The novel Wuthering Heights is a classic of English Literature. It was Emily Bronte‘s only novel. How an unknown writer in the north of England could conjure up such an epic tale of passion, tragedy and desperation is amazing in itself, but when the facts behind the tragedies within the Bronte family are added to the mix a compelling scenario emerges.
There are three sections to this whole lesson plan.
Firstly a warm-up of some of the trickier vocabulary to be encountered later, then a passage from the novel itself. There is no following exercise. This is intended as an extensive reading experience in which the students simply read and enjoy the text. It contains the iconic line ‘I am Heathcliff’, and may naturally lead to some discussion between students and teacher. The students may need some clarification, so it is recommended the teacher familiarize themself with the novel prior to the class.
Secondly the true story of the Bronte family tragedy is explored, based around the sobering fact that Emily Bronte’s father, Patrick not only outlived his wife but also all of his six children.
Thirdly the haunting song based on the novel by a then 19 year old Kate Bush can be played to the students accompanied by a traditional gap-fill exercise. Since the lyrics contain some rather difficult vocabulary and are also very challenging conceptually, the gap-fill focuses on the simpler parts of language, like prepositions, adverbs, pronouns etc. So, even if students have trouble with the overall meaning of the lyrics, they have a fighting chance of succeeding with the gap-fill. (For obvious reasons the song itself cannot be included here, but it is easily downloadable from the usual suspects)
For intermediate – advanced students, taking about 60-90 minutes.
Wuthering Heights whole lesson click here for free downloadable pdf sheets including answer key.
PS. On a personal note I have not updated this site for over a month. This is simply because this Wuthering Heights lesson plan proved much much more complex than I had imagined. Trying to make classic literature accessible to today’s students is a major headache. I’ve wrestled with it for over a month, but I have learned a few new techniques along the way, and I hope it is now ready.
Please find a snapshot of the first section of this activity below.