Literature Project Australia | 3 Working with the novel

 

To see and read the introduction first, click here.

To see and read the first part “Working with the material you have”, click here.

At the beginning of the new topic we decided together to read Kirsty Murray’s novel A Prayer for Blue Delaney. Since Cornelsen also features an extract of the novel in their year 9 English G21 A5 book, they also have some tips for teachers and ready-made worksheets to use in class.

So, before I started designing my own lessons, I had a look at all the available material, which I would like to list for you as well:

With these tips, ideas and worksheets I created the second part for the project on which the students could work in some lessons and at home:

 

Here you can find the activities as a PDF-file you can download and use.

For the regular lessons the Cornelsen material (Tips and worksheets) helped me a lot. Normally I would have one or two lessons on the chapters and then I would include a “working lesson” the students could use for their project:

Note: For this project (and some more in my other subjects 😉) I borrowed some iPads from the local educational media center. I had 16 iPads, one MacBook Air and even an Apple TV for eight weeks – I was even lucky to be able to have them another four weeks since no one else reserved them, hihi.

Topics we covered were:

  • pre-reading: predictions about the novel
  • while-reading: predictions about how the story will continue
  • characterizations
  • analysis of relationships
  • analysis of different ways of talking (Aussie slang, the way the Aborigines in the novel talk, etc.)
  • analysis of atmosphere
  • stolen generation(s), Aborigines, abuse, orphans

One of the best moments we had with the novel was when we had the chance to talk to Kirsty Murray herself via Skype (here is the blog entry on that skype call). As soon as we knew we could talk to her, we collected questions the students had while they were reading and working on the tasks. This poster we had in our classroom was really good to collect all aspects we wanted to ask her.

All in all, my students and I liked working with the novel a lot. There are so many topics included which we could discuss and reflect on. The feedback at the end of the lessons showed that the students liked working with the novel and on the project. Here’s the feedback sheet I used – my students collected the questions before:

Here is the feedback sheet as a PDF-File.

At the beginning we also decided to use the project as a for the last class test. So here is the assessment sheet for this project as well:

Again, here’s the assessment sheet as a PDF-file.

This year I have a year 9 as well so I hope we can do a similar project at the end of the year again! 😃

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