Teaching British Literature: Favorite Novels
British Literature was one of my favorite classes to teach. I was allowed the freedom to teach the novels I wanted to teach, and I was given freedom to guide my students in some excellent discussions. The following novels were my favorites to use with the course, and I have even included one excellent film I used in a unit!
1984 by George Orwell is an absolute classic of British (and world) literature. The story of Winston Smith is one that resonated with my students. I will never forget the one student who was livid that I would select such a novel, and later changed her tune. To this day it is still one of her favorite novels - not just read in school but of all time!
Children of Men
Children of Men, while is a novel, is a fantastic dystopian film that I used while teaching 1984. My students fell in love with the film, and of course enjoyed this dystopian epic over our class novel.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley had the single greatest discussion I have ever seen my kids have. After reading the novel one of my classes engaged in a two day (90 minutes total) discussion about if it was moral for Dr. Frankenstein to create the creature. It was a highly engaging discussion that was made possible by this absolute classic of British Literature.
The Importance of Being Earnest
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde is hands-down my favorite play. It was such a blast to take my kids and allow them the opportunity to act out this fantastic and hilarious play. While it was not always a hit with the kids, there were some who enjoyed it which is a victory!
And Then There Were None
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is such an amazing, amazing mystery novel. While my students enjoyed reading the novel and trying to piece the puzzle together, the real joy began after the novel was over. My younger students created a school wide murder mystery that the British Literature students had to solve. The groups had to solve the clues that led them around the school.