High School English Teachers discussion

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Brit Lit Help

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message 1: by Michelina (new)

Michelina Matozzi-Sullivan (michelinam) | 1 comments I am in my second year teaching high school English and I have 4 different preps. There is not a set curriculum at my school, so it is all up to me. I am looking for ideas of what novels are taught for British Literature as I am trying to update our novels and keep my students' attention. If you also know of any contemporary British authors that you have taught I would appreciate that as well!


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 3 comments Depending upon grade level, I do "Grendel" by Gardner, "Frankenstein" by Shelley, "Dracula" by Stoker. They like the monsters.

I've also worked in more modern: "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time" by Haddon, "Stolen" by Christopher, "Incarceron" by Catherine Fisher.

I've also added in Irish/Scottish as they are typically covered in Brit Lit. The students really like "Angela's Ashes"


message 3: by Rhi (new)

Rhi | 2 comments Off the top of my head!

For KS3 (ages 11-14):
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. (Pretty much anything by Morpurgo is always a hit.)
Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan.
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd.
Finding Violet Park by Jenny Valentine.
Woman in Black - Susan Hill.

KS4 (ages 15+)
I echo Frankenstein and Dracula.
Blackout by Sam Mills. BRILLIANT.
Annexed by Sharon Dogar, ties in with Anne Frank for some cross curricular.


message 4: by Marina (new)

Marina (MGersty) | 1 comments I am interested in the same topic, but I am looking for help with British short stories that I can share/will be interesting to my urban population of students. I already have "Lamb to the Slaughter" by Dahl and "The Sniper" by O'Flaherty. Any other suggestions? I have previously taught mostly American Lit.


message 5: by Julie (new)

Julie (Libby_Letters) | 2 comments Kids also love "The Hitchhiker" by Dahl. More mature kids could maybe do "Araby" by Joyce if you count Irish writers. And some George Orwell is always a good place to start. I'll keep thinking about it. Hope this helps!


message 6: by Julie (last edited Jun 11, 2014 07:43PM) (new)

Julie Shankle | 8 comments I always remember reading "The Rocking Horse Winner" by D.H. Lawrence when I was in school--nearly 3 decades ago. And I have used it with students too. This story is easy to connect to gaming laws and the human price of gambling. It also works well during the Triple Crown season.

I also like Orwell's "A Hanging," which is a short essay rather than fiction. This is a great companion piece to any piece of literature that pertains to the brutality of colonialism. I plan to use it with Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness this next year.

I have to admit that I don't teach too many contemporary British authors in my British survey, but I do bring in excerpts from JK Rowling's Harry Potter series to compare to The Pardoner's Tale, and I compare Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones to Austen's Pride and Prejudice. And like Nicole, I use Gardner's Grendel with Beowulf.


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