Literary Criticism Mind Maps with Activities for AS / A Level English Literature

Literary Criticism Mind Maps with Activities for AS / A Level English Literature

A3 mind maps with activities provide a dynamic and visual introduction to literary and critical theory for study at AS and A Level. Ideal for learning, revision and developing independent thinking.

Support students to consolidate knowledge and apply critical theory with a combination of notes, activities and answers:

  1. Visually appealing, concise summaries of key branches of critical theory
    • Topics include: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, Marxism, New Historicism, Humanism, Narrative Theory, Postcolonialism and Semiotics
  2. Stimulating tasks to ensure engagement
    • Including close reading tasks, analytical questions, discussion and debate prompts and more!
  3. Suggested content and answers provided for all tasks for easy marking

Makes literary criticism accessible for all abilities and learner types:

  • ‘Mixed format’ breaks complex ideas down into ‘manageable chunks
  • Aids recall of key points
  • Tasks to ‘stretch and challenge even the most able of students


  • Timeline of key movements and critics
  • Exam support material – including samples essays and exam advice
  • Key terms glossary
  • Recommended further reading

‘This resource is utterly brilliant. I absolutely love it.

The content is absolutely brilliant. It is thorough and accessible. Example readings of texts are brilliant. I like that the student has the opportunity to practice using an example extract.

This resource will help students to learn how to APPLY literary criticism to a text rather than learning rote phrases for certain texts. It will enable students to grapple with content which places them at the top end of the mark scheme.

A thoroughly brilliant resource – I cannot emphasise how impressed I am with this resource.’ – T Hollins, Consultant and author in GCSE and A-Level English & Peer Reviewer

‘An incredibly useful and informative guide for students and teachers – I imagine that teachings delivering A Level courses for the first time would find this invaluable.

I liked many things about this resource: the timeline of literary movements gives a concise overview, followed by ‘knowledge organiser’ style reference sheets for each type of theory; the practical advice to students as to how to use criticism within the contexts of an essay; and of course the indicative content is supremely useful, especially the longer, colour-coded extracts.

Enhances learning because it is quite concise and accessible while still being thorough. The range and depth of criticism can be daunting and this resource serves as a very approachable starting point.

The clear referencing and integration of AOs mean that the resource is evidently matched to the specification. I would feel confident taking on an A Level class if I had this guide as support. I may even use it to introduce more able GCSE students to the concept of critical theory.’ – A Ellison, Faculty Leader & Peer Reviewer

‘I welcome this resource as I think it will be immensely useful for teachers as they can incorporate elements of different literary criticism into their work with AS and A level students and the potential for using the literary and critical theory, especially in the non-exam assessment is immense. It can be used very effectively as a planning resource and also shows the danger of having ‘bolted-on’ literary and critical theory. The guidance given in the pack can enable both teachers and students to start exploring these theories in more depth and detail.

Overall, I like the pack and think it is a really good addition to ZigZag publications as it is an area of work within literature that teachers really need more guidance and support with.

I like the way in which different types of literary and critical theory are explored in the individual sheets and I think this is done in a thorough way and targeted effectively towards AS/A Level.

The wider reading, which is differentiated, is really useful and it’s good to see what is available. Also the tasks set for students will help them with their independent learning and enable them to do wider research which is another important aspect of both ‘A’ level and preparing for degree level.

The Key Terms Glossary is comprehensive and could be used as a revision guide by students.

[This resource]t certainly reignited my enthusiasm for literature and critical theory and I would feel much more confident now in teaching it more thoroughly as part of the course.’ – M Linney, Teacher of English & Peer Reviewer

‘A very useful resource.

It can be used as an introduction to the different theories and also as a revision resource or for remote teaching.

The Four Ms is a great idea and the ‘student speak’ introduction is very helpful.

The wider reading suggestions will help them to develop their understanding.

The mind-maps will also help as a starting point for revising these concepts.’ – C Harvey, KS4 Co-ordinator, English Teacher & Peer Reviewer

‘This is one of the best ZigZag resources I have come across. Literary criticism is not the easiest topic for students to get their head around. This is the perfect balance of movements, critics and critical approaches the literature.

The use of colour and layout is fantastic – although there is a vast amount of information on each page it is not overwhelming for students to access and comprehend. The mixed formats such as the timelines, text boxes and bullet point lists breaks down the information into manageable chunks.

[This resource] not only addresses all the key critical theories but does so in an engaging way. There are key critics that I would never have thought of and gives students a base to develop their application of these theories. Although I would not teach a whole unit of literary criticism I would definitely use this resource throughout the 2-year course to supplement teaching of key texts and as revision.

Every A-Level Literature student and teacher should have a copy of this resource.’ –T MacCormac, Lead on English Literature & Peer Reviewer

‘It is very well-researched and thorough in the detail. As a teacher new to teaching at this level, or even with experience there is a lot to stretch and challenge even the most able of students.

It covers a range of critical theories (and theorists) meaning a teacher can choose their starting point and go from there.

Each page is comprehensive and covers all essential information.

I like that it could be used both as a starting point as a revision tool, much like the knowledge organisers that are growing in popularity.’ – A Baiden, Teacher & Peer Reviewer

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

Price is £49
Click here for full details and to order.

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