This lesson plan combines the language and content approaches to teaching literature. Students read an extract from a famous war novel and are encouraged to deduce the meaning of difficult words from their contexts. This text also serves as a vehicle for practising reported speech (any
extract with lots of dialogue is good for this). Finally, through a webquest, students learn more about the life and work of Ernest Hemingway.
- As an introduction to the topic, you could use some of the discussion questions about literature. Ask the students if they know of any famous war novels. Tell them they are going to read an extract from a novel about the Spanish Civil War. Can they tell you when the war happened? Can they tell you details about the Civil War?
- Give the students the worksheets and ask them to read the background to the book For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Reading and Vocabulary
- Most of the difficult words in the extract can be understood form their context and are therefore dealt with after the reading. However, two key words to the understanding of the extract are drunk and cowardly. Write these on the board and ask the students if they know what they mean. Explain them briefly. Then tell the students to read the extract.
Answers to vocabulary in context
1. a wild pig; 2. he has a little hair; 3. The floor of a fireplace in a house; 4. (ask the students to mime the action of ‘put one finger up and wiped it across his throat’); 5. Pay him no heed = pay no attention to him. Nay = no.
- This exercise is intended as extra practice of reported speech and not a presentation. If this is the first time your students have encountered reported speech you might want to use some other material to present it.
- This writing could be done for homework or in class.
- Ask your students to look at the questions on the worksheet and find out more information about the author, Ernest Hemingway, by searching for information on the websites provided.