Lesson Plan : The Victorian Era & Dickens

Teacher Name:
 Ms. Sylvester
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Literature Activities

Topic:
 This lesson's purpose is to introduce the major characteristics of Victorian society in England before reading Charles Dickens's Great Expectations.
Content:
 Charles Dickens was a very political writer during the Victorian Age. He created stories with the reoccurring theme of social class. In his novel Great Expectations, we meet a young boy named Philip Pirrip (aka Pip), and the story guides us through his maturation. Great Expectations, according to some critics, is considered to be Dickens greatest work. It is one of Dickensís shorter novels, but it still brings forth the struggles of society and social class. Social class determines ones place in society. England was a moving force in the world. In Great Expectations, Dickens references Englandís colonization of Australia as he does in other novels. In order to fully understand the social and political encounters that Pip faces, you must first understand the social and political issues that were facing England during the Victorian Era.
Goals:
 Students will understand the historical and biographical events that contributed to the writing style of Dickens regarding upper/lower classes, education, and events.
Objectives:
 Given selected websites, students will be able to list at least three events that contributed to the characteristics of the Victorian Era. Given selected websites, students will be able to list three biographical and historical events that contributed to the writings of Charles Dickens. Given selected websites, students will be able to complete a Treasure Hunt with questions with as little as three errors.
Materials:
 You can create a list of web links that are salient for the purpose of the lesson.
Introduction:
 Charles Dickens was a very political writer during the Victorian Age. He created stories with the reoccurring theme of social class. In his novel Great Expectations, we meet a young boy named Philip Pirrip (aka Pip), and the story guides us through his maturation. Great Expectations, according to some critics, is considered to be Dickens greatest work. It is one of Dickensís shorter novels, but it still brings forth the struggles of society and social class. In Dickens's world, social class determines ones place in society. England was a moving force in the world. In Great Expectations, Dickens references Englandís colonization of Australia as he does in other novels. In order to fully understand the social and political encounters that Pip faces, you must first understand the social and political issues that were facing England during the Victorian Era.
Development:
 The teacher will give the students the following background information and as the teacher is giving this information, he/she will be creating a timeline on the board. This will give the students a visual representation of the information. Born on February 7, 1812; the second born of six children to John and Frances Dickens. Charles Dickens spent his childhood primarily in Portsmouth, Chatham, and London. He began his schooling in 1821, at age eleven. His father was put into Marshalsea debtorís prison in 1824. Dickens was forced to leave school and work at Warrenís; a blacking warehouse. This was something that Dickens was ashamed of his entire life. No one knew that this even happened until Dickens wrote about it in David Copperfield. In 1825, John Dickens is released form debtorís prison through an inheritance of money he received. Charles is able to go back to school, but his mother wants him to remain working to provide the family with an extra income. Despite bad feelings between him and his mother he returns to school. In 1827, Dickens starts his first job as a clerk in a law firm. After, in 1829, Dickens begins work as a shorthand reporter for Parliament. Dickens taught himself shorthand within three months. Normally it takes a person three years to learn this skill. In 1832, Dickens becomes a journalist by submitting sketches. In 1832, he married Catherine Hogarth and published his writings under a pseudonym of Boz. He became widely popular for his writing that gave a satirical view of government, the upper classes, and education. Dickens wrote his novels in monthly and weekly installments. Dickensís most autobiographical novel was David Copperfield. He was most famous work was A Christmas Carol. Students will be directed to teacher's website to complete the Treasure Hunt.
Practice:
 The students will be instructed to print the treasure hunt and then will be given a partner to complete the task. The students will have 20 minutes to complete the treasure hunt. Each student will have to had in their own copy of the treasure hunt with the questions completed.
Accommodations:
 For visually impaired students, they will have computers in which font sizes and colors can be altered. For English Language Learners, the instructor will arrange for the student to have a bilingual partner in the class or a tutor that will be able to assist them during a study hall, or after school.
Checking For Understanding:
 The teacher will walk around the class to ensure that the students are understanding the material. The teacher should be asking students if they have any questions and ensure that each student is moving at a steady pace through the exercise.
Closure:
 The teacher will conclude lesson by reviewing Treasure Hunt worksheet with the students. The instructor will sample the to answer the questions. As the students answer the questions it will be important for the teacher to ensure that key aspects of the Victorian Era and Dickens's life.
Evaluation:
 Once the teacher has concluded the review of the treasure hunt, based on the amount of correct responses to the questions, the teacher will determine if further review is necessary.

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