Lord of the Flies

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by teacher304, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. teacher304

    teacher304 Companion

    Dec 9, 2009
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    Sep 19, 2011

    Anyone have any experience teaching this novel to struggling readers. Any lessons or ideas to get them 'into" the book or just to help them get through this requirement. My audience is 10th graders who read at about a 5th grade level.
  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

    Jun 21, 2008
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    Sep 19, 2011

    Do you belong to the English Companion Ning? Lots of great ideas over there. Some samples after I searched the site:

    I did a project with my kids this year where they were stranded on an island like the boys in the book. Every day when they came to class, I would give them a scenario of something that happened to them overnight that they then had to journal about. They got really involved in the story then.

    In the beginning of the novel, I have students form groups of 5 or 6 (depending on class size). I give them a list of survival necessities and they prioritize from 1-20 (1 being most important, etc). They choose a leader and answer questions in alignment with the novel. Each time we break into groups throughout the novel, these will be the groups they congregate to. After Chapter 3, "Huts on the Beach", I give them a hut building assignment. I use playing cards and give them some basic guidelines. Before they come together I also have given them a personality test about conflict resolution. I ask them to pay attention to their specific "personality" when they are "building". It is always such a fun activity. Students are able to either teamwork (Simon and Piggy), stick to rules (Piggy), or play (littluns). Some get aggressive and angry and sabotage other tribes' huts (hunters) others show true leadership skills (Ralph) or go off alone (simon). Again, it's a fun way to simulate some of the interactions and frustrations that the young men felt on the island. I then have them respond and reflect to a series of questions that will be done individually.

    Here is what I did the first day of my Lord of the Flies unit.
    First day: have balloons laid out on the desks (or pass them out). Then just pretend you have some quick errand to run and leave the room. ( I stand outside) Just wait until you hear a few pops of the balloons and the volume of their voices raise. It's a great way to discuss what happens when the adult or rules aren't in the equation. My kids loved it. I wasn't sure they would get what I wanted them to do, so I also laid out very sharp pencils on every desk. Sure enough I had a boy student running around the room stabbing other students' balloons. We called him Jack for a while.

    You can also do this: give them the balloons and tell them they need to have their balloon still inflated by the end of the class to receive a prize. You still leave the room. You'll still have students stabbing each other's balloons. It's a good way to talk about how you didn't say they had to stab everyone else's balloon to win the prize. It's a great way to introduce savagery.

    There's a bunch more too long to paste here. Go explore!
  4. Mr. Mortini

    Mr. Mortini Rookie

    Jun 6, 2011
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    Sep 20, 2011

    Oh yes,
    I love this book.

    Students (or most readers for that matter)
    seldom realize how truly wonderful this story is.

    The allegorical elements often evade the first time reader.

    I've found that the toughest barrier to student interest is the first chapter (and maybe next the next couple as well).

    The first chapter is flooded with beautiful jungle/island imagery that is totally wasted on students.

    I suggest one of two approaches:

    1. Manually abridge the first chapter
    2. Read pretty much the whole book aloud

    You may find either of these approaches successful,
    or you may not.

    Let me know how it goes!
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

    Jul 5, 2011
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    Sep 20, 2011

    I love these ideas! I won't be teaching it for another two years (we're switching it from 10th to Brit Lit in 12th) but these are some awesome ways to get the kids engaged!

    Also, definitely think EC is awesome! Highly recommend it!

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