The Canterville Ghost

Image in public domain. Book from Project Gutenberg: The Canterville Ghost. Fetched from Internet Archive

Oscar Wilde‘s short story The Canterville Ghost is one of my personal favourites. The humour of the clash between the modern and the traditional, the old world and the new is still fun and a good read. It is a story with elements of comedy, tradegy and great compassion.

The Canterville Ghost is available to read and listen to through ESL -Bits, which is an online resource where you can read the text and/or listen to the stories at two different speeds.

You can find out more about the author Oscar Wilde  at,  BBC history, and the official website for Oscar Wilde.









George Orwell’s 1984

George Orwell‘s 1984 is a dystopian story;

Written in 1948, 1984 was George Orwell’s chilling prophecy about the future. And while 1984 has come and gone, his dystopian vision of a government that will do anything to control the narrative is timelier than ever…

The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.

Winston Smith toes the Party line, rewriting history to satisfy the demands of the Ministry of Truth. With each lie he writes, Winston grows to hate the Party that seeks power for its own sake and persecutes those who dare to commit thoughtcrimes. But as he starts to think for himself, Winston can’t escape the fact that Big Brother is always watching… (from Google Books)

It is a book which was written by George Orwell shortly after the end of WWII, when the cold war was going on, and has been filmed more than once.

The study guide below will work with any filmed version (and the book) but has been written with the film 1984 directed by Michael Radford, in mind, which was filmed during 1984. The film stars John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton.

Orwell's 1984 (study guide for film)


 Study Guide

(read the guide online or download it)




Other useful resources

LitCharts has an extensive 1984 study guide

How to Analyze a Novel (works for film too)

Literary Devices and Terms

Bitesize History The Cold War

Related posts

George Orwell


Påsken närmar sig och med den påskpyssel av olika slag. Det kan vara mer eller mindre avancerat, men för den som vill göra det lite enkelt för sig och ändå få fina resultat finns det en hel del att hämta från nätet i form av instruktioner och färdiga mallar för ‘paper craft’.

Ett populärt inslag har varit att vika pappersmodeller av olika djur eller dekorationer. En kanin kan till exempel passa till påsk.Mallar för kanin och instruktioner och för fler  djur finns hos Canon Creative Park. Här finns det också arkitektoniska modeller, mer eller mindre komplicerade, om du tycker om att skapa miljöer och hus i miniatyr. Du kan också skriva ut (gratis) kort och färdiga etiketter och dekorationer av olika slag, för att klippa och klistra med eller använda direkt som de är.

The Graphics Fairy har till exempel många olika ‘printables’ och Everything Etsy tutorials och 101 Pretty Printables {free}

Free printable colouring pages

Påskpyssel med mallar

Easter Cards from Creative Park

Fler länkar och resurser finns på sidan Bild och Musik (Art & Music)

Free images and clip art – what is ok to use?

What images can I use in my work, my school papers, on my blog etc.? This is a recurring question. The answer is not always easy. It can depend on several things, including which country you are in. But you can of course always use images that you have produced yourself. That includes photos that you take with your phone or a camera, and anything you draw or paint. Most often you may not want to do this, but you are looking for something that already exists to illustrate a text, a presentation or something else you are writing or designing.

You can always use images that are in the public domain. Images are  released into the the public domain either because they are old enough or because the person who owns the rights to the image has decided to release it into the public domain. If you are a teacher, a student or is thinking about making your work public in another capacity it is wise to choose images which are free and legal to use. Public domain resources are a good option here. You can also use work licensed under Creative Commons.

Some useful sites for images


wikimedia commons

”Spotlight” – working with film

If you are watching and/or working with the film Spotlight It may help to learn a bit more about the background story.”Catholic priests were committing crimes so unspeakable that the Archdiocese of Boston went to extraordinary – and expensive – lengths to cover up the scandal” (Farragher, The Globe, February 24, 2002)

Here below you find a selection of texts and resources about the film, the people and the story. The film is presented as ”the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core”

History vs Hollywood gives some answers to questions you may have after watching the film, and gives names and faces of both actors and the real person in the story, where the most important are

At the Globe /Spotlight team)

Walter ”Robby” Robinson Position: Reporter, Editor, Spotlight Team Leader
Michael Rezendes Position: Reporter
Sacha Pfeiffer Position: Reporter
Matt Carroll Position: Reporter
Editors (people in charge)
Martin ”Marty” Baron Position: Editor-in-Chief
Ben Bradlee Jr. Position: Assistant Managing Editor
Mitchel Garabedian
Eric MacLeish
The Church
Cardinal Bernard Law
Phil Saviano

Watch ABC NEWS  ”The Real ‘Spotlight’: Meet Team That Inspired the Oscar-Winning Film”  and read about the spotlight team (February 2016).

You can also read the Spotlight article ”Church allowed abuse by priest for years. Aware of Geoghan record, archdiocese still shuttled him from parish to parish” (January 2002).

To make the course of events clearer you can use the Timeline of Spotlight report stories (November 2015).

The Enigma Machine and the Bletchley Park Code Breakers

BBC History describes the Enigma machine as ”a piece of spook hardware invented by a German and used by Britain’s codebreakers as a way of deciphering German signals traffic during World War Two”

If you like codes and puzzles you can explore the different type of machines and codes that were using during World War Two.

Alan Turing and his team at Beltchley Park managed to crack the Enigma machine and by doing so contributed to the Allied forces Victory in WWII. Bletchley Park was vital to Allied victory in World War Two.

What was Bletchely Park and who were the Code Breakers?  Bletchley Park was the once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers. Nearly 10,000 people worked in the wider Bletchley Park organisation. You can take a tour of Virtual Wartime Bletchely Park (1938).

Bletchley park code breakers

In a way this was ”the birth of the information age, industrialisation of  codebreaking processes  with machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe and the world’s first electronic computer.

also see

Alan Turing and ”The Imitation Game”

Alan Turing and ”The Imitation Game”

Alan Turing‘s life and the code breaking work at Bletchely Park during WWII has been depicted in the film ”The Imitation Game”. But who was the real Alan Turing?

A filmed drama is fiction no matter if it depicts people who have really lived and historical events which have taken place. Behind the story in the film there are facts and real people. Turing’s family have expressed concerns about how he is described in the film which you can read about in the article ”Don’t turn my uncle’s life into a romance, says Alan Turing’s niece”.

Joan Clark is somewhat romanticised shown in the film. She was the woman who helped crack the Enigma cyphers. She is important as women’s achievements so often are overlooked or forgotten in history. Her interview in a ”BBC Horizon programme, from 1992, is one of the only instances in which she spoke about her time as a cryptanalyst”

You can learn more about Alan Turing: Creator of modern computing at BBC iWonder where he is introduced with

”Alan Turing was not a well known figure during his lifetime. But today he is famous for being an eccentric yet passionate British mathematician, who conceived modern computing and played a crucial part in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in WW2. He was also a victim of mid-20th Century attitudes to homosexuality – he was chemically castrated before dying at the age of 41”.

In 2009  The British Governmen made a public apology for how Alan Turing was treated ”Gordon Brown: I’m proud to say sorry to a real war hero”. Reading ”Life story: Why code-breaker Alan Turing was cast aside by postwar Britain” may give you a better understanding of the time and its prejudices.

also see

 The Enigma Machine and the Bletchley Park Code Breakers

Ray Bradbury and Fahrenheit 451

Image in public domain from wikimedia commons

Ray Bradbury ”published hundreds of short stories and close to fifty books, as well as numerous poems, essays, operas, plays, teleplays, and screenplays, Bradbury was one of the most celebrated writers of our time. His groundbreaking works include Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes” (from

”Set in the twenty-fourth century, Fahrenheit 451 introduces a new world in which control of the masses by the media, overpopulation, and censorship has taken over the general population. The individual is not accepted and the intellectual is considered an outlaw. Television has replaced the common perception of family. The fireman is now seen as a flamethrower, a destroyer of books rather than an insurance against fire. Books are considered evil because they make people question and think. The people live in a world with no reminders of history or appreciation of the past; the population receives the present from television” (from Cliffnotes)

”Is it true that firemen used to put out fires and not burn boooks?”

Themes, motifs and symbols in Fahrenheit 451


Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.

Censorship; Knowledge versus Ignorance


Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes

Paradoxes, Animal and Nature Imagery, Religion


Symbols are objects, character, figures and colours used to represent ideas or concepts

Blood, “The Hearth and the Salamander”, “The Sieve and the Sand”, The Phoenix, Mirrors


Coraline – Lesson 5



”The black button eyes of the other mother are probably the most iconic or well-known image to come out of Coraline . . .  These buttons essentially act like masks . . . Coraline can’t tell if her other parents are watching her and she can’t get any clues through their eyes as to what they’re thinking” (Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)


”Symbolism is the use of symbols to signify ideas and qualities by giving them symbolic meanings that are different from their literal sense”

Literary Devices: symbolism definition

The button eyes of the ‘other people’ in Coraline are examples of symbolism in the text.

Lesson plan

Coraline – Lesson 4


Part 2

1. Read the following chapters: VI,  VII and VIII .

2. Do the vocabulary exrcises in the worksheet, page 3 (see below)

3.  Reading Comprehension

What is special about the cat in the story?
What does the other mother like to eat, and how do you react to that?
Who are the other children in the closet, and how did they end up there?
What do you think is the significance of the button eyes in this story?

4. Continue working with mapping characters after having reading 2/3 of the book

How do the characters develop as the text progresses? Discuss and compare with students in your group. Pick out specific parts (quote) from the text to support your arguments. Then continue to fill in the characteristics in the map (p.5).

Lesson plan

Coraline Lesson Plan

This lesson plan is available online, where you can also download it in pdf-format.





Coraline – Lesson 1
Coraline – Lesson 2
Coraline – Lesson 3
Coraline – Lesson 5
Coraline – After Reading the book