What makes literature lasting?

How does one become culturally literate?

How can we use a novel of the past to better understand our present?

During our unit on Great Expectations, we will create and maintain a blog that links the themes and main ideas of Great Expectations to relevant 21st century cultural connections.

Weekly Posts- 4 total

Each week during the unit, you will make one post based on our weekly reading assignments and discussions in class. Each week, I will post a list of the novel’s themes/main ideas from which you can make your connections.

– You can use these themes/main ideas OR you can think of your own! The themes/main ideas that I thought of are entered in as Categories on the blog. If you use one of these ideas, label your post with the correct Category. If you think of your own theme/main idea, create your own tag and attach it to your post.

Your weekly post will entail:

–  At least one form of multi-media: a digital image, hyperlink to web resource, hyperlink to YouTube video, sound bite, graph, etc.

–  A well-written, analytical paragraph that connects your chosen main idea/theme of the novel to your cultural connection. Your paragraph should follow all English class expectations:

  • Topic Sentence, Assertion, Evidence, Commentary, Concluding Sentence.
  • Correct grammar/usage/mechanics

–  Some cultural connections may be (but are not limited to):

  • Musical lyrics
  • Movies
  • Television shows
  • Current events
  • Other novels
  • Magazine articles
  • Artwork
  • Cartoons

These weekly posts will count as a homework completion grade, and during class, you will have the opportunity to respond to your classmates’ posts. Download our Tips for Critically Assessing and Examining our Blog on how to critically assess and examine our blog posts.

Culminating Post – 1 final post

You will complete one final post after we finish reading the novel. This post will be graded as a quiz grade (see English 9A Writing Rubric). The final post will be a longer response (essay length), and you will need to develop your own theme/main idea. You can use ideas from previous posts, and you can make connections to multiple cultural pieces. This post should reflect your understanding of Great Expectations as a whole and should exemplify creativity and critical thinking.

Tips for posting to our class blog:

–  Type your response in a Word document first. Proofread for grammar and use spell check. Save this Word document.

–  Then, post your response to the blog.

Tips for finding “cultural connections”:

– While you’re reading, keep a running record of your “creative thoughts”—every time you think you of something else while reading (a song lyric, a current event, another book…), jot that idea down on a post-it note or piece of paper.

Want to download a copy of these directions? Dickens Blog Assignment Directions

Want to learn more about how to use this blog? Check out these cool videos.