Grade Level: 11-12
Topic: Creating Parody
Essential Questions: How are parodies used to influence society’s view on a given topic?
How does Austen’s use of satirical characterization, irony, and diction create a parodic work?
Learning Objectives and Assessments
Objective: Students will apply their knowledge of parody as a genre and how Northanger Abbey functions as a parodic novel in the creation of their own parody
– Formative: Critical introductions to parody assignment
– Summative: Creative writing assignment in which students create a piece that parodies Northanger Abbey, Gothic literature, or Jane Austen
Common Core State Standards
Content Area: English Language Arts
Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Rationale: Students will create parodies in the form of a narrative that demonstrate their knowledge of the genre.
Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.
Rationale: Students will share their writing in a digital format with the intent of publishing their work online. Students will be writing to an audience that is broad, and their writing will positively affect their digital presence on the web.
Teaching and Learning Sequence
As a form of cumulative assessment for the unit, students may write their own extended parody of Northanger Abbey, Gothic literature, or Jane Austen. In this assignment, students will be able to directly apply what they have learned about the genre of parody and Northanger Abbey in a creative writing assignment.
Students, before writing their parodies, should consider what elements of story they would like to focus on in the construction of their own work. In the student work examples provided, students were required to write a critical introduction for their parodies, explaining why they chose to focus on certain elements and how their own work related to Austen’s parody. (Student work example one can be found here, and the second example here). The creation of a critical introduction would be a good exercise for students to undertake before writing their parody so that the teacher may gauge student understanding and approve topics for the creative writing assignment.
The teacher should encourage student parodies to be published on the internet in either the form of a class website, or directly onto the Text of Northanger Abbey.org student work page dedicated to this assignment. This would open more room for discussion on how publishing in the social sphere of the internet could shape students’ online personas. How could this assignment affect their personal, educational, and career goals? How does writing for an audience of classmates and the Web in general rather than just the teacher impact student writing?