Literary Teaching Resources

For Lower Secondary School

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Though she only wrote one novel, Emily Brontë made an immense contribution to English literature, being the first woman to write about topics considered male-only at the time, such as passion and power conflicts. Wuthering Heights defied Victorian England's stereotypes and societal norms, showing readers that women have unique characters and personalities and are equal to men.
 

Love and Madness in Wuthering Heights

In November 2015 we highlighted Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland, and we proposed a lesson plan with a range of actvities that you could use in class to engage your students.
 

Alice in Wonderland

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Agatha Christie is a British writer from Devon, England. Christie had a phenomenal literary career as a writer of crime stories. She published 66 novels, 154 short stories and 20 plays. She is best known for the her detective novels, most of which revolve around the investigative work of such characters as Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.

 

And Then There Were None

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Born in Edinburgh to an Irish family, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was one of the most popular fiction writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a man of many interests: a doctor, a writer, but also an impassioned sportsman, who played cricket, football and was even one of the first Englishmen to learn how to ski.

 

Three Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes

Three Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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Roald Dahl was born 100 years ago in South Wales, Britain. His parents were Norwegian immigrants. In 1942, Dahl began working at the British Embassy in Washington, DC., where he also became a successful short story writer. He later moved to New York City, where he married actress Patricia Neal, with whom he had four children. In 1960, Dahl started writing stories to amuse his children. Many of these books went on to become international bestsellers, with their often macabre, darkly comic mood and villainous adult enemies of the kind-hearted child characters.


 

Matilda

Halloween with Roald Dahl

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Charles Dickens is the most popular English writer of the Victorian age and author of, among others, Oliver Twist, Great ExpectationsDavid Copperfield and A Christmas Carol.

 

A Christmas Carol

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In January 2016 we highlight Martin Luther King Jr., an American Baptist Minister, orator and leader of the American Civil Rights movement, known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. His works include an autobiography, Letter from the Birmingham Jail, and collections of writings and speeches.

 

Martin Luther King

In March 2016 we highlighted Rudyard Kipling a British writer who was born in 1865 in British India and spent many years living there, which inspired many of his short stories including The Jungle Books. He is well known for his short stories and poems. In 1907 Kipling became the first English-language writer and the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.


 

The Jungle Book

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Lucy Maud Montgomery was a Canadian author who became famous for her series of novels beginning in 1908 with Anne of Green Gables. The book about an orphaned girl, Anne Shirley, was an immediate success and gave Montgomery an international following.


 

Anne of Green Gables

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Louisa May Alcott was born in Pennsylvania, USA in 1832. She began writing stories at a young age. Little Women is an autobiographical novel about growing up with her three sisters. During the American Civil War Alcott worked as a nurse. Throughout her life she was a women's rights activist and fought to abolish slavery. Although she wrote a lot about love and family life, Louisa May Alcott herself was never married. However, she took care of her orphaned niece after the mother, Alcott's youngest sister, passed away.

 

Little Women

F. Scott Fitzgerald was a so-called ‘Jazz Age’ novelist and short-story writer who is considered to be one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century. His most famous and respected novel, The Great Gatsby, is one of the most penetrating descriptions of American life in the 1920s, and was inspired by events in the author's personal life. Although Scott Fitzgerald was an avid reader and a very talented writer from a young age, he was a bad student, a terrible speller, and was even kicked out of school at the age of twelve because he was not able to focus and had trouble finishing his work. It is now widely believed that Fitzgerald suffered from dyslexia.

 

Francis Scott Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age

The curious case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories

William Shakespeare is the most famous writer of plays in the English language. He was born in 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. His plays appealed to all social classes thanks to his vivid characterisations and his masterly use of the English language. He was also an actor and a brilliant poet. He wrote thirty-nine plays and hundreds of poems.
Shakespeare contributed more phrases and sayings to the English language than any other person, and most of them are still in use today. He also used many phrases from other languages in his works. For example “Wear your heart on your sleeve” may derive from the custom at middle ages jousting matches, but was first recorded in Shakespeare's Othello, 1604. Find them all out here!

 

Shakespeare’s life

Marcel and the Shakespeare letters

Othello

King Lear

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Un articolo per approfondire

The best Shakespeare resources from around the web: all in one place!

We know, teaching Shakespeare to students – especially when English is not their first language – takes a bit of courage and not just a bit of preparation. True, there are a myriad of resources out there, but how long will it take you to find the right ones to use with your class? Well, we are here to help. In this short article, we have collected the best websites with information and resources to help you prepare a lesson on Shakespeare that your students will not soon forget!

by Helen Cherkasov

Shelley's novel was a groundbraker for Science Fiction genre. Since its release, science fiction literature divided in two parallel paths: on one side the theme of dangerous technology (started by Frankenstein itself), on the other side the one of technology as instrument for wonder and discovery.

 

Frankenstein

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American author and Nobel Peace prize winner, John Steinbeck wrote about migrant workers and struggling working class people, exploring themes of fate and injustice.

John Steinbeck and The The Fight for Social Justice

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Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish poet, travel writer and novelist. Though he started training as an engineer and then as a lawyer, he was always interested in writing and at the age of twenty-five, began to devote his life to literature. During his lifetime, he lived in France, the United States and in the South Seas, where he became known as ‘The Teller of Stories’.

 

Treasure Island

Bram Stoker is best known as the author of Dracula (1897), one of the most famous horror novels of all time. As your students prepare to choose their scary costumes for Halloween, inspire them to find out the story behind the most famous vampire, Count Dracula, with Bram Stoker's gothic horror novel.

 

Dracula

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin in 1667 and came of age at the height of the Glorious Revolution. He was a great literary figure even in his time, but we know very little about his private life. Swift died in a mental institution struck down by an illness, but he wasn’t mad when he wrote Gulliver’s Travels, a satire on politics, and a timeless book for children.

 

Gulliver's Travels

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Mark Twain's real name was Samuel Clemens. He was born in Florida, USA, in 1835. He spent his childhood in a river town on the Mississippi River. This environment was the main source for some of his best known novels such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884). His pen name, “Mark Twain,” means safe waters, a phrase used by Mississippi boatmen. His best books are considered to be skillful re-creations of American life at that time. Clemens died in 1910, but Mark Twain is still remembered as one of America’s greatest writers.

 

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Jules Verne with one of his masterpieces: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, where a prodigious submarine becomes the mean to overcome the limits of human knowledge, has been an example of science fiction literature where the technology was an instrument for wonder and discovery.

 

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

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A larger than life poet, playwright and author, Oscar Wilde was quite a celebrity during his lifetime. He became famous for his involvement in the philosophy of aestheticism and is best remembered for his plays, his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, and his witty epigrams, still as relevant today as they were in the 1890s.

 

Oscar Wilde and Beauty in Literature

The Canterville Ghost

The Young King and Other Stories

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Donn Byrne – Five One-Act Plays

Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden

Paul Shimpton – Titanic

Randall Wallace – Braveheart