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Teaching novels - tasks


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First steps to task-based learning

A list of tasks used in the unit “Ireland” and “The Twelfth Day of July”

  1. Task 1
    Film scenario:
    • work in groups of 4
    • go through chapter 3 and find passages which would be suitable for filming
    • make sure the scene does not exceed 3 minutes
    • make notes and think of a special situation that would not look out of place in the context of our novel
    • think of some dialogues
    • think of some scenic directions think of some music to accompany your scene
    • present your work in any way you think suitable
    • each member of the group takes on a special job:
      1. timekeeper
      2. language guard
      3. speaker
      4. technical director
      5. one pupil to summarize how the work was accomplished and to report back to the teacher (a memo is enough)

  2. Task 2
    Creative writing: Interior monologue/Work in pairs
    The situation:
    • Sadie has just been taken prisoner by the Catholics in another part of Belfast
    • She is now tied up and locked into an empty room
    • What is going on in her head?
    • Write a short text about what she might be thinking about.
    • Try to consider her fears, her thoughts about her family and her bad conscience because of what she’s been up to
    • team work as above

  3. Task 3
    A newspaper article:
    • write a short article for a newspaper
    • work on your own or with a partner
    • choose the kind of newspaper you prefer - either sensational like The Sun or serious/factual like The Times or The Guardian
    • if you can, find a good photo or some form of picture you can add to your article
    • read it out in class
    • put all articles on the wall in our classroom
    • the article ought to be about one of the more exciting events in the novel, e.g. the fire in Sadie`s house.
    • team work as above

  4. Task 4
    A letter to the editor:
    • you are either a Catholic or a Protestant living in Belfast
    • you have just read one of the articles above and you are so angry that you want to write a letter to the newspaper straight away
    • write a letter to the editor of one of the above mentioned newspapers
    • read the report you want to answer to and note down the most important points that make you so angry
    • brainstorm further ideas you want to add
    • in your first sentence mention the article and the general problem you have and which you absolutely want to respond to
    • write your letter according to your notes
    • bring in examples from your own life (as a citizen of Belfast)
    • watch out that your layout looks good
    • you can exaggerate or make up new things
    • decide on how to finish (emotionally, full of hatred, on a happier note etc.)
    • check with a partner for mistakes
    • team work as above

  5. Task 5
    Working with video clips:
    1. Pre-viewing activity
      • What elements are absolutely necessary to produce a good clip? Think of what has really fascinated you while watching MTV or well - produced adverts on television. Collect some ideas with your partner and talk about them. Reduce your choices to five elements.
      • What elements concerning the “Irish question” can be expected in the clip we are going to watch (The Cranberries “Zombie”)? Write down three ideas.
    2. While-viewing activity
      • Just watch and enjoy.
      • Collect as many striking points as possible.
      • Concentrate on the visual effects.
    3. Post-viewing activity
      • With your partner talk about your impressions and ideas.
      • Put together the most important ideas you can agree about.
      • Write a little text about your viewing experience.
      • Read it out in class.

      team work as above
      (For further ideas look up article in FSPU 60 “Musikvideoclips).

  6. Task 6
    Reading log (fakultativ, je nachdem, wie lange und ausführlich die Behandlung des Romans sein soll)
    • events: brief summaries
    • characters: portraits
    • setting: maps, photos, buildings
    • names, references: here especially history and famous people
    • language: mind-maps, vocabulary sheets
    • personal reactions
    • creative writing


Add further tasks here:





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