Did I grow?

During my pre-internship, I found that I did not do as much growing as I had hoped in terms of my lessons. I was given the opportunity to teach something I am particularly passionate about; horror. My cooperating teacher often had very little to say about my lessons, because they all went well. I had an amazing group of students who let me experiment with them and genuinely tried when I gave them work to do. Because my students were so receptive to my teaching, I challenged them to work with a difficult literary theory and move away from comprehension type activities.

My first lesson was a bit of everything. I had a ‘Drop Everything and Write’ acrostic poem making activity. I noted that students were unfamiliar with creative writing and that had me continue with that activity all the way through my pre-internship. After writing, I had a student come up to the board to help me design a vampire concept map. I used this activity, because I worked well with my grade eight class. However, grade tens are more shy and less inclined to stand in front of the room. I made a point of never doing that again. Through my concept mapping, I noted that the class liked to have group talks rather than individual work. I planned activities that incorporated both into their learning. The end of the class was a reader’s theatre style reading of Dracula. My cooperating teacher had told me that the students would enjoy this style of reading. She was helpful in making my initial lessons plans a success, because she gave me an insight into what worked in her class and what did not. Because of this, I did not have target sheets made up, but just the odd verbal feedback provided. My main critique over the three weeks was about sequencing. However, I cannot document this change just yet. I need to take my horror unit and rework it, and teach it once more.

My growth lesson would be my transition into harder content. Deconstruction is a difficult literary theory that requires a careful mind and a close reading of a text. Thanks to my cooperating teacher’s encouragement, I felt that I was ready to tackle this with my students. After a lesson that warmed us up to the idea, we deconstructed movie clips from popular vampire shows. The students watched each clip twice and then tried to decipher what that minute long clip meant in an intended way and an unintended way. The students focused hard during this lesson and the results were great. Overall, my pre-internship was successful and I am excited to try my horror unit once more.


Dracula Act II Questions

Act Two Questions

Name:_____________                                                                                   ELA A10/Ms. Fisher

As you read Act Two, please answer the following questions to the best of your ability. There will be a homework check on Tuesday. So, have them done!

  1. When the Attendant refers to ‘the Guv’ner’s pet looney’, what does he mean? Why do the characters talk about the ‘looney’ in this way? Provide evidence from the text (act one or act two)



  1. When the Maid mentions the ‘Dutch Sherlock Holmes,’ who is she referring to? Why compare him to Sherlock Holmes?



  1. How did the Attendant scare the Maid? Who came rushing in after the Maid screamed? Why was he upset?



  1. What is prostration (Use your own device)? Why do you think Dracula uses that particular word to describe her situation?



  1. What did Dracula do to the maid? Are there any other characters he may have done this to as well? Who are they? How are they affected by this?



  1. What is wolfsbane (Use your own device)?



  1. What was in the Count’s cases? What did he say he was going to use it for? How might he actually use this?



  1. What is Van Helsing’s plan for killing Dracula?



  1. What will happen to Lucy if she dies?




  1. Who overhears Van Helsing, Seward, and Harker talking? What do they do with him?



  1. What does Van Helsing think Renfield is lying about? What hints does Renfield give that makes it seem like he is working with Dracula? What happens when he starts to tell the truth to Van Helsing?



  1. What two animals can vampires shape shift into? How is that important to the play (remind yourself of act one)?




  1. Why is Seward worried about Van Helsing’s health?



  1. Why didn’t Van Helsing notice Dracula sneaking up? Why does Dracula destroy the mirror?




  1. Van Helsing uses some anti-vampire tactics against Dracula. What tactics does he use on Dracula?



  1. Why does Van Helsing suggest that they not tell Miss Lucy of his findings?




  1. What is the Hampstead Horror?



  1. Who is the woman in white described in the newspaper article? What has caused her to act this way? Why do they need to save Miss Lucy from this?




  1. What protective measures are they putting in place for Miss Lucy at night?



10.What is the message that the Attendant has come to deliver to Doctor Seward about Renfield?



11. Describe the last scene of Act Eight.

Group Dramatic Reading of Dracula

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Dramatic Reading of Act Two and comprehension/interpretation questions

Content: D.E.A.W., Dramatic Reading Explained, Group work, Present, Questions

Teaching Strategy: Choice of movement or still performance

Outcomes: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.


  • SWBAT: Demonstrate active reading behaviours including
  • SWBAT: Discussing and analysing meanings, ideas, language, and literary and informational quality in a range of contemporary and historical texts
  • SWBAT: Work in groups on their oral reading
  • SWBAT: Perform a dramatic reading or a reader’s theatre format reading

Multiple Intelligences: 

  • Visual-Spatial
  • Bodily-kinesthetic
  • Musical
  • Interpersonal

Prerequisite: Students will have given an oral presentation before (in a different class or grade)

Lesson Preparation:

  • Question Sheet
  • Typed out scenes


Set: Provide direction for writing. These students struggle with creative writing.

Development: Are students working together? Do they have plans for their presentation?

Closure: Do students following along with the question guide?


Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

Development: (estimated time 40/60 minutes) (30)

  • What is dramatic reading?

o   Use dramatic reading to turn an ordinary read aloud into an attention grabbing performance.

o   Dramatic reading refers to reading with flare; bringing the words written on a piece of paper to life to draw in the audience

o   Add some drama to your presentation (use those hands!).

o   Movement and a bit of memorization (in our case we will use the books)

  • Write trait of dramatic reading on the board

o   Use Voices

  • Create voices for the characters in the story you are reading aloud.
  • Use different tones, pitches and accents that you think work best for each character.
  • Speak clearly and audibly

o   Props (if available; welcome to use anything in the room)

  • Use simple props that are easy to alternate between while reading.
  • Simple props can add to the story and make it more life-like.

o   Practice

  • Scan the text to important stage directions
  • Practice reading the piece, or the parts of the piece that you will be reading aloud.
  • Practising will make you more comfortable and familiar with the text, making it easier to perform.
  • Use your book; we haven’t been practising for weeks.
  • Pace yourself
  • Might help to highlight your part
  • Students will be reading Act two orally to their peers

o   Reader’s Theatre or Dramatic Reading Choice

o   Students will use this as a practice stage for their final oral story retelling

o   I will write the groups up on the board

o   Students will gather into their groups

o   One student will come grab their scene for their group

o   Students will have 15 minutes to practice their reading

  • Groups:

o   Group One (Scene 1 and Scene 8):

o   Group Two (Scene 2):

o   Group Three (Scene 3):

o   Group Four (Scene 4):

o   Group Five (Scene 5):

o   Group Six (Scene 6):

o   Group Seven (Scene 7):

  • **missing people? Get inventive! (Ms. Fisher can be the innovation)

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

  • Presentations will start
  • Students will be asked to work on the Act Two Questions to be taken up on Monday

Adaptive Dimensions:

  • Group Work
  • Strong Readers/Confident individuals placed in each group
  • Guiding Questions
  • ELL’s are spread throughout the groups

The Serial Killer Intern?

The first week is complete and I have no idea how I made through. Everything is starting to blur together and my mind is constantly working towards the future. “What am I doing to do with this class tomorrow?” Although things have been stressful, I love every minute of it! I’ve somehow developed a nickname “The Serial Killer Intern.” I haven’t even started talking about cannibalism yet!

The first three days of this week were phenomenal. It was awesome to see my lesson plans come together and even start to mesh. I took on the challenge of doing Dracula the three act play with my ELA A10 class. I know that this would be a great topic, because I have a love for dark and gory literature. My largest accomplishment this week was having everyone’s names by day two. I was really making a point of calling on students for answers and familiarizing myself with their faces. My first day, I introduced Reader’s Theatre into the classroom. We ended up having enough volunteers to read out loud. Everyone was engaged because I gave them an anticipation guide to fill out. This sort of comprehension organizers have been a helpful tool.

Today was a bit like pulling teeth. I chose to teach a rather difficult and dry concept to my grade tens (Deconstruction). They did understand it very well, but trying to get answers without cold-calling was a task. We were talking up my Vampire film viewing sheet today. I should have just selected a few to take up together and got them to hand it in. The students found it a bit boring when they were unfamiliar with the entire movie.

My lessons were changing all the time. My cooperating teacher provided excellent feedback on them and really helped me get a strong direction for the week. I was definitely over planned for every day. However, that meant that my lesson would splash into the next day and things started to seem connected. My film viewing day was one I might change up a bit. I might use longer clips and fewer movies. At this time, I would probably give the students a better idea of what to look for and write it up on the board. When I asked for it in discussion they had it, but they did not have it written down beforehand.

I learned that teaching is about connecting. These lesson plans we are making should not just be isolated events. Everything needs a purpose and an end point. Another thing I realized was that I need to make time for myself. This week, I didn’t go jogging at all and spent most nights answering journal entries and marking small assignments. It is starting to drive me crazy. Honestly, I am going to spend my night playing video games and not even look at a journal entry. Time really speeds up when you are in a school. I don’t even feel like I spent a week teaching.

Dracula Lesson Two

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Period 4: 1:09 PM – 2:12 PM (63 minutes)

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Introduction to Deconstruction Using Dracula

Content: D.E.A.W., Reader’s Theatre, Discussion, Deconstruction, Example, Handout

Teaching Strategy: Quiet Reading, Pair Work, Working out an example as a class

Outcomes: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.


–          SWBAT: Write for five minutes using a prompt

–          SWBAT: Read out loud

–          SWBAT: Discuss the text with provided questions

–          SWBAT: Deconstruct a text/metaphor

–          SWBAT: Read, comprehend, and explain the human experiences and values reflected in various literary and informational texts created by First Nations, Métis, Saskatchewan, Canadian, and international authors from various cultural communities.

–          SWBAT: Understand and apply language cues and conventions to construct and confirm meaning when reading

Multiple Intelligences:

–          Interpersonal

–          Intrapersonal

–          Linguistic

Prerequisite: Know something about vampires in the media and read the start of Dracula.

Lesson Preparation:

–          Deconstruction Work Sheet


Set: I will take in these prompts and give formative feedback. This will be an opportunity to see what they know about vampires in society.

Development: Students will volunteer to read and they will ask questions about the deconstruction process.

Closure: Students will be able to deconstruct an example together and I will check this learning through their deconstruction hand out.


Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

–          Writing Prompt:

  • Hand back acrostic poems with comments
  • How has concept of good and evil in the horror/fantasy genre been altered since Dracula was written.
  • Remind them of the titles from yesterday: Twilight, Vampire Diaries, etc…
  • The students will have 3 – 5 minutes to write on this prompt below their acrostic poem and sign off
  • I will collect these to provide feedback.
  • o   Explain that if there is any of their prompt writing that they do not want me to view, they need to dog ear the page and I will not read it.

Development: (estimated time 50/60 minutes) (40)

–          Continuation of reader’s theatre

  • Have the same reader’s read:
    • Harker
    • Maid
    • Seward
    • Van Helsing
    • Renfield
    • Attendant
    • Lucy
    • Dracula
  • Students who are reading may sit up on their desks

–          After we finish reading they will have five minutes to fill out the rest of their anticipation guide

  • o   Students will be given 5 minutes to turn to a partner beside them to discuss the statements on the anticipation guide and the evidence.

–          Brief class discussion:

  • o   What do you think is going on in Renfield’s mind? Is he actually crazy or is there more to that story?
  • o   Do you think Van Helsing has a past with Dracula? Dracula seems to know a lot about him.
  • o   Are Lucy’s dreams reality? Have you ever had dreams that seemed real until you woke up?

–          Deconstruction:

  • o   Write on the board:
    • §  Language is stable and had meaning we can all agree on.
    • §  The author is in control of the text she or he writes.
    • §  Works of literature have external relevance.
    • §  You can take the author’s words for what he or she writes.
    • §  There is a set of interpretive tools that you can reliable use to interpret a literary work.
  • o   Do you agree? I do not.
  • o   Deconstruction calls all of these assumptions into question. It asks you to read resistantly—to not take a work at its face value and to question the assumptions that the author asks you to make.
  • o   Deconstructionist critics ask us, as the readers, to probe beyond the surface and recognize constructs. Constructs do not exist naturally; they are products of our manipulation.
  • o   When we challenge constructs in a text, we are deconstructing it.
  • o   This is realizing that there is something wrong or incomplete or dishonest or unintended with how the text was put together.
  • o   Stories are written by everyday people and have unresolved conflicts and contradictory emotions. These tensions and contradictions may reveal what the story is really trying to get at.
  • o   Some readers may derive one surface level message from a text, but those who see through that initial disguise will find various meanings in a text.
  • o   Write this definition on the board:
    • §  Deconstruction is a strategy for revealing the alternate meaning in a text that was pushed away in order for the text to take its actual form. Texts include resources that will go against the author’s intentions.
  • o   We are going to play with deconstruction today and tomorrow. Today, we will start in three steps: first some common metaphors, then some lines from our play, and then the whole act.
  • o   Hand out work sheet

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (10)

–          Work through the first deconstruction as a class.

–          Students will fill work towards filling out the rest of the sheet until bell.

Adaptive Dimensions:

–          Gave a writing prompt

–          Group Reading

–          Partner Sharing

–          Graphic Organizer

Dracula: Introduction

Lesson Plan – Carol Fisher

Subject: ELA A10

Topic: Dracula

Content: D.E.A.W., Acrostic Poem, Concept Map, Thoughts of Bram Stoker, Reader’s Theatre, Read Dracula Act One

Teaching Strategy: Reveal personal information, write alongside students, have a student write on the board, Read a play part, sit on desks

Outcomes: CR A10.4

Read, interpret, and draw conclusions about the ideas, information, concepts, and themes presented in a variety of literary (including poems, plays, essays, short stories, novels) and informational (including magazines, newspapers, and on-line information) texts.


–          SWBAT: Select, use, and evaluate purposefully a variety of before (page 24), during (page 25), and after (page 26) strategies to construct meaning when reading.

–          SWBAT: Create a group concept map

–          SWBAT: Join in reader’s theatre

–          SWBAT: Fill out an anticipation guide

–          SWBAT: Make an acrostic poem

Multiple Intelligence:

–          Visual-Spatial

–          Interpersonal

–          Linguistic

Prerequisite: Have an understanding of creative writing and vampires in society.

Lesson Preparation:

–          Dracula Play

–          Lesson Plan

–          Anticipation Guide


Set: Can students come up with words to describe themselves? What sort of symbols did they draw if they had time? Did they provide words that were easy for me to gather information from?

Development: Who volunteered answer? Did I have to cold call? Observe students’ willingness and ability to make predictions and inferences about character and plot development. Note students’ interest in participating.

Closure: Note students’ efforts to interpret characters and communicate meaning through voice (volume, pitch, stress and juncture), facial expressions and hand gestures.


Set: (estimated time 10/60 minutes) (10)

–          Ask for knowledge about acrostic poetry

  • o   An acrostic poem uses the letters in a topic word to begin each line. All lines of the poem should relate to or describe the poem.
    • §  F – flamboyant
    • §  I – intense
    • §  S – suave
    • §  H – history
    • §  E – elegant
    • §  R – reader
  • o   Asks students to find two pieces of loose leaf
  • o   Show them how to make a name tent
  • o   Have students craft their own acrostic poem using their name
  • o   If they finish quickly, ask that they draw some pictures/symbols that represent them on the tent
  • o   Tell students to put name tent on the corner of their desk
    • §  C – cautious (careful in new situations)
    • §  A – ardent (put my all into my passions)
    • §  R – reticent (reserved in large groups)
    • §  O – open (will share anything with friends)
    • §  L – lost (no sense of direction)
  • Pass the acrostic poems to the front. Explain that I will use these as a start for getting to know them.

Development: (estimated time 40/60 minutes) (30)

          Concept Map of vampires in our society

  • o   Ask for student volunteer up at board
  • o   Have student’s volunteer titles of books, films, TV shows, and video games that have to do with vampires.
    • §  Suggestions:
      • ·         Vampire Knight
      • ·         Vampire Diaries
      • ·         Blood+
      • ·         Karin
      • ·         True Blood
      • ·         Vampire Academy
      • ·         Twilight
      • ·         Vampire Kisses
  • o   Have students identify traits, symbols, themes, motifs, types of characters, plot features of the titles on the board.
    • §  If Dracula wasn’t suggested, I will bring it up myself and introduce it as the text we will be working with. Tell the students that over the next three weeks, we will be working with some fantasy/horror fiction. Our key objective is to develop our creative writing skills and our ability to analyze fantasy/ horror texts for life lessons.

–          Introduce Bram Stoker

  • Abraham (Bram) Stoker was born November 8, 1847 in Dublin, Ireland
  • Growing up his mother told him a lot of horror stories which may have influenced his later writings
  • In England Stoker also wrote several novels and short stories
  • His first book of fiction, “Under the Sunset,” was published in 1881
  • Although best known for “Dracula”, Stoker wrote eighteen books before his death in 1912
  • He died of exhaustion at the age of 64.

–          Pass out the text

–          Pass out anticipation guide (explain if unfamiliar)

–          Based on the first impressions of the text, have students fill out first column of anticipation guide

–          Introduce reader’s theatre

  • What is Readers’ Theatre?
    • Reader’s theatre is a joint dramatic reading from a text, usually with no memorization, and no movement.
    • It involves students in oral reading of a script or story. In our case, Dracula.
  • Have students volunteer for parts:
    • Harker
    • Maid
    • Seward
    • Van Helsing
    • Renfield
    • Attendant
    • Lucy
    • Stage Directions
    • Dracula
  • Students who are reading are welcome to sit on top of their desks as we read. (I will read one of the parts as well)

Closure:  (estimated time 60/60 minutes) (20)

–          Read Act 1 of the play. Have students who are not reading aloud fill in the anticipation guide and follow along in their book

Adaptive Dimensions:

–          Graphic Organizer

–          Reading in a group

–          Drawing symbols on the tents