The Essential Charles Dickens School Resource
Contemporary Approaches to Teaching Classic Texts Ages 7-14
Routledge – 2012 – 152 pages
Charles Dickens is arguably the greatest storyteller in English Literature and his novels have been loved and respected for nearly two hundred years. As accurate reflections of Victorian society they are unparalleled. Vivid characters and realistic settings are created in the mind of the reader, all laced with Dickens inimitable humour, wit and lacerating political comment.
This book aims to bring alive these characters and settings in the minds of children. It provides a comprehensive resource for children not only to learn about the literary heritage of the English language, but also to encourage them to create meanings from these classic stories through their personal, social and cultural experiences. The authors set each novel in context, providing a synopsis of the book, as well as characters, settings themes and symbolism. Works covered include:
But this book doesn’t just aim to introduce classic literature to children; it also provides a wide range of truly contemporary tools with which they can respond creatively, including: drama and film, blogs, web 2.0 technologies, multimodality and animation and graphic novels.
The book is also accompanied by a CD which contains chapter outlines, extended text extracts, and practical resource sheets, including PowerPoint presentations, book review templates and flash cards, as well as a set of 8 week lesson plans for each novel.
The Essential Charles Dickens School Resource provides essential classroom learning material for teachers and literacy co-ordinators teaching Key Stages 1 -3, as well as CPD students and those studying on PGCE English/Drama courses.
After having read the book I can now say that I would recommend it to teachers. There is a wealth of information and ideas which would help anyone who is teaching Dickens.
The Use of English, The English Association Journal for Teachers of English, Vol 64, No. 1, Autumn 2012
Chapter One: Contemporary Approaches; Chapter Two: A Christmas Carol; Chapter Three: Bleak HouseChapter Four: David Copperfield; Chapter Five: Great Expectations; Chapter Six: Hard Times; Chapter Seven: Oliver Twist; Glossary; Bibliography; Index; plus CD
Gill Robins is the former Deputy Head Teacher of Sun Hill Junior School in Hampshire. She received the UKLA John Downing Award in 2010. Until 2011 she chaired the English Association Editorial Board for the English 4-11 journal.
Laura-Jane Evans-Jones is a recently qualified English Teacher who also sat on the TES English Teaching panel from 2010 to 2011.