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Gothic Literature for Boys

Discussion in 'English' started by pianopete, Apr 10, 2012.

  1. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Hi all,

    Me again with my difficult group of disaffected year 9 boys.

    To cut a long story medium length:
    - they will not sit and listen for longer than about 2 minutes
    - reading together as a class is impossible
    - the only way to get them to read a text (very short) is to give them a load of short answer questions on it and they have to search the text for the answers
    - have tried everything to engage them - movie clips, music, posters, gruesome topics, subjects they enjoy, laptops - they cannot stay on task for more than 5-10 minutes and find almost everything boring

    My challenge this term is to teach them all about Gothic Literature with as much pre-1914 as possible. The stories need to be short, immediately gripping and boy-friendly and relatively low-ability. I have considered The Monkey's Paw, The Tell Tale Heart etc. I've also considered getting them to transfer some other things into Gothic e.g. The Amityville Horror.

    Basically I'm after anything anyone has used before especially short gothic stories which will engage them and not intimidate them. Activities, film clips, images, games etc. all welcome! Thanks in advance!
  2. Hi,

    For pre-1914 Gothic short stories, I would say Poe is your best bet. There are lots of good versions (and parodies!) of his stories on youtube.

    Here are some other relatively short Gothic stories you might want to try:
    ?A Madman?s Manuscript? by Charles Dickens,
    ?The Rats in the Walls? by HP Lovecraft,
    ?Canon Alberic?s Scrapbook? by M.R. James.

    In terms of activities, we looked at trailers for horror films and they worked on adapting the text into a storyboard for a film adaptation. I asked them to justify their choices with reference to the effects of camera angles etc.

    I have heard of other teachers looking at how the Gothic works in video games and asking the pupils to adapt the text into that form.

    Hope this helps!

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