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Famous Writer and Poets in Great Britain

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It is a lesson plan about famous writers and poets of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Lesson plan


Number of learners (in the group):



Topic of the lesson: British Literature (Famous Writers and Poets in Great Britain)

Topic of the lesson in Ukrainian:  Британська література (Видатні письменники у Великобританії)

Glossary of the terms (key words of the lesson):


  • teaching:
  • educational:
  • developing:


Type of the lesson: combined lesson


The procedure of the lesson


Tentative/planned timing



Organizing. Greeting.


Warmer up activity


Homework checking/Review material of the previous lesson

1. What do you know about hippies, punks and yuppies?

2. What is the difference among them?

3. Do they have traditions in meals?

4. What do you know about British pubs?


Introducing the topic of the lesson – Today we are going to speak about the British literature.


Introducing the new material

English literature is traditionally divided into the Old English, Middle English, Renaissance and Elizabethan, Jakobean, Restoration, 18th century, Romantic, Victorian, and Modern periods.

Old English is the first recorded English literature. Caedmon /770?/, Anglo-Saxon poet and monk composed “Hymn” in the 8th century. Manuscripts from AD 1000 contain the best known OE work, Beowulf, a heroic poem written in the 700s.

Middle English begins with the Norman conquest of 1066. This brought both the French language and a French literary traditions. The Arthurian cycle became the central myth for English literature. Arthur was a Romano-British leader in the wars against the Saxons. A great legend grew around him, his knights, their quest for the Holy Grail, and his famous Round Table. Geoffrey Chaucer /1340-1400/ occupies the central position in Middle English literature. “The Canterbury Tales” is his most popular work, for their comedy, realism, insight and warm humanity. His greatest innovation was the introduction of the French and Italian styles. Chaucer did not greatly reform the English language, but by the popularity of his writings he set it firmly on its way towards modern English.

The European Renaissance had filtered into England in the 16th century. Neoplatonism /belief that the human spirit can participate in the divine/ through E. Spencer /1552-1599/ and lyrical poetry, became the dominant philosophical theme. Humanism emerged in the works of Sir Philip Sidney /1554-1586/, Francis Bacon /1561-1626/, and William Shakespeare /1564-1616/. In addition to writing 35 known plays, Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets and sometimes acted small parts in his own plays – he is known to have played the Ghost in “Hamlet”. His best known plays include “Romeo and Juliet”, “King Lear”, “Hamlet” and “A Midsummer Night Dream”. He is the central figure of the English Renaissance. It was the golden age of English literature. John Milton /1608-1674/ and his epic Paradise Lost provided a link between the puritan era and the restoration of the monarchy.

Restorarion period began with the return of Charles II /1630-1685/ in 1660. The diary and biography forms emerged. S. Pepys’ /1633-1703/ “Diary” provides a vivid account of events of the period. John Dryden /1631-1700/ reformed English poetry, his comedy “Marriage a la Mode” was the best.

The 18th century contains two major literary currents. Neoclassical period was marked by appearance of a literary elite. A. Pope /1688-1744/ established mock-heroic satires, J. Swift with his allegory was the greatest satirist. The novel rose in the works of D. Defoe, H. Fielding, and S. Richardson.

Romanticism was a reaction against the elitism. Poets W. Blake, W. Wordsworth and S. Colridge concentrated on the universal power of nature. The basic form of the historical novel was established by Sir Walter Scott /1771-1832/ in the 1800s. Scottish poet and novelist, displayed his passion for the history of his country in his works. His narrative poems “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”, “Marmion”, “The Lady of the Lake” were immensly popular. The novel “Waverley” was the first of a long series, published anonymously, including “Ivanhoe” and “The Talisman”.

The most popular novelist of the Victorian age was Charles Dickens. Many of his works highlight the injustice of the 19th century social institutions and the inequalities between the rich and the poor. His most famous works include “Oliver Twist”, “A Christmas Carol” and “David Copperfield”. Following dickens were George Eliot, William Thackeray. Thomas Hardy marks the end of Victorian era.

The Modern age began with World War, which created a sense of disillusion, as seen in the Modernist poetry of T. Eliot and the novelist of Virginia Woolfe /1882-1941/. The second half of the 20th century has been characterized by no particular movement. This period is marked by works of G. Greene, E. Waugh, W. Golding and I. Murdoch.


Practising the new material

1. Which are the main parts of the British literature?

2. Who was Arthur?

3. What is the best known work of Chaucer?

4. What are Shakespeare most famous plays?

5. What do you know about writers/poets of the Modern age?


Evaluating the learners activity and knowledge of the lesson


Summarizing the whole material of the lesson


Homework giving


End-of-lesson activity

























1. Warmer up activity


Mistakes in reading


Procedure: Select a text in the students’ coursebook. Say that you are going to read the text aloud and they should follow in their own book. Add that you feel tired or haven’t got your glasses and might make a mistake: they must tell you if you do. Read to the class, but substitute, add or omit words. The students should tell you immediately. Thank them, correct yourself and carry on making mistakes.


2. End-of-lesson activity


Decided if the following statements are true or false


1. Shakespeare sometimes combined writing plays with acting principal roles in them.

2. The British readers of the 19th century had to wait for the continuation if they wanted to know what happened next in early Dicken’s novels.

3. You can find out much about the life of peasants from Jane Austin’s novels.

4. The main attention in Charlotte Bronte’s novels was paid to strong and independent men.

5. Walter Scott was the best representative of Romanticism in British literature.

6. Stevenson’s descriptins of the sea are very truthful because he travelled a lot.

7. Geoffrey Chaucer is the most popular contemporary poet.

8. Both Byron and Shelley died when they were young.


1-F, 2-T, 3-F, 4-F, 5-T, 6-F, 7-F, 8-T.



3. Homework


Fill the blanks in the following story and find out some intresting facts about Robert Burns. Bear i mind that more than one variant is possible.



Robert Burns was a son of a poor farmer and himself a ______(1) labourer until he was 27, when he become ______(2) after publication of his first book of poems. The book ______(3) mostly songs and narrative poems about common people, their life and work. Burns’ countryman ______(4) his poetry, and the poet himself for his jolly and friendly character. Here is one of the numerous ______(5) told about the poet.

One day Robert was in the docks ______(6) the sea and heard a cry for help. He saw a drowing man and ran ______(7) the water. At the same moment he heard a splash of water and ______(8) a sailor jump into the water from the nearest boat that stood at the dock and ______(9) towards the man who was calling for help. In several ______(10) the sailor returned with the rescued man. By that time a crowd of people had ______(11) on the shore, and they cheered the brave sailor. The rescued man turned out to ______(12) a rich merchant. When he came to himself, he thanked the sailor and ______(13) him one shiling as gratitude for what he had done. The crowd was indignant. They started to ______(14) loudly and demand that the merchant should give more money to the sailor who had ______(15) his own life while saving the ungrateful merchant. At that moment Burns stopped the shouting ______(16) and said, “Leave him alone. The gentleman is, of course, the best judge of what his life is worth!”



1- farm, 2-famous/popular, 3-contained/had, 4-loved/liked, 5-stories/anecdotes, 6-near, 7-towards/to, 8-saw, 9-swim, 10-minutes, 11-gathered, 12-be, 13-gave, 14-protest/cry, 15-risked, 16-crowd.



Learn the poem by heart!


Robert Burns: My Heart’s in the Highlands


My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,

My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer,

A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe –

My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go!


Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North,

The birth-place of valour, the country of worth!

Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,

The hills of the Highlands forever I love.


Farewell to the mountains high cover’d with snow,

Farewell to the straths and green valleys below;

Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging woods,

Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods!


My heart’s in the Highland, my heart is not here;

My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;

A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,

My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go!


16 серпня 2019
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