What are some activities that could be used in a highschool unit to teach The Picture of Dorian Gray?I am trying to prepare a unit lesson on The Picture of Dorian Gray. I am looking for some...

What are some activities that could be used in a highschool unit to teach The Picture of Dorian Gray?

I am trying to prepare a unit lesson on The Picture of Dorian Gray. I am looking for some suggestions on creative activities that could correlate with the book.

Asked on by mbh

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Whenever one ties a novel to what transpires in real life, such an activity is using motivational for a class.  So, perhaps you could emphasize activities that revolve around the modern trend of maintaining youthfulness.  Is it narcissistic to have cosmetic surgery and other procedures performed so that one can look young?  How much pressure does society place on older people to appear young (obtaining employment, etc.)  How has this emphasis upon youth per se affected society?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are certainly lots of things you can do, but I am wondering if the class you need to present needs to be based on the entire novel or just a specific part. Obviously, depending what the answer is, you are going to model your class slightly differently.

Personally I would start my class with some form of revision of the action of the part we are looking at - so if it is a specific chapter, I might give a quiz, or if it is a more substantial part I might cut up the various plot elements and see if they can place them in order.

Having established the plot of the part we are going to examine, you might want to think about what particular themes, symbols and images are important in the section you are looking at and assigning one of these aspects to each group to look at, perhaps modelling what you want them to do with a different symbol etc first as a whole class activity.

You could do the same for characters - focussing on how they develop, what conflicts they have, how they are resolved etc. One creative way you can do this is to give each group a large bit of coloured card and get them to create a poster based on the theme, image, symbol or character, but tell them they are not allowed to use any words. This is a great way of forcing them to think symbolically and how they can express ideas in different ways.

Hope this helps. My big secret is to be super-confident of the material yourself. If you do this, then your lesson should go very well. Good luck!

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