Lesson Plans Heart of Darkness

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You can also use another witness, Edward Said.


Read some excerpts from Culture and Imperialism Leitch, pp. Said suggests that most western texts produce the Orient in ways which reinforce the dichotomy between the Western and the Oriental. As you can see, there is symmetry in the two handouts, which is one way balance is maintained and each group gets to receive a fair amount of support beforehand. Although I anticipated that students would mainly draw on the points of the handout, fearing that this would constrain them and dictate the terms of the debate, I was surprised to discover that the material had stimulated their appetite for more evidence and witnesses.

Module Twenty Seven, Activity Five

Most students did further research, bringing into class evidence that the other team did not have in its possession, and of which they were very proud. The debate which ran in the academic year included two brief presentations by both groups, a series of spontaneous confrontations between the two sides one speaker responding to a specific point made by another , and finally some questions from the external referees before reaching their verdict.

The external referees included colleagues in the English Literature department but also researchers and teachers working in different disciplines film studies, sociology, anthropology , who were both interested in Heart of Darkness and in experimenting with a similar exercise in their own field of teaching.

Conrad, they added, is equally, if not more, critical of his fellow western characters.

Instructions for You

I will go along with that. But I am not talking about pleasing people.

Before reaching their verdict, the external referees asked for a few clarifications, and some of them also found the chance to introduce their own points. In , three groups ran debates on Heart of Darkness. In all cases, the external referees congratulated the losing team for their passion and conviction, and for the rhetorical skills they demonstrated in pursuing their argument. The debate kept the students talking for the full hour of the tutorial, and they clearly enjoyed themselves.

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This could be seen as undermining the spirit of the debate as students ended up agreeing with one another. In this case, the discussion raised important questions as to whether art should be accountable to politics and as to how texts that seem to propagate racist or sexist views should be taught. The feedback I got about the debate from students, mainly through questionnaires, was very positive.

Below are some indicative responses from my groups who commented on various aspects of the exercise:. For this reason, though, I think it was really useful exercise in compromise, organization and understanding. It throws us students slightly outside our comfort zone and really stimulated heated discussion and a desire to impress! I really liked this aspect of the debate. View Preview.

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Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad | Scholastic

Reading , Literature , Writing-Essays. Grade Levels. Unit Plans , Novel Study. Product Rating. File Type. Product Description. Reading comprehension is supported by teacher guided-reading activities, supportive reading notes, and teacher-led discussions, as well as a wide variety of in-class activities: a pre-reading activity and discussion, a presentation Prezi with rich historical information and art, small group work, a New Historicism mini-lesson, and many more enriching learning experiences that will yield deeper thinking and stronger analysis writing in the AP Literature classroom.

Sorry if that sounds a little grandiose! On good days I have been graded such. Yet has there been a cost to this? Have I really worked out how to become a great teacher or have I just learnt to successfully cover over the cracks? In the spirit of veracity, here are a few of the obfuscating strategies many of us employ in an attempt to hide our weaknesses:.

Heart of Darkness AP Lit Unit Plan

And the list goes on… You could legitimately argue that even without graded observations, the sly amongst us might still employ such tactics. It is natural, and good for professional development, to spend longer on planning a lesson than we normally would. However, I do believe that the removal of grades would dramatically alleviate the problem.

Most importantly, I think schools need to grow cultures in which we are not afraid to discuss openly our weaknesses and foibles. I would like to be comfortable enough to invite my colleagues to see me teaching my most challenging class, who are learning the material I find most challenging to teach. Then, perhaps, the feedback would be more useful. Once again, in the interests of honesty, here are what I perceive to be my main weaknesses:.

This is the stuff I try to cover up in observations; I would, ideally, like more feedback on this.

Lesson plan for Heart of Darkness