Teaching Northanger Abbey

This is a lesson plan done by Brynna Hooper, a student at Texas A&M University.


Critical Introduction

For my final project I created 5 lesson plans that went over the book Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. I chose this book because it was the only one that interested me as well as was age appropriate for a middle school class room. I chose to focus on the literary elements of the book (theme, character development, plot, diction/connotation, etc.) rather than the contents of it, because in middle school, you learn about those literary elements and put them into practice. Later on in life you no longer get to learn about literary elements but you analyze them and argue a point about something that pertains to whatever you read. A middle schooler would have no idea where to begin with writing a persuasive essay much less a good one like the ones they will write in college.

I focused more on activities that involve the book rather than just discussing the book itself. Mike Fisher suggests that “events and experiences help students develop an emotional attachment to their learning that in turn translates into strong memories—and lessons that are memorable are lessons that will stick” (2). No one remembers the days in school where they sat in their desk and listened to the teacher talk the entire time. Rather, they remember the activities they did, field trips they went on, etc. I will remember the day we went to Cushing Library but I will not remember the days where we only had discussions. I intended to incorporate that idea into my lesson plans by having an activity everyday that involved all students.

I think this is important because as teachers, we make our living off of serving our students. If we fail to teach them, then we are not doing our job. It is our job to uplift our students and help them go above and beyond the goals that are preset for them by the curriculum. We also get the chance to shape their view on projects and school in general. When you implement many activities into your lessons throughout the year it exercises their problem-solving skills and teaches them teamwork strategies. I had a science teacher in middle school, Mrs. Smith, that always told us “my job is not only being a science teacher, but also being a life-skills teacher.”

Keeping that in mind, you are able to reach intersubjectivity with the students and then you can modify your lesson plans to accommodate the students’ needs. Other students may need more time to read or write and some others may need more clarification on the daily subject, so those students could become noncompliant or afraid to ask for help. Then there are the students that may have already read the book or know about the subject you are teaching and will get bored. So, to get each student on the same page, the teacher has to work harder when it comes to incorporating student involvement. I did my best to just that based on my personal experience from working with middle schoolers.


Lesson Plan


Works Cited

  1. Chizhik, Estella Williams, and Alexander Williams Chizhik. “Using Activity Theory to Examine How Teachers’ Lesson Plans Meet Students’ Learning Needs.” The Teacher Educator, vol. 53, no. 1, Jan. 2018.
  2. Fisher, Mike. Ditch the Daily Lesson Plan : How Do I Plan for Meaningful Student Learning?. ASCD, 2015. ASCD Arias. EBSCOhost.

Copyright 2018 Brynna Hooper

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