'The shadows are as important as the light' Get creative in using the language you learn when reading classic novels.
You read the book, you discover lots of new words and phrases, and then? What do you do with them? How can you remember them, internalize them? Graded Readers have lots of exercises, from gap fill to multiple choice cloze, so you can really work with the language you read. Another great way to practise is to use the language to comment and post in the Lost in Classics Facebook Group. But it doesn't have to be a simple comment. This month as we approach spring I want to propose some ideas on how to get creative and have a little fun with it!
What do you think of the picture on the front cover of your book? Why was it chosen? What image would you choose for the front cover? Are there any illustrations in your version? Describe which part of the story the picture refers to. No pictures? Choose an extract from the book and draw your own! Alternatively, create a comic strip with speech bubbles.
Make a glossary for one chapter. Write down some words that you have learned. Add a definition and write an example sentence using the word. Make a word cloud using a tool such as www.wordle.net. Post the cloud as a picture and test other group members, or create a quiz question. Why not try a website like quizlet.com?
3) Write a play
Rewrite part of the story as a play then (for the brave!) act it out or make an audio or video recording of your version.
4) Points of view
Retell part of the sotory as if you were a main character in the story. For example, in Jane Eyre we hear the story from Jane's point of view. What would Rochester's view be? Or Bertha's?! This could be very interesting for Wuthering Heights that is narrated mainly by people who were not always directly involved.
5) What happens next?
Decide what happens after the story ends. Maybe imagine that two of the characters meet again after 10 years. In Wuthering Heights, what happens to Cathy and Hareton? Do they marry, are they happy or are they still haunted by Catherine and Heathcliff? Write the dialogue, or draw a picture with captions or speech bubbles.
6) What if?
Imagine that a key event in the story did not happen or happened differently. What did Heathcliff do when he was away? In Jane Eyre, what if Bertha had not died? Write an alternative ending for the story.
Select part of the story in which different characters are being described. Ask group members to identify which character they think is being described. Play 20 questions. Think of a character and have others ask you yes or no questions to identify who it is. Imagine you are one of the characters of the book. Have others interview you.
8) Spot the difference
Watch the first 5 - 10 minutes of a film version and identify the differences with the book. Yesterday I read the first chapter of Jane Eyre then watched the first scene of the 2011 film. It's fun to compare the picture in your head with the film.
Watch a scene with the sound off and try to guess what the characters are talking about.
9)Make a presentation
Prepare a short presentation on an interesting theme. Include some thought-provoking puctures, quotes and discussion questions.
Ready to get creative? Watch out for all these activities and more in the Lost in Classics Group this month. The more the merrier!
Every month, I publish a review of the book I ahve read that month.