Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun with the classics and a few zombies

Today I hit upon an idea for my last unit of the year for my 6th and 7th grade honors English language arts class. I couldn't figure out which novels to choose for my final literature unit, then remembered a book review for Alice in Zombieland, due out in bookstores next month. Thought followed thought, and I came up with a unit I'm calling "Classics and Monsters" (yeah, I know...weak title; give me a break, I'm working on a better one).

At any rate, the idea behind it is to have the students break into literature circles/book groups, then choose from a selected list of classic novels: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, Anna Karenina. After the students finish reading their selected novel, they'll  read the modern, monster mash-up version of the same story: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Alice in Zombieland, Little Vampire Women (or Little Women and Werewolves), Android Karenina.

After reading the monster mash-up, the students will get to pick one of the various short stories we read at the beginning of the year to re-write, monster mash-up style. I pitched the idea to some of my students, who seized on the idea and are excited about it. Vonnegut, Doyle, Bierce, Hemingway, and a few others could be in big trouble. This is going to be fun.