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Software Reviews
     

1:
TYPE:
  CD-ROM
LEVEL:
  SECONDARY
TITLE:
  SILVER HOOKS AND GOLDEN SANDS
PUBLISHER:
  HEAD STRONG INTERACTIVE
PRICE:
  £ 95.00
USAGE:
  30 USER LICENCE
CONTACT:
  www.headstrong.demon.co.uk
    01484 660770

REVIEW: by Karen McKoy, Skerton High School, Oct. 2000
 

    Silver Hooks and Golden Sands provides a wide-ranging, interactive, introduction to the English literacy tradition; it is a valuable resource for students and teachers alike.

    The information is colourfully and attractively presented with clear instructions, icons, photographs and illustrations. Access is straightforward and menu-driven with links to a variety of related sites and options for readings of texts.

    The initial menu includes: Featured writers; Lives; Poems; Contexts; and Activities. 'Contexts' contains information on historical background:; 'Poems' contains poetry ranging from lyrics and ballads to narrative poems arranged by theme (e.g. Life and Death); and the 'Activities' section contains useful, interactive exercises with definitions for a whole range of literacy devices. Answers are corrected and tasks are self explanatory.

    Choice of writers is wide and relevant to the curriculum, including literary figures such as Shakespeare, Dickens, the Metaphysical poets, Burns, Bram Stoker and Swift. Women writers - Dickinson, Christina Rossetti, Aphra Ben etc. - are well represented - and surely Mike Harrisson has a soft spot for the Brontës!

    All genres are represented, defined and provided with historical contexts. Selected texts are supported by readings, commentary and thorough glossaries.

   This resource may be a bit advanced for KS3 pupils without teacher mediation, but it would provide a valuable tool for accessing general information for KS4 and A-level students. It would also provide a lovely resource for any library. It is thoroughly researched, visually stimulating - and practical. I found a couple of typos, but that is my only criticism! A marvellous resource and I hope we won't have long to wait for the next instalment - an in-depth study of individual texts and writers.

 
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