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Generic Scheme Of Work for a Novel

Discussion in 'English' started by JimboJones77, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Hiya folks! Just thought I'd share something that I picked up a fair few years ago and have typed up and messed about with a bit. It may very well be Grandma-sucking-eggs time, but if it's just useful to a few people then it'll be worth it. I'll post the sections below. Please feel free to add on with extra ideas and anything else constructive! :)
  2. <u><font face="Calibri">CHARACTER</font></u> <font face="Calibri">1.</font><font face="Calibri">The Dossier. </font><font face="Calibri">Make up a dossier of information about one of the main characters in the book. </font><font face="Calibri">Your work must include material you have gathered from reading the text. </font><font face="Calibri">Start your work by drawing a sketch of how you imagine the character to look. </font><font face="Calibri">Add written details like height, age, weight and any other physical characteristics that will help to describe your character accurately. Also include a brief description of personality.</font><font face="Calibri">Then add a chronological list of important events that have taken place in your subject&rsquo;s life up to this point. </font><font face="Calibri">Your work should look like an official document when finished. </font> <font face="Calibri">2. </font><font face="Calibri">Character Introductions. </font><font face="Calibri">Using the descriptions in the book of the main characters (from when they are first introduced), draw each main character and then label them with appropriate quotations from the book (these can be physical descriptions with arrows to your drawings or descriptions of their personalities that you can add around the drawings).</font> <font face="Calibri">3. </font><font face="Calibri">Spider Diagrams.</font><font face="Calibri">Put together all the relevant details about one (or more) of the main characters in the book as a spider diagram. </font><font face="Calibri">You should include page and chapter references to show where you found the information. </font><font face="Calibri">This can be as you are reading the book, chapter by chapter, or an overall spider diagram about the character when the book has finished. </font> <font face="Calibri">4. </font><font face="Calibri">The Further Adventures Of...</font><font face="Calibri">Imagine one of the main characters of the book is in a situation that is not part of the original story. Write a detailed account of the new situation that you have created and how your chosen character reacts and behaves. </font><font face="Calibri">You must stay true to the personality and likely behaviour of the character you have chosen, and the situation needs to be generally appropriate to the story of the book you have been reading. </font> <font face="Calibri">5.</font><font face="Calibri">Diary Entries.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose a series of important and interesting incidents from the book and re-write them in diary form as if written by the character in the story (use the first person &ndash; &ldquo;I&rdquo;). You should think about the style of the diary you are writing and the personality / thoughts / feelings of the character you have chosen. </font> <font face="Calibri">6. </font><font face="Calibri">Alternate Points of View.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose one or more events from the story and re-write them from the point of view of another character in the book. You should show that you have a good knowledge of the character that you have chosen to re-write the story. Remember to write as if you are that character and include their thoughts and feelings in those situations. </font> <font face="Calibri">7.</font><font face="Calibri">A Look Into The Future.</font><font face="Calibri">Take a character from the story and imagine them in the future &ndash; maybe one, five or ten years on. What has happened to them? How have they changed? What are their thoughts and feelings about incidents that they remember from the original story? </font> <font face="Calibri">8. </font><font face="Calibri">Family Tree.</font>A3 paper needed
  3. <u><font face="Calibri">PLOT WORK</font></u> <font face="Calibri">1.</font><font face="Calibri">Newspaper Account. </font><font face="Calibri">Choose an important incident in the story and write it in the style of a Newspaper Report. Begin with a suitable headline and include all relevant facts about the incident and interviews with the characters involved. Use emotive language and also include a picture.</font> <font face="Calibri">2.</font><font face="Calibri">Predict The Events.</font><font face="Calibri">Stop reading at a suitable point before the end of the book and predict exactly what you think will happen. You must make use of all of the facts, keep the characters true to the story and write a convincing and believable prediction. </font> <font face="Calibri">3. </font><font face="Calibri">A Bonus Chapter. </font><font face="Calibri">At a suitable point in the story, pause and write an extra chapter for the story that could be inserted into the book. The incidents that you choose should match the type of incidents htat are taking place in the story so far, and the characters should behave as they do in the original story. </font><font face="Calibri">This chapter could show what other characters are doing at a similar time to the chapter you have just read, or could expand upon things that are currently happening. </font> <font face="Calibri">4. </font><font face="Calibri">Timeline or Flowchart.</font><font face="Calibri">Plot the events of the story (either the whole book or just the important events) on a timeline or a flowchart. If you are producing a timeline, make sure you include the days / dates to show the passage of time. </font> <font face="Calibri">5.</font><font face="Calibri">Cartoon Strip.</font><font face="Calibri">Try to produce a series of pictures which show the sequence of important events in the book. You could use long strips of paper so that your work takes the film of a cartoon. </font> <font face="Calibri">6.</font><font face="Calibri">Storyboard.</font><font face="Calibri">Design a storyboard of an important incident in your book. Show detail and build up atmosphere through use of camera angles, special effects, music and dialogue. </font> <font face="Calibri">7.</font><font face="Calibri">Before or After. </font><font face="Calibri">After completing the book, plan and then write an extra chapter to either go before OR after the events that took place. </font><font face="Calibri">Before: think about all the things you know about the characters, and any events that might have happened and how they happened. DO not include anything that will contradict the rest of the story. </font><font face="Calibri">After: think carefully about the events that took place in the book, the characters in it, and what the characters are likely to do after the events of the story. </font><font face="Calibri">Include speech and descriptions, and remember to check punctuation, paragraphs and sentence structures carefully. </font>
  4. <u><font face="Calibri">THEME WORK</font></u> <font face="Calibri">Definition for students: </font><font face="Calibri">The theme is the main idea or broad issue running throughout the book. It may be the effects of a nuclear war, love, family relationships, the problems of growing up, coping with a disability or any number of other things. </font> <font face="Calibri">1.</font><font face="Calibri">Extended Writing.</font><font face="Calibri">Work out what you think the main theme of your book is and respond by writing an extended piece of work on this theme: i.e. &ldquo;Growing Up&rdquo;. </font> <font face="Calibri">2. </font><font face="Calibri">Spider Diagram. </font><font face="Calibri">Work out the theme (or themes) of your book, and construct a spider diagram relating the events that happen in the story to the themes you have identified. i.e. &ldquo;Loneliness&rdquo;</font> <font face="Calibri">3.</font><font face="Calibri">Research.</font><font face="Calibri">Research an issue or theme that you think is central to the story. You could then present this as a leaflet, a series of posters, an internet webpage, a magazine article or a script for a radio or TV documentary on the subject. Arrange and present your work appropriately and relate it to the book as often as possible. </font> <font face="Calibri">4.</font><font face="Calibri">Personal Response.</font><font face="Calibri">Using the themes or issues from the book, make notes on how you feel about these issues and how they may (or do) affect you and your life. Plan and then write an essay on these issues or themes. Speak to your teacher about a suitable title for your work. </font> <font face="Calibri">5.</font><font face="Calibri">Comparison.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose another book that you have read (or film / TV programme that you have watched) that deals with the same or similar themes / issues that this book does. Make a list of the similarities between each book / film / TV programme, and then the differences. Then produce an extended piece of writing about which one you prefer and why &ndash; remember to keep referring back to the book. </font> <font face="Calibri">6.</font><font face="Calibri">DVD Cover. </font><font face="Calibri">Looking very carefully at the themes of the book, and how the characters are portrayed, produce a DVD cover for a new film version of the book. Think of who you would choose to star in it, what images would be on the cover of the DVD, what certificate the film would be, and what would be written on the back to make people want to watch it if they picked up the DVD box in Blockbuster or HMV. (Don&rsquo;t give the ending away!)</font>
  5. <u><font face="Calibri">STYLE WORK</font></u> <font face="Calibri">1.</font><font face="Calibri">Cloze Text.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose a passage from the book that you particularly enjoyed reading, or one which is very descriptive. Look closely at the writer&rsquo;s use of language, and then produce a &ldquo;cloze text&rdquo;, deleting at least ten words. (A &ldquo;Cloze Text&rdquo; is a piece of writing where words have been left as blanks, and the reader has to guess or put back the words that are missing.) Remember to produce an answer sheet as well! </font><font face="Calibri">Then give your cloze text to someone else to &ldquo;solve&rdquo;.</font><font face="Calibri">Extension Task: explain why you have deleted each word on your answer sheet. </font> <font face="Calibri">2.</font><font face="Calibri">Excitement Graph. </font><font face="Calibri">The book you are reading is very likely to be exciting in places, but less exciting in others. Make a graph of the excitement level in each chapter. Once that is complete, you will have identified what you consider to be the most exciting chapter in the book. </font><font face="Calibri">Now write a brief account of the most exciting section, looking carefully at the way the writer created excitement and explaining how they created it.</font> <font face="Calibri">3.</font><font face="Calibri">Close Text Analysis.</font><font face="Calibri">Look very closely at any descriptive passages in the book &ndash; either of character, event or place. Choose one specific section and copy it out onto a piece of A4. Stick the piece of A4 onto a larger piece of paper (i.e. sugar paper / A3) and then annotate the piece of writing to show different techniques that the writer has used to really help you see the character / place / event that he or she is describing. Look for alliteration, metaphors, similes, personification or any other techniques you can think of that you think make the extract exciting. </font> <font face="Calibri">4.</font><font face="Calibri">Place. </font><font face="Calibri">Look carefully at one of the descriptions of place where the book is set. Draw it carefully, using the descriptions and specific words that the writer has used to guide you, and then label the drawing with direct quotes from the book.</font> <font face="Calibri">5.</font><font face="Calibri">Storyboard.</font><font face="Calibri">Often, the opening of a book sets the tone for what is to happen later. Re-read the opening of the story, paying very close attention to the sentence structures, words used for descriptions, events and anything else that you think is important. Produce a storyboard for a brand new film version of this book that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Remember to use specific camera angles (close ups, long shots, etc), sound effects, music and speech to recreate the effect of the book. </font>
  6. <u><font face="Calibri">GENERAL ACTIVITIES</font></u> <font face="Calibri">1.</font><font face="Calibri">Booklets.</font><font face="Calibri">Over the course of reading the book, make a booklet to keep your work in. Keep notes on characters, events, and so on (as dictated by your teacher).</font><font face="Calibri">Produce a whole side on each chapter as you finish it: </font><font face="Calibri">What Happens</font><font face="Calibri">Who Is In It</font><font face="Calibri">Where Does It Take Place</font><font face="Calibri">Important Quotes / Key Words</font><font face="Calibri">Spider Diagram (of anything else that is of importance)</font><font face="Calibri">Image &ndash; a picture or sketch that helps you to remember the chapter</font> <font face="Calibri">2.</font><font face="Calibri">Quizzes.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose a short section of the text (i.e. a page) and set a series of questions on it for the rest of the class to answer.</font> <font face="Calibri">3.</font><font face="Calibri">Tourist Attractions.</font><font face="Calibri">Choose a place in the book (a school / a youth club / a castle / a restaurant / anywhere) and produce a poster advertising it to customers / tourists. Make it look attractive but include specific references to the book. Use colours, language and images to attract a particular audience.</font> <font face="Calibri">4.</font><font face="Calibri">Professional Accounts.</font><font face="Calibri">If anything happens in the book that involves a doctor, policeman or any other professional, produce a written account from their perspective for their records explaining what happened (i.e. an arrest report / doctor&rsquo;s notes / etc). Keep them official looking and write them in the appropriate tone for the professional person. </font>
  7. People write novels for two reasons, to entertain the reader wtih an exciting or romantic or funny story, and to make political points. The two aren't exclusive. We can also divide political points into points which the author is consciously making, and those which betray his attitudes.
    If the political element in a novel is significant, we usually call it a literary novel and worthy of serious criticism. Generally these are the novels that are taught inthe more advanced classes at school. However weaker or younger pupils have difficulty reading or writing, so novels in the first category are more suitable for them.
    So if you want a generic scheme of work for a novel, you've got to know what sort of novel it is, and what sort of pupils you've got. Is the goal to improve reading and writing, or is it to have a political debate? If it's practising reading and writing, the first prority is to make sure that the material is actually read. The second priority is to get written responses, any written responses. It doesn't matter much what children write, as long as they write, because the goal is to improve and practise writing. If the goal is to have a political debate, it should be taken as a given that the novel will be read. If you can't take that for granted, you probably don't have a class capable of working at that level. The goal is to explain what the author's political points are, how he makes them, whether the pupils agree with them or not. Of course I'm simplifying a bit, you can also look at how the novel works from a purely technical, artistic perspective. But it's diffcult to do this well in a school setting. It's unlikely that the teacher is himself a novelist, for example.
    So I'd say that a scheme of work for the first type of class consists of the following: An exercise to ensure that the novel actually has been read. This could be a multiple choice quiz, it could be a character sketch, it could be a plot summary. It could be reading portions of the text in class. Then you want a response. You want to be prescriptive enough to provide a framework, but no more. The ideal exercise is "write a review of this novel such as you'd read in a newspaper", but that's hard. You can break it up a bit. But the drawing, creating powerpoints, character interaction diagrams and the rest should be kept to a minimum. The goal is to improve writing of connected English prose. These exercises only have value as something easy to give weak writers something they can succeed in.
    A scheme of work for the second type of class consists of the following. What is the political point that this author is making? This is sometimes obvious, as with 1984, other times non-trival; what's the political message of Lord of the Rings? Sometimes you need to bring in the historical and cultural context, other times it will be known. Better pupils probably know all about segregation in the Southern states of America if you're studying To Kill a Mockingbird, for example. They'll know less about the eugenics movement in about the same period if you go for Of Mice and Men. So the second stage of work is to give the known answers, facts which are relevant and beyind reasonable dispute. The third stage is to develop pupils' own response to the text. Is To Kill a Mockingbird in reality patronising towards black people? Is this unconscious prejudice on the part of the author? There are no obviously right and answers to these types of question, as pupils stuggle with them they develop their own ideas, maybe even change th teacher's ideas. So essentially a three part scheme of work - intiial stab, "the right answers", pupils' considered and informed response.

  8. Hi there, this looks great and I will certainily copy it and tweak it as necessary. Thank you. Just a suggestion though: Why don't you upload it into TES resouces as a whole document?
    Thanks again

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