Smart English: Gothic Horror
The figure in
the graveyard
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
Learning objective:
To choose words and sentences carefully for a desired effect (WAF5, WAF7)
Learning outcome:
To rewrite a short text to create a highly effective atmosphere
Success criteria:
AF
Level 6 / All students can …
WAF5
Alternate between simple and
Deliberately design sentences for
complex sentences for purpose and purpose and effect
effect
WAF7
Mostly choose words carefully so
that they are right for the desired
effect, purpose and audience or
reader
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
Level 7 / Most students can …
Level 8 / Some students can …
Use a range of imaginative, flexible
sentence structures for deliberate
effect
Consistently choose words that are Carefully choose words to have just
just right for the reader and the
the right effect
desired effect
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
Activity:
1.
Work with a partner. Complete the activities below as quickly as possible.
For each phrase below, brainstorm ways to give the writing the scary atmosphere of
gothic horror. Consider similes, metaphors and adjectival phrases, as well as the choice
of vocabulary.
A dark and deserted house
A dark, misty and silent wood
A tall, lean and murderous man
2.
A dusty and forgotten wooden box
Look at the five groups of words below. Which is the odd one out in each group?
Circle your choice, then explain your reasons to your partner.
a.
devilish heavenly ghoulish deadly
b.
bleak deserted soft harsh
c.
treacherous
d.
derelict
e.
freakish scary delightful monstrous
hideous beauteous dangerous
crumbling pretty dismal
3.
In a few words, describe a typical setting for a gothic horror film.
4.
List three well-known superstitions.
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
1.
For each phrase below, brainstorm ways to give the writing the scary atmosphere of
gothic horror. Consider similes, metaphors and adjectival phrases, as well as the choice
of vocabulary.
A dark and deserted house
A dark, misty and silent wood
A tall, lean and murderous man
2.
A dusty and forgotten wooden box
Look at the five groups of words below. Which is the odd one out in each group?
Circle your choice, then explain your reasons to your partner.
a.
devilish heavenly ghoulish deadly
b.
bleak deserted soft harsh
c.
treacherous
d.
derelict crumbling pretty dismal
e.
freakish scary delightful monstrous
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
hideous beauteous dangerous
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
3.
In a few words, describe a typical setting for a gothic horror film.
4.
List three well-known superstitions.
a.
b.
c.
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
Activity 1: The words in the left-hand column of the table below are taken from the extract
from The Woman in Black (Student’s Book, p. 30). What connotations do these
words have for you? Complete the middle column with your ideas.
Activity 2: Once you have read the extract from The Woman in Black, complete the
right-hand column of the table below by describing the effect each word has
on the reader.
WORD
CONNOTATIONS
struggled
Panic and suffering, someone
trying to escape
decayed
morbid
satanic
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
EFFECT
This word is effective because …
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
Activity 3: With a partner, choose three sentences that you find particularly effective in the
extract from The Woman in Black and complete the table below.
SENTENCE
‘No names or dates were now decipherable,
and the whole place had a decayed and
abandoned air.’
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
WHY THE SENTENCE IS EFFECTIVE
This description of the burial ground emphasises the emptiness
and loneliness of the place, adding a sense of eeriness and an
expectation that something might happen.
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
Activity 1: Read the description below, then rewrite it to build up an atmosphere of gothic
horror.
• Choose words carefully to create a tense, frightening atmosphere.
• Use a range of imaginative and flexible sentence structures for effect.
• Add more detail to the passage to develop the scene.
The house was dark. As I approached,
no one was around and I couldn’t hear
many sounds. I wished I wasn’t on
my own. The windows had dirty
curtains and the glass was cracked in
places. An owl flew through a hole in
the top window and off into the night.
I walked closer.
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
Smart English: Gothic Horror – The figure in the graveyard
A heavy, smothering blanket of darkness had fallen around the house; I took a
breath and felt the icy chill of the air in my lungs. The house was deserted and
stood alone on the windswept hill, silent except for the shriek of an owl, echoing
suddenly from the sky above. I was alone.
Aiming for Levels 6 to 8, Lesson 5
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