help them.

Applying the skills

Students should write their paragraphs for Question 4 individually.

Give extra support by giving students Worksheet 1.3 as preparation for Question 4.
Give extra challenge by asking students to write a formal letter of complaint – for example to
the council about speeding near the school – that is angry but polite. You could also ask
students to compare the use of register and tone in the two passages.

Plenary Finish by asking students to review the differences between register and tone either in small
Stage 9

groups or as part of a whole-class discussion.

© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 1.3 Comparing tone and register in travel texts • 7

1.4 Responding to travel writing
Learning objectives Checkpoint progress test
9Ri2; 9Rw1; 9Rw3; 9Rw4; 9Rw5; 9Rw7 • Paper 1, Section A

Differentiated learning outcomes Resources

• Lower: All students must make notes on subject matter, • Student Book: pp. 18–21
register and tone in two extracts.
• Worksheet: 1.4
• Mid: Most students should be able to explain some
differences between two extracts. • PPT: 1.4
• High: Some students could compare several aspects of • Workbook links: Unit 1.4, pp. 9–10
two extracts in detail.

Your task
Explain, if necessary, that ‘subject matter’ means content – what the passage is about. Help
students to revise what they know about register and tone, referring them back to Topic 1.3.
You could ask what the main feature of register is (degree of formality) and for some examples
of tone (angry, serious, light-hearted, etc.).
Point out that the extracts have been chosen because they have one important thing in
common: they are both about boat journeys. This similarity should make it easier to identify the
It may help students if you read Text A aloud, with appropriate dramatic emphasis (for example
with ‘Deep seemed the valleys... High were the hills...’), before asking students for their general
impression of the journey. Then read out Text B, altering your tone to reflect the more relaxed
and pleasurable feel of the journey. Again, ask for general impressions.

Approaching the task

For Question 1, students need to decide on their note-making method, bearing in mind what
worked for them in earlier tasks. Alternatively, they could try a different method and see whether
it suits this task. They could discuss possible note-making methods in pairs first.

Give extra support by offering Worksheet 1.4 as a partially completed framework for
Question 1.

Students could discuss the elements that could be compared before completing Question 2.
They should then use their notes to undertake the second part of the task: writing a comparison.
Point out that there are two possible approaches to this:
Cambridge Checkpoint English

1 Write about the key features of Text A, then – possibly in a new paragraph – write about
Text B, drawing out the similarities and differences.
2 Write about each feature in turn (content, register, tone, etc.) for each text – for example,
register in Text A compared with register in Text B.
Either approach is valid, but the second tends to be more impressive if it is done well. Many
students find the first approach easier.
This would be a good time to introduce students to the use of comparison discourse markers,
such as ‘on the other hand’, ‘compared with’, ‘however’, ‘similarly’, etc.

Give extra challenge by asking students to attempt the second type of comparison
mentioned above, if they have not already done so. They could also make a comparison of the
visual details in both passages (they will find that Text B provides a long list). This could lead
to a discussion of how the two passages appeal to readers in different ways. For example, few
readers would book a holiday based on Text A, but some might consider going on a Nile
cruise after reading Text B.
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8 • 1.4 Responding to travel writing © HarperCollinsPublishers 2016

Reflecting on your progress
Students should read Response 1 and compare it with their own answer, identifying points the
response makes that they have not included and vice versa. They should then rewrite
Response 1, improving it, taking note of the comments.
Response 2 is an improved version of Response 1, so students could compare their improved
versions with this. Slides 1 and 2 of PowerPoint 1.4 show an improved and extended version
of the comparison in Response 2. Display this and discuss how it improves on and extends
Response 2.
For example, it comments on Shackleton’s use of imagery (including personification) and
suggests why Edwards uses little or none – she has no need to because she has plenty of
interesting sights to include, whereas Shackleton only has the stormy sea. It also makes a
brief contrast between Shackleton’s metaphorical mountains and Edwards’ real ones seen
from the Nile.
Point out that this better version adopts the more sophisticated approach that moves back and
forth between the two texts, rather than dealing with one completely, then the other.

Plenary Finish by asking some students to comment on what planning technique they find most useful
and what approach to comparison (1 or 2 above) they prefer. In both cases, they should give
their reasons. They could also peer-review each other’s work using the ‘Check your progress’
points at the end of the chapter and the framework on slide 3.

Cambridge Checkpoint English

Stage 9

© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 1.4 Responding to travel writing • 9

Understanding grammatical
1.5 choices in travel writing
Learning objectives Checkpoint progress test
9Rw2; 9Rw8 • Paper 1, Section B

Differentiated learning outcomes Resources

• Lower: All students must be able to identify different • Student Book: pp. 22–25
sentence types.
• Worksheet: 1.5
• Mid: Most students should be able to use and comment
on some different sentence types. • PPT: 1.5
• High: Some students could be able to analyse a variety • Workbook links: Unit 1.5, pp. 11–12
of sentence types and use them effectively.

Introducing the skills

Ask students what would draw them to a piece of travel writing? Elicit ideas such as getting
insights into another culture or place, enjoying the experiences of an outsider recounting their
experiences, or perhaps unusual or unexpected facts or events.
Then read aloud Mark Twain’s account, and ask students to work in pairs to complete
Question 1, before sharing responses as a class. The answer is b) – a modern reader would
want up-to-date information, and would realise that things may have changed since Twain’s
Ask the class to look again at the last four sentences, as indicated in Question 2. They should
notice the repetition (‘He said...’ and ‘And he said…’). Elicit the idea that Twain is trying to get
the facts across about the kangaroo and emu. The simplicity is almost like a wide-eyed child
telling a friend about something amazing or funny.
For Questions 3 and 4, ask students to make brief notes in pairs and then report back. They
should be able to indicate that the text would appeal to adults (they have to drive) who wish to
visit South Africa and who have an interest in landscapes and nature. The second text is clear,
with its brief information set out in two multi-clause sentences, followed by a simple short
summary sentence. The style difference is that this is more impersonal (no ‘I’ mentioned) and is
a more general text looking forward to someone else’s travel. On the other hand, Twain’s gives
a personal account of past events. In other words, the first is a travelogue.

Discuss slides 1 and 2 of PowerPoint 1.5 to secure their understanding of the types of
travel text.
Cambridge Checkpoint English

Developing the skills

Give students time to read through the explanatory text and the ‘Key terms’ box. Make sure they
understand it all. Point out that complex sentences can make writing flow more smoothly – they
seem sophisticated, but they should not be used all the time. For example, simple sentences
can be more effective in creating tension in narrative.

Students should complete Question 5 on their own. Show them some options on slide 3,
either before they write their own if you think they need more help, or afterwards so that they
can compare theirs with the examples. You could also invite students to read out their
finished sentences.
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10 • 1.5 Understanding grammatical choices in travel writing © HarperCollinsPublishers 2016

Give extra support by giving students further exercises in Worksheet 1.5.
Note that the answers to this worksheet are:

1. a) The Nile cruiser floated down the river and disappeared into the distance.
b) The boat rose up on the towering waves and sank down in between them.
c) The ship was often seemed about to capsize but somehow it stayed afloat.

2. a) The palm trees, which were a vivid shade of green, waved in the gentle breeze.
b) Shackleton, who was an Antarctic explorer, never lost any of his men.
c) A minaret, which is a tower on a mosque, rises above the surrounding buildings.

3. Perhaps the most remarkable view was of a plateau broken by ribbons of peat and
occasional dark pools. It was an almost sheer 300 metres below us. From this height it
resembled an ink-splattered pancake.

Applying the skills

Students should attempt Question 6, although they could compare their ideas when they have
all completed their piece of writing.
Discuss the extract with the class. Ask for their comments on the sentence types. The first is a
complex sentence, the second a simple one. The third sentence is the longest and also has the
most subordinate clauses (two). This brings the paragraph to a climax, matching the sense: the
‘most remarkable view’ is saved till the end.

Give extra challenge by asking some to write their own complex sentences based on the first
two in the extract in Question 6, using ‘where’ and ‘with’.

Plenary Finish by asking students to explain the features of the three sentence types. You could ask a
weaker student to explain a simple sentence – or give an example of one – and then ask a
more confident student to explain a complex sentence and give an example.

Cambridge Checkpoint English

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© HarperCollinsPublishers 2016 1.5 Understanding grammatical choices in travel writing • 11