Welcome to the Northanger Classroom’s Lesson Plan Center. Here you will find a comprehensive unit broken down into six lessons for teaching Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. This unit is tailored to meet the Common Core State Standards for grades 11-12, and each lesson may span the course of several days.
This unit focuses on three essential questions to guide student learning. These questions are:
1) How does what we have read or experienced in the past influence us as we read something new?
2) How are parodies used to influence society’s view on a given topic?
3) How does Austen’s use of satirical characterization, irony, and diction create a parodic work?
The first lesson seeks to establish who Jane Austen was and to construct and understanding of the culture of reading and writing during late-18th, early-19th century England. Subsequent lessons will guide students through their reading of Northanger Abbey and seek to develop an understanding of parodic literature and authorial intent, and meet several Common Core State Standards.
Focusing on the Social
One of the key focuses of this unit is on the complexities of the social world and how individual interpretation influences our comprehension and behavior in the social sphere.
Dr. Andrea Rehn writes on teaching Northanger Abbey to undergraduate students that, “In the novel, Catherine must learn to distinguish between textual and social convention in order to be able to form meaningful relationships . . . students learned interpretative strategies by participating in digital media interventions into their own reading and writing processes, interventions which transformed the often solitary occupations of reading and writing into collaborative, social, and even team-based games” (“’Hastening together to perfect felicity’: Teaching the English Gothic Tradition through Parody and Role-Playing”).
In this unit, students will utilize interpretative strategies to help them translate Catherine’s interpretations of the 18th century to the 21st, connecting the themes of Austen’s novel to their own lives.