In this engaging and informative lesson, students learn to make sustained and precise interpretations of the character of Tonga in 'The Sign of Four.' In particular, students analyse Watson’s account of Tonga’s appearance, mannerisms and behaviours in chapter 10 of the novel, before linking this to notions of the savage cultural ‘other’ that were commonly held during the colonial era in Britain.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which students learn through:
- Understanding the social and cultural context of Britain's colonial past;
- Reading and understanding chapters 9 and 10, in which Tonga makes his appearance;
- Identifying and analysing the language techniques used by Doyle in describing Tonga;
- Understanding how readers at the time would react to the depiction of Tonga;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts.
- Whole Lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
- Paper Copies of Chapters 9 and 10;
- Tonga - Links to Context Worksheet (and teacher answer sheet);
- Essay Template;
- Detailed Lesson Plan
There are also opportunities for group learning, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. These resources were originally taught to GCSE students, but with subtle adaptations they have also been used with both younger and older (up to A Level) students.
Please note that you'll need access to internet/laptops for opening quiz activity.
All images are licensed for commercial use, and image rights are listed on the last page of the presentation.