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September 22, 1996

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Dr. Laura L. Runge
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ENL 4303 601 3 Selected Authors: Jane Austen

Assignment: Group Presentation

I. Objectives

  • To introduce the film interpretation of Jane Austen's novel

  • To mark the differences between the two stories and forms

  • To raise questions for discussion of the movie

II. Description

Each group will work collaboratively to introduce the movie to the class through any variety of means: lecture, visual tools, collaborative class activity, handouts, auditory tools, debate or discussion. The group may use up to one-entire class period (1-hour and fifteen minutes) and no less than thirty minutes. The group may choose to make the presentation over two class periods, assigning specific short readings or writings for the class to prepare them for the project. Whatever pedagogical choices the group makes, some time should be allotted for discussion. All students in the group need to participate in the presentation; each member of the group will be asked to grade the performance of the other members.

III. Options and suggestions

  • Visual aids are useful for class presentations -- include some form of visual component (slides, handouts, pictures, overhead projection, clips from the video, performance, artifacts or articles of interest).

  • Be imaginative! Keep the interests of your audience in mind as you instruct and delight. (Clue: do not read a five-page report to the class.)
  • Use your resources. The internet links from my web-page will lead you to a number of informational sites on the movies and their reception. Also, do some searches in the library for up-to-date reviews and articles on Austen-mania.
  • Get your facts right. Make sure that you know the details of your film and relate them to the class. Include important information such as director, screenwriter, actors, production company, locations of filming, etc.
  • Brainstorm on a list of discussion questions. Everyone has an opinion on the movies he or she sees. Tap into the controversy and build a class interpretation of the film.
  • Refer to course themes. In particular, compare the issues, themes, characters and narrative of each version -- the novel and the film -- and try to assess why Austen's stories appeal to movie-audiences today.
  • Take advantage of the course media, including the internet and Jausten list-serv.
  • Presentation etiquette:
  • a) tell the class in brief what we are to expect before you begin
    b) make eye-contact
    c) time yourself beforehand so that you don't run over schedule
    d) be prepared to answer questions (and ASK them)
    e) share responsibility among group members

IV. Requirements and Grading

  • Each member should turn in a one-page typed description and self-evaluation of the project, in which you should indicate the grade each group-member deserves.
  • The grade will be determined by a combination of the self-evaluations and the instructor's evaluation of the presentation.
  • The instructor will evaluate the presentation on the achievement of the three main objectives, as well as on effort, coherence, creativity, and information.