A year of literary anniversaries
- Posted by: oupseminars
- Category: Blog
Last year was full of major literary anniversaries. 2016 marked 400 years since the death of England’s National Poet, William Shakespeare, 200 years from the birth of Charlotte Brönte and much-loved children’s author Roald Dahl would have celebrated his 100th birthday.
2017 is equally as important in terms of British literary celebrations. July marks 200 years since the death of 19th century novelist Jane Austen, famous for her classics such as “Sense and Sensibility”, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Emma”.
Later this year is also the 125th anniversary of the publication of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”, a collection of twelve short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The fictional detective has been converted into a hit TV series by the BBC with Benedict Cumberbatch as the lead role.
And finally, you’ll be surprised to hear that this June we commemorate 20 years since the release of the first Harry Potter book “The Philosopher’s Stone” by author J.K. Rowling. Since then there have been another 6 novels, 8 blockbuster movies, 4 theme parks and numerous video games based on the wizardry series!
You can find these stories and many other titles, novels and tales to suit the level of your classes. Visit the Oxford Graded Readers page for more details. How many have you read?
Literature and reading is an essential part of language learning, so here is a quick literary activity you can use with your students for any novel; a spoken gap-fill based on the synopsis:
- Choose a title that most of your students are familiar with and find or create a synopsis of the story adequate to your students’ level.
- From the synopsis, extract various important words or phrases. Share only these with the students or display on the board. Go over the vocabulary and check for understanding.
- Then, read the synopsis out loud and pause at the gaps. The students have to verbally fill in the gaps using the words or phrases you have given them.
- Once you have completed the synopsis, students have to guess the title and author!
Have fun and keep reading!