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Anne Of Green Gables in the classroom

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Anne Of Green Gables in the classroom

While trying to help my sixth graders appreciate some good literature, I tried to teach them that one of the characteristics of classic art of any form is that it is timeless. That is, the themes are relevant today as well as in the past. The themes often relate to our basic needs as humans.

One assignment that I used was to have the children watch the video Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Even if children have seen the video or read the book, they will enjoy doing so again.

What I asked them to do was watch for feelings, ideas, or needs that Anne experienced that children today might also experience and how they might react similarly or differently from Anne. Students were to keep a list for discussion and for a later writing assignment. The first setting, we watched the video for about half an hour and then stopped to discuss what we had seen so that students would see what I was looking for. Some of the topics for discussion that students came up with were:

  • Homelessness
  • Feelings of not being wanted
  • Being the new kid on the block
  • Child labor
  • Peer Pressure
  • Having goals and dreams
  • Being successful
  • Wanting to belong to the crowd
  • Pride in who we are
  • Feelings of being physically unattractive
  • Having a best friend

There are many other themes which children of different ages might notice. After discussion and sharing of different themes, children could be asked to write about 3 or 4 of the ones they like best. The number and the length of the assignment should be determined by the age and ability of the student. This assignment could be used with many different books.

At the time I used this, we also studied Canada and Mexico in the sixth grade social studies curriculum. This made a nice way to integrate the language arts and social studies curricula.


Lesson by Margaret Twitchell

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