Englisch,  Oberstufe: Creating a blog about the novel "Brave New World",  Unterricht im Kontext der Digitalität

Creating a blog about the novel “Brave New World”

Work in groups of 4 and distribute your work among your group members. 

Your blog must be created until the end of August. You might have to read the novel and work on it at home, too. Effective group work is essential for successful completion.

For vocabulary, please use the online dictionary pons.

For study aids, you can consult Spark Notes.

a) How to create a blog in eight steps

  • Go to wordpress.com.
  • Click on “Webseite erstellen”.
  • Choose a category for your blog.
  • Choose “Liste” as layout option.
  • Choose a layout.
  • Choose a name for your blog.
  • Create an account using an email address of one of your group members and confirm your email address.
  • Done! Start writing and publishing!

b) Basic blogging terminology 

Seite (page) A static page that can be filled with anything (embedded videos, docs, text, images…).

Blogbeitrag (blog posts) Your blog posts appear as a list on your website with the newest one at the top.

Themes Here you can change the basic layout.

Anpassen (adjust) Here you can make individual changes to your layout.

Kategorien (categories) To make browsing your website easier, you can organize blog posts in categories that will appear in the side-menu of your website

Schlagwörter (tags) You can tag any blog posts with keywords, the search option on your website allows you to search for tags and to thus find all the blog posts using this tag.

Beitragsformat (format) Depending on wether a blog post contains a video, an image gallery, a link etc. you should choose the respective format.

Leute (people) Here you can add collaborators. Klick on the “+” and add group memebrs with their email-addresses and assign them the role of “editors”.

embed You can embed a video from a website (youtube, vimeo…) simply by copying the URL into the blog post.

c) Assignments for your blog 

The author of each post / page should be identifiable, i.e. one post/page is written by one author but you can of course distribute the posts / pages among your group members.

pages

(Assignments marked with * are optional. Choose two of the optional tasks.)

* Imagine you wanted to turn the novel into a movie. Shoot a film trailer for that movie and post it. Attention: You cannot upload movies directly onto a free wordpress page. But you can upload the clip on vimeo (better data protection than youtube) and then embed it. Ask me for my vimeo account data and you can use my vimeo account for uploading. For editing your video with iMovie or Movie Maker, search for a tutorial on youtube.

Choose one crucial scene and imagine this would be the text for a school exam (give the page and line indication). Formulate three exam questions for this excerpt and write the exam. See the list of operators for the three assignments (content, analysis, comment). This assignment can be done by up to three group members.

* Turn a crucial situation of the novel into a role play. Film yourselves and post it (again via vimeo embedding).

Imagine the D.H.C. does not show a group of students around to explain the hatchery and conditioning process and its implications on the society of the world state but that he gives a powerpoint/prezi/keynote presentation instead. Create a presentation using good licence-free pictures that explains how the world state functions to people not familiar with it. Remember the criteria for a good presentation (images to support points, no full sentences but keywords, one aspect per slide…). Please link the presentation to the weblog page. For free pictures have a look at the page “Bildrechte im Internet” in the left-hand menu section on this weblog and the page pixabay.com for good pictures.

*a dictionary of the world state : Some words have a different meaning and whole different connotations in the World State than in our world, e.g. God, happiness. Write a dictionary in which you explain/paraphrase (in English!) the special meaning of the words in the world state. You write this for someone from our society pointing out the differences between the meaning in our society to the one in the world state. Write about as many words as you consider worth explaining for non world-staters.

BNW – a dystopian novel : Find out about the typical elements of a dystopian novel and evaluate in how far BNW is a dystopian novel by giving concrete examples from the novel.

*Imagine you are a citizen of a remote island which has not been part of the world state so far. You are asked by the world controllers to join the world state. You hold a meeting and you come to a decision. In front of the world controllers you then deliver a speech in which you state your decision. Write that speech. You can also film it and/or record it and then embed it (via vimeo and /or dropbox). Ask me for my account details if you want to embed a sound file via spreaker.com.

Impressum – you can copy my impressum from my website and adjust it to your needs. Every website MUST have a copyright page (in German: Impressum).

blog

(Choose two of the optional tasks here.)

Follow one character of the novel of your choice and write a blog from the perspective of that character. Imagine the blog posts to be a little bit like facebook posts. The characters posts his/her thoughts, ideas, feelings, reactions at crucial points of the story.  You can of course add pictures (license-free!). (create a catchy category name for these posts)

*Most characters also have telling names, i.e. their names are adopted from people from world history. Identify those people, add a license-free picture of the people and point out why the characters might have been called like this by Huxley by pointing out their role they play in the plot of the novel. (category: characters).

*Shakespeare quotes in BNW: at points Shakespeare quotes are used in the novel. Write them down, identify the play and their original context they are taken from and state who uses them and why and in what situation in the novel “Brave New World”. Here is a list:  Shakespeare in BNW (category: Shakespeare)

* Catchphrases of the world state. In the world state, some phrases are repeated all over again (e.g. in the hypnopeadia sessions) like the world state motto “community, identity, stability”or “everyone belongs to everyone else”. Make a list of these phrases and explain what they tell you about the society in the world state. G (category: catchphrases)

BNW as a dystopian novel warns against critical tendencies of the modern world. Choose four (one for each group member) of the following elements of the World State, describe its role in the world state in  detail (give evidence from the text) and point out what tendency in today’s Western society it alludes to. Then add a link to an article of an English-language quality newspaper/magazine (e.g. the Guardian, New York Times, the Times, the Economist…) which critically deals with the topic and which we can read with our whole class after having dealt with the novel “Brave New World”. (category: critical tendencies). Please briefly summarize the article you have found.

  • cloning
  • classes in society
  • social predetermination
  • fertility control
  • mood-changing drugs
  • religion
  • mass consumption
  • genetically modified organisms
  • prenatal diagnostics
  • entertainment
  • manipulation and conditioning
  • state control
  • lack of education

d) Criteria for grading:

  • layout (fonts, images, structure)
  • linguistic correctness (use the spelling check)
  • content (critical and deep understand of the novel and its characters and topics)
  • meaningful use of media (sound, pictures, videos)
  • respect of copyright
  • good structure and organization (categories, tags)