This engaging and informative lesson enables students to make precise and sustained interpretations regarding Susan Hill’s portrayal of Eel Marsh House in the early chapters of The Woman in Black. In particular, they consider how the language (e.g. similes and pathetic fallacy) are used to introduce and develop the imagery and atmosphere of the house. They also consider how the features of the house (e.g. its isolation and age) relate to the generic conventions of scary settings.
The lesson follows a step-by-step learning journey, in which children learn through:
- Defining the key conventions of ghostly settings;
- Reading extracts introducing Eel Marsh House, and relating the conventions of ghostly settings to the description of Eel Marsh House;
- Identifying and exploring how the features of Hill's language help to create imagery and an atmosphere that surrounds Eel Marsh House;
- Analysing how Hill's language and subject matter are effective in the description of Eel Marsh House;
- Peer assessing each other's learning attempts.
- Whole lesson PowerPoint - colourful and comprehensive;
- Extracts from 'The Journey North' and 'Across the Causeway' of The Woman in Black;
- The Features of Ghostly Settings worksheet;
- Analysis template with success criteria for creating well-structured responses;
- Comprehensive lesson plan.
There are also opportunities for group learning, peer assessment, and whole class discussion. This was originally taught to middle-ability year 10 groups, but can easily be differentiated for groups of different ages and abilities.
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