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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:09 PM
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BumbleB BumbleB is offline
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LA Teachers: Adapted Classics?

Anyone have a good website/company that sells QUALITY adapted classic literature? My co-teacher and I want our eighth graders to read "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, but we can't find a good adaptation. We would read the original, but it has very over-the-top description and the old English language is tough for our at-risk kids to get through. But, we don't want it to be so adapted that the kids miss out on the rich vocabulary, character development, theme and symbolism, etc. I realize I'm being very picky here, but any help is appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2013, 08:27 PM
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I looked at my usual sources, but don't see that particular title. If you're bent on 19th-century literature, I use an adapted version of Frankenstein from Prestwick House with my lower-level 12th graders. It summarizes some of the slower parts of the book while still preserving a good bit of Shelley's original text.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:34 PM
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catnfiddle catnfiddle is offline
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You might want to switch to one of Wilde's plays. There is a charming film adaptation of The Importance of Being Earnest starring Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth. Seeing and hearing might help them understand why the funny parts really are funny.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:53 AM
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dgpiaffeteach dgpiaffeteach is online now
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I personally don't like adapted versions 95% of the time. They just aren't very good. What about Animal Farm? That's more on their level.

I also think you could choose a better novel than Dorian Gray. It's something my AP kids have read.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2013, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgpiaffeteach View Post
I also think you could choose a better novel than Dorian Gray. It's something my AP kids have read.
We read the Scholastic play version, and my students LOVED it. They loved the themes, the creepy supernatural aspect, the character of Dorian, etc. They had so many awesome "lightbulb" moments while reading it and I had a lot of kids speak up and share some pretty awesome connections and allusions (one kid made an allusion to the Bible and I was like ....so awesome!)

The thing about the Scholastic version is it's really short, but it still gives the accurate plot line and some challenging vocabulary. We just want a longer version of that....actually, the students want a longer version of that. They are requesting that we read the whole text for our next novel study. I just think the older, overly-descriptive language (for example, Wilde takes a whole paragraph to describe how this bouquet of flowers smells) might overwhelm some of our lower readers. So I was looking for a version that's still accurate but less flowery and descriptive. Some description is good, overkill description is too much for them.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleB View Post
We read the Scholastic play version, and my students LOVED it. They loved the themes, the creepy supernatural aspect, the character of Dorian, etc. They had so many awesome "lightbulb" moments while reading it and I had a lot of kids speak up and share some pretty awesome connections and allusions (one kid made an allusion to the Bible and I was like ....so awesome!)

The thing about the Scholastic version is it's really short, but it still gives the accurate plot line and some challenging vocabulary. We just want a longer version of that....actually, the students want a longer version of that. They are requesting that we read the whole text for our next novel study. I just think the older, overly-descriptive language (for example, Wilde takes a whole paragraph to describe how this bouquet of flowers smells) might overwhelm some of our lower readers. So I was looking for a version that's still accurate but less flowery and descriptive. Some description is good, overkill description is too much for them.
Could you use the whole novel and pick and choose what parts you read? I know our special ed teacher does that with TKAM. Then some kids could read the whole thing too?
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2013, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by dgpiaffeteach View Post
Could you use the whole novel and pick and choose what parts you read? I know our special ed teacher does that with TKAM. Then some kids could read the whole thing too?
Hmmm, that's a good idea. Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:42 PM
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Please don't use an edited, abridged form of ANYTHING. Our kids deserve the real thing. Those who have trouble with vocabulary, etc, will get most of it via context clues. Abridgements cheapen us as a culture.
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2013, 01:14 PM
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I think it's so cool you're teaching Dorian Gray!
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:10 PM
TeacherGroupie TeacherGroupie is offline
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Much depends on the audience, Mamacita, and of course on the quality of the abridgment. I'd rather that kids in BumbleB's inclusion class encounter a good abridgment of Dorian Gray, with some of the language intact, than never encounter it at all.

On the other hand, BumbleB, you might consider this: Use Wilde's original text. Choose ONE of Wilde's descriptive passages, early in the book, to work through as a class. You could point out that that's how people wrote in 1890. Then differentiate by providing the inclusion students a cheat sheet that locates the beginning and ending of each passage that you deem "flowery" - I trust you'd all be reading from the same edition - and briefly summarizes its point. Inclusion students could then read those passages less closely; for advanced students, you could perhaps construct an exercise that requires them actually to read and comment on some or all of those passages.
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