A Level AQA English Language and Literature: The Handmaid’s Tale: ‘Imagined Worlds’ Study Guide

AS Paper 1: Views and Voices ◆ A Level Paper 1: Telling Stories

Enter the dark and disturbing world of The Handmaid’s Tale, where Margaret Atwood’s vision appears increasingly, chillingly prescient. At the heart of popular culture, this novel speaks to young adults growing up in an age of populism, #metoo and civil unrest.

Guide your students through the text with in-depth study notes and activities to explore the linguistic and literary methods by which authors present their fictional worlds. Co-teachable and specifically written for the 2015 AQA Language and Literature specification.

  • Preparatory material sets the scene with analysis of narrative structure, genre, characterisation, settings, themes and context
  • Detailed chapter-by-chapter walk-through covers the whole novel
    • Clear summaries and insightful, student-friendly commentary ensure a full knowledge of each chapter
    • Varied activities, including consolidation questions, discussion questions, active learning tasks and extensions, deepen understanding and encourage independent interpretation – suggested answers included!
  • Helpful exam section – including essay-writing guidance, two full exemplar answers and practice exam-style questions – perfect prep for the exam!


  • Further reading section
  • Two comprehensive glossaries featuring Literary and Linguistic and Gileadean terms to aid understanding

I would say this resource is outstanding.

This is a comprehensive resource that has explicit links to assessment objectives and exam skills. As a teacher, teaching this text for the first time, it would be extremely helpful. The layout and development of the resource is clear and easy to follow.

I really like the wider reading tasks/activities that link the text to the modern world to allow students to use previous knowledge to help understand the text. The inclusion of challenge tasks such as the theorists is also really great in allowing students of all levels to access this. The collaborative learning opportunities are also really engaging and the prepared resources cuts down planning and preparation time for teachers to concentrate on more productive tasks.

There is honestly nothing I disliked about the resource.

The educational value of this resource is immense. It provides in depth information broken down by chapter. The inclusion on relevant context and pre-reading tasks really supports students and provides a well structures approach to teaching that is cohesive.

It matches and interprets the specification explicitly. The introduction about skills and AOs makes sure students are clear on what the examiner is looking for. There is also sample answers which are extremely helpful. – T MacCormac, Teacher – lead in English Literature & Peer Reviewer

Both the Teacher’s Introduction and the specification information for teachers is essential reading, particularly if people have not taught this specification before… The reference to the Assessment Objectives and the weighting for them in the exam at both AS and A Level is also very helpful, as it enables both teachers and students to focus on key aspects… I thought the detailed way in which the commentary and analysis was set out, with the grouping of the chapters under the key themes – eg XIII night – was good. It will enable both teachers and students to look at the reasons for the grouping of chapters under these themes and how the narrative structure is developed… The resource is well structured and goes into great detail in a methodical way, which makes it easier to structure a lesson and ensure that key areas are covered when looking at specific chapters and how to approach exam style questions… I have found this resource really interesting and stimulating and it has given me some good ideas for teaching the novel. – M Linney, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

I think it is excellent. Clearly laid-out and very detailed.

I particularly liked the way the analysis in each chapter was laid out with sub-headings linked to the different AOs. I also liked the close analysis of key quotes and the repeating of glossary elements throughout each chapter.

It breaks down the chapters very purposefully and offers detailed analysis and tasks.

[Matches and interprets the spec] very well. I particularly like the detailed contexts sections. – B Ullmann, Head of A level English, CCS School & Peer Reviewer
Overall, a very good resource with lots of detail in the commentary and analysis sections.

The analysis and commentary sections are excellent with clear links to the AOs. The warning about themes at the beginning is useful. The themes and motifs section is very thorough and the activity here is one of the strongest in the resource.

The analysis and commentary sections will really help students to develop their understanding of how to write a lot about a little. The exam style questions are excellent as there are still so few examples for A Level with only three past papers and will help teachers to prepare their students for the exam.

The breakdown of the AOs and language levels are excellent and the examples given underneath each level are very helpful as they show students how to put the levels into play.

The links to the AOs throughout show clear links to the specification. – C Harvey, KS4 Co-ordinator & Peer Reviewer

Includes photocopiable master with site licence; electronic copies available. Orders are normally dispatched in 2-5 working days.

Price is £89
Click here for full details and to order.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s