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Can anyone help this English teacher please?

Discussion in 'Science' started by figgins, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. I have a few lower sixth who are not planning on doing English next year but need to be in my lessons until the end of this. We are doing an introduction to the gothic and are looking at extracts from a variety of classic gothic texts plus each one will be researching a particular aspect e.g. the sublime. Can anyone suggest an area of research for someone going on to the three sciences at A2? It would be nice for this student to do something useful, or at least of interest.
    Many thanks! F.
  2. Moony

    Moony Lead commenter

    How about getting them to look into older science fiction writing? Things like voyage to the centre of the earth, the jakyll and hyde stuff. Maybe get them to compare it to some modern work and get them to look at how the perceptions of science or what science can do has changed over time.
  3. How about research into how science has influenced Gothic novel writers? Mary Shelley's reading of scientific research into electrical stimulation of muscles was a clear influence on Frankenstein. From Wikipedia:
    Similarly, there is now an argument that Vampires were inspired by persons suffering from Porphyria. Compare and contrast Porphyria sufferers with classic Vampires? Porphyria sufferers are sensitive to sunlight, they may have once attempted to treat the condition by drinking blood (it's disease caused by problems producing haem, a key component of red blood cells). Garlic apparently makes symptoms worse.
  4. A colleague has just reminded me that Werewolves may also have been inspired by porphyria sufferers (red eyes, light sensitive, psychosis).
    A paper on it here:
    I don't think that paper is behind a paywall, but let me know if it is.
    There are other diseases listed on Wikipedia's werewolf page as possible inspirations for werewolves.
  5. ...or looking into which other well known people were alive in the era that the novellists were writing in & how these people or key events could have influenced the writings. Obviously scientiists - but politicians, wars, inventions, new technology, architectual styles ....etc.

    We also get our Lower 6th scientists to do a project at the end of the summer term. They have to come up with something that combines their science with another of their A levels. The idea is for them to get some tangible results (graphs, conclusions etc) and some material to strengthen personal statements & interviews.. eg: I am really interested in xxx, in particular how it is related to yyyy and was fortunate in being able to investigate this recently.....
    It works really well and helps ensure that even the ones who don't continue our subject use the last few weeks productively.
  6. Fantastic ideas. Thank you all very much!

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