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Planning the Year

This is a suggested year schedule that offers enough material to cover the competence aims in the Norwegian National Curriculum.

Kalenderblad. Foto.

One of the competence aims of this course is to do an in-depth study of a chosen topic and make a presentation for the class. It is advisable to get on with this project the sooner the better; here we offer some Guidelines and Suggested Themes for Oral Presentation.

The national curriculum also requires that the students read two full-length novels. You may check out One to Read for suggested alternatives or visit our Link Library which offers an amount of novels, both classic and contemporary.

Rather than a traditional week by week schedule, we present a suggested period plan in eleven phases. Since there are a lot of topics to cover, it is essential for the teacher to continually monitor the progress and the time spent on each phase. With five lessons a week the suggested plan gives you a good margin for expanding some of the phases, for example to watch a film or two, or work with some of the additional material on our menus.

Phase One: Enjoying Literature

Estimated time: Three-four weeks

Read some stories from our selection of short stories, suggested titles: The Story of an Hour Popular Mechanics, How the Garden Grows, The Drover's Wife, The Sun in My Eyes, Flush of Gold. Then go ahead with an introduction to Basic Short Story Analysis. For more short story analysis, check also Looking for Literary Devices. There is even a Literary Terms Quiz and a task where you can Check Your Literary Vocabulary. Note that there is an extensive selection of short stories in Link Library.
This phase may be concluded with some creative writing. After having read and worked with short stories some of the students may be up for the challenge: Write Your Own Short-Story. There is a demonstration story, Mind the Gap, which presents the technique of short story writing, and also some suggested themes for Inspiration.

Phase Two: The Renaissance

Estimated time: Three-four weeks

It is advisable to do the cultural periods chronologically, and start with An Introduction to the Renaissance , and perhaps also to introduce The Language of the Elizabethan Age. William Shakespeare will have the main literary focus during this phase. The class should read excerpts from a Shakespeare play, e.g. Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet. We suggest that you watch the film version of one of them. Also recommended is the film "Shakespeare in Love" (John Madden, 1998) which gives good insight into the Elizabethan theatre culture.
For a sum-up of the period: The Renaissance - animation.

Phase Three: Genres and Writing

Estimated time: Two weeks

As an interlude it may be interesting to have a brief look at different Literary Genres and sub-genres such as Crime, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction , Children's Literature, Biographies or Trivial Literature. An idea is to let the students choose a particular genre and make a mini presentation for the class. This may be the time to start working with a Literary Essay , for practice and improvement, one should write at least two essays per semester. Check the Suggested Topics for Essay Writing .

Phase Four: The Enlightenment

Estimated time: Two-three weeks

Start up with An Introduction to The Enlightenment. During this phase the literary focus will be on Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe and Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift. In connection with Swift / Gulliver the class should be introduced to satire as literary form. In addition to Gulliver's Travels there are two more examples of Swift's satires – A Modest Proposal, and A Satirical Elegy. Perhaps the students might try and write their own satire: Satire - Definition and Approach .
The American contribution to Enlightenment literature is introduced with Benjamin Franklin.
Sum up with the animation: The Enlightenment

Phase Five: Poetry

Estimated time: One-two weeks

As the next phase will be The Romantic Age, this interlude may be an introduction to reading poetry in general. The menu Poetry in Touch with Life offers a selection of readable poems with tasks and activities; suggested titles: Dover Beach, Richard Cory, Circles, The Road Not Taken, Dulce et Decorum Est. Check the menu for more alternatives. The aim is to introduce the class to poetic language and form, and basic Poetry Analysis and Poetry Vocabulary. Note also that our Link Library offers an external link to poetry.

Phase Six: The Romantic Period

Estimated time: Three weeks

After an An Introduction to The Romantic Period, some of the major writers and poets of the era should be introduced e.g. William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Robert Burns. The menu Romantic Poetry provides a selection of poetry by these and other writers of the era, such as: The Solitary Reaper, The Tables Turned, The Raven and The Echoing Green. Check the menu for more samples of romantic poetry.
During this phase one should introduce Edgar Allan Poe and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Gothic Novel , and Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. The film adaptions of both Wuthering Heights (Giedroyc, 2009) and Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh, 1994) are highly recommended. This phase is not complete until you also have introduced Jane Austen and her Pride and Prejudice.
For a sum-up of the period: The Romantic Period, Animation

Phase Seven: Cultural Aspects

Estimated time: Two weeks

This interlude will turn the focus from literary history to more recent cultural trends, such as Literature vs. Film , Poetry and Rock , Reality Shows and Soap Operas . Study the material, work with the tasks and arrange a class discussion about some of the issues raised.

Phase Eight: The Victorian Age

Estimated time: Three-four weeks

Start up with An Introduction to The Victorian Period, and go on with material about Science and Literature during the Victorian Age, and the expansion of The British Empire. The main literary focus will be on Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist or Hard Times. It is recommended to watch the film version of Oliver Twist, (Roman Polanski, 2005). But Victorian literature is More than Dickens; check also Three Late Victorian Novelists. Read The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and Lispeth by Rudyard Kipling.
Now American writers enter the literary scene. Start up with Reality and Realism in Late 19th Century America. The menu American Literature of the 19th Century offers a selection of American writers and literature of the time, such as Mark Twain, Stephen Crane and Emily Dickinson. Suggested literature: Tom Sawyer (extract), Desiree's Baby, The Story of an Hour, The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky. One should also include a brief introduction to the New England Transcendentalists and read e.g. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
Sum up the period: The Victorian Period - Animation

Phase Nine: Art and Architecture

Estimated time: One week

This interlude will introduce the students to some paintings and basic image analysis. Check out the theme Art and Architecture, study the pictures, form groups and discuss. And, if time allows, now may be the time to study some aspects of Literary Style to prepare for next phase. Check the menu for more material on literary style.

Phase Ten: Modernism and Contemporary Literature

Estimated time: Three weeks

As usual, start up with an Modernism - An Introduction, and go on with American Poetry - From Traditionalism to Modernism. From there it may be natural to continue with The Waste Land by T S Eliot , and perhaps Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. For modernist prose and writers we recommend a brief introduction to Ernest Hemingway and e.g. his short story The Killers . We have selected some central contemporary works by John Steinbeck , Arthur Miller and more recent literature such as The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Cider House Rules by John Irving. And there is an abundance of contemporary literature to find in our Link Library.
Sum-up: Modernism - animation

Estimated Time: Two weeks

More Cultural Aspects. An interesting trend in modern culture is Talk Shows and Stand-Up Comedians, and also the moral aspects of TV-series introducing The Sympathetic Gangster Here is a huge potential for class discussion.
It could also be interesting to discuss the future of the conventional paper book vs. the E-Book. It may be suitable to close with a study of Youth Cultureand The Culture of the Web Generation.

For revision, it may be an idea to go back to the animations for a brief sum-up of the key issues of each cultural period

Sist oppdatert 08.01.2018
Skrevet av Jan-Louis Nagel


Literary analysis