Saturday, November 01, 2008

Dracula: the blog

I'm sure we've all seen a Dracula movie, whether it be a cheesy Hammer House of Horror production or something more gory. What I didn't realise till I read Bram Stoker's book was that it is in the form of a series of letters and diary entries. An ur blog, in a sense. So here is a teaching idea about how to use the book in say an EFL/ESL lesson or indeed a English Literature class.

You'll need a copy of the book (download the audio book from here or the Gutenberg e-text from here) and access to an internet connection from which can blog.

The basic idea is that you take part of a chapter and turn into a modern day blog entry. This could include;

-updating the language to something that would sound more natural today.

-changing the context and refrences - e.g. Transylvania becomes .........

- adding more suspense, action etc.

In addition you could also get your students to move away from the written word and do the blog entry as a vlog, short movie clip, podcast etc. None of this requires anything more sophisticated than a microphone, cell/mobile phone with recording capability or a digital camera.

The sound recordings can be edited with Audacity. Podcasts can be posted via hosting services such as Alternatively, a short film can be created from video clips with Window's Movie Maker (which comes as standard with every copy of Windows) or using photos and Photo Story 3.

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