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Students discuss and develop essay topic ideas for Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Grade: High School, duration: 30 – 60 minutes
Objective: Students review basic writing process for essays and brainstorm ideas for essay topics. The emphasis for this lesson is writing compelling thesis statements, holding reader attention, and organizing and writing top-notch essays.
Prior Knowledge: This lesson builds on information gained during unit lesson plans on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde regarding vocabulary, character analysis, and group discussions of the short story.
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Procedure: Excellent essays contain key elements. Start the lesson by reviewing briefly the main elements of essay writing. Here are some suggested topics to cover:
- Selecting topics: topic ideas are specific rather than general with a main idea and two supporting ideas.
- Compelling headline: the thesis statement is like a movie trailer. It hooks the reader into the subject matter.
- Introduction: tells the reader what the essay is about, makes or breaks the essay depending on how interesting or how boring it is. Comparing it to sound bites of information on radio or television helps students visualize the importance of a provocative introduction.
- Outlining research materials: all the research in the world is useless if students cannot organize it and produce a finished essay. This part of the lesson plans shows students how to take notes, and organize materials to prepare for writing an outline format.
- Writing outlines and rough drafts: for this part of the lesson plan, review outlining and rough draft process. Remind students every essay must have a summary to tie information together for the reader.
- Creating the finished essay and proofreading: discuss the writing process and emphasis the importance of proofing essays prior to submitting them. A good tip is to suggest students read the essays out loud to catch grammatical errors.
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Writing Prompts and Essay Questions
Try these writing prompts and essay questions in your classroom to help students get started on their essays. Copy the information on the board and brainstorm ideas for other creative essay topics for papers on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- Describe the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
- How is the relationship between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde important in conveying the theme of duality?
- How does Stevenson portray the hypocrisy of Victorian society in the novella?
- Dr. Jekyll’s final fate is determined by what events?
- How does Stevenson use descriptive language and suspense to create a mood of terror?
- Why did Stevenson tell the story in third person rather than the first person? How effective is that?
- Analyze the progress of Dr. Jekyll experiments and transformations. How does his character change during the experiments?
- How does Jekyll view his relationship with Hyde? Is his analysis accurate or flawed? Why or why not?
- Analyze the role of the supporting characters. What is their importance and how do they impact the progress of the novel?
By the end of the lesson students should understand the writing process for completing interesting essays. They have selected their topics and started developing thought-provoking thesis statements. Results of the lesson are assessed based on the quality of the students’ essays.
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Stevenson, R. L. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde