The Horror, The Horror

The Horror, The Horror
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Slide 1: Tekstslide
EngelsMiddelbare schoolvwoLeerjaar 6

In deze les zitten 37 slides, met interactieve quizzen, tekstslides en 1 video.

time-iconLesduur is: 30 min

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The Horror, The Horror
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Slide 1 - Tekstslide

Welcome to our workshop about Heart of Darkness.
Please join us by going to and entering the code (preferably use a second device)
Heart of Darkness
  • three lessons (60 mins)
  • target group: 6V (level B2)

  • students are able to discuss what they have read (examenblad)
  • students can express an opinion and argue their case
  • students are able to think critically about a topic
  • students show awareness of the impact of colonialism
  • students can make a character analysis based on the readings of the book

Slide 2 - Tekstslide

These goals are for the whole lesson. Inform colleagues that even though there are slides for each lesson's goals we might skip them. 
We developed a lesson series consisting of three lessons, covering pre- during- and after-reading activities. We have strived to make it a real online lesson, teachable from a distance.
Our target group is 6V. We think that level B2 is the right level for the assignments we created.
The lesson series has several goals. On a general level, we want students to be able to discuss what they have learned, which is one of the criteria described in examenblad. Other general goals are expressing an opinion and developing critical thinking skills. 
Related to the novel itself are awareness of the impact of colonialism and performing character analysis.
In discussing the accountability of villain Kurtz we also hope to provide a link to determinism, although this is not one of the major goals. 
The green slides in the current presentation were made for the purposes of this workshop. The blue ones are for the 6 VWO students.
Imagine living here: hundreds of miles away from the nearest city, no electricity, water, tools... holiday or horror?

Slide 3 - Quizvraag

The purpose of the first assignment is to let students relate to the topic of living in the dark jungle under primitive circumstance, a first introduction to the book.
*Lesson 1 - goals
At the end of this lesson you: 
  • can explain what colonialism is.
  • can give examples of what happened in the Congo.
  • can use quotes from a written text to support your opinion. 

Slide 4 - Tekstslide

This is the "what" of lesson 1.
Lesson 1 - Before reading
  • bell ringer
  • colonialism introduction
  • Leopold II video and quiz
  • reading activity 
  • homework
  • exit ticket

Slide 5 - Tekstslide

This is the how of lesson one. We already did the "bell ringer" activity. Let's proceed to the next ones.

Reading activity: fragments from chapter 1 (answer questions about Marlow and colonialism)

Homework: read the first chapter (Marlow and keywords, Kurtz)
19th century colonisation in Africa

Slide 6 - Woordweb

Students will be asked what they know about 19th century colonisation in Africa. The outcomes will be discussed in class (not too long, it's an introduction activity).


Slide 7 - Video

This video provides some background information about Congo, colonialism and even the novel.
The whole video is 8 minutes. It is about how Leopold II owned the Congo, earned lots of money, accepted slavery, and how people in the Congo were maltreated. We are going to show a short fragment to give you an idea. 
We would like to invite you  to answer the quiz questions.
Start at: 2:31, and at 6:03. Later on, the mentions the novel Heart of Darkness and suggests that Conrad had based the character of villain Kurtz on Mr Romm.
Stanley explored "under the guise of" Leopolds holding, the mission of which was FREE TRADE and SUPPRESSION OF SLAVERY
Did he and Leopold support this mission or not?

Slide 8 - Quizvraag

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What were the chiefs paid for "signing" the treaties?

Slide 9 - Open vraag

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Which fact did Leopold II ignore to make his colony profitable?

Slide 10 - Open vraag

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What did Leopold II NOT want from the Congo?

Slide 11 - Quizvraag

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Write down in a couple of words: what do you remember from the video about Leopold II and the Congo? What struck you most?

Slide 12 - Open vraag

Purpose of this question is to enable classroom discussion, wrapping it up, summarising some main points (slavery, trade, money, maltreatment and what else the students come up with)
*Heart of Darkness
  • written by Joseph Conrad
  • set in colonial Congo in Africa
  • main character Marlow recalls when he went on a commercial mission on the river Congo.

  • reading project
  • three lessons and homework

Slide 13 - Tekstslide

Link colonialism to novel: teacher explains to students that they are going to read a novel which was set in late 19th century Congo. Teacher also explains the setup of the lesson series: one lesson (this one) to prepare, one while-reading, one after-reading. Students will read most of the book on their own.

**First encounter with Marlow
  • Click the link and read the assignment 
  • Listen to the teacher reading out the text, read along
  • Answer the questions (alone, then discuss within your group)
2000 years ago: Romans "conquered" Britain

Slide 14 - Tekstslide

For this assignment students will be put into random groups of three to four. 

The teacher reads out a text fragment in class. Reading out because it enables teacher to explain difficult vocab, if necessary. The fragment was taken from Chapter 1. Marlow philosophises about conquer and colonists. After listening, students start answering the questions .

This assignment invites students to reflect about colonialism and provides a first encounter with Marlow.
* inform colleagues that we have purposely chosen a part of the book without reading the previous pages because we are focussing on colonialism which was also mentioned in the clip. In addition, this is an exercise in using the text for evidence. 
**First encounter with Marlow
  • Click the link and read the assignment 
  • Listen to the teacher reading out the text, read along
  • Answer the questions (alone, then discuss within your group)

Slide 15 - Tekstslide

The teacher sets homework: read chapter 1, answer questions
- Marlows ideas about colonialism, slaves, trade, Congo
- mentions of Kurtz (and by whom)
Students bring their notes to the next class.

The homework is the link to lesson two.
Students need the information from the homework assignment. In this way we try to ensure participation: student input is required for the next lesson.  

Exit ticket. Name two things that you've learned today about either the novel, colonialism or the Congo

Slide 16 - Open vraag

Mention the exit ticket. Don't do it.
*Lesson 2: Goals
At the end of this lesson you: 
  • can collaborate with other to form one opinion based on evidence from the book. 
  • can write a character analysis based on evidence from the book.

Slide 17 - Tekstslide

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Lesson 2: while reading
  • start-up activity
  • discuss homework in groups
  • character analysis assignment
  • homework task

Slide 18 - Tekstslide

Students will do an open assignment, then discuss homework in groups.
After that a classroom character analysis-assignment is set. 
After finishing and discussing the character analysis, the teacher sets the homework assignment, which basically is a continuation of the homework started in lesson 1.
If there is time, students can start the homework assignment.
Describe in two sentences what Chapter 1 is about - according to you

Slide 19 - Open vraag

Students enter their individual answers. Teacher wraps it up by showing all the answers and discussing some main points.
Discuss homework
  • get into groups of four
  • compare your homework notes
  • report back to the teacher in 10 minutes

Task: answer the homework questions as a group:
  • What is Marlow’s opinion about trade, slaves and the Congo ?
  • What is said about “Kurtz” ?

Slide 20 - Tekstslide

10 to 15 minutes. 
Students share their homework notes, then decide what they find most important and what they conclude. Students get a sheet of paper (or use their notebooks)
Students will be assigned roles to stimulate positive mutual dependency
(Effectief leren p 96.) 

* note-taker: writes down the conclusions
* group leader: makes sure all questions are answered and everybody gets their say
* reporter: the one who will tell the class about the group's findings
* judge: the one who is allowed to ask the teacher for advice in case of questions or disagreement 
*Character Analysis
What is a character analysis? 
An evaluation of a character in a story
  • What they are like? 
  • What part they play in the story? 
  • What conflicts do they come across in the story? 

Why do we do a character analysis?
  • To promote critical thinking 
  • To form a conclusion based on evidence 

Slide 21 - Tekstslide

Explain that we analyse characters in our lives or when watching series and movies. 
  • What they are like? 
look at the actions they do, how they are shown/ portrayed in the story, how do other characters react to things they say or do. 
  • What part they play in the story? 
protagonist/ antagonist 
  • What conflicts do they come across in the story? 
internal or external conflict

How to write a character analysis?

Slide 22 - Tekstslide

Show colleagues in green the template they would use. 
How to teach: 
You will practice writing a character analysis by analysing Marlow's character. 
In pairs work together to discuss and take notes on steps 1-5. 
Afterwards, write down your own character analysis individually. 
students will eventually evaluate each others' character analysis

Homework Assignment

Slide 23 - Tekstslide

The teacher sets the students the final homework assignment. They finish the book and take notes. The final lesson will be a couple of weeks later.
The homework serves the dual purpose of acquainting students with character analysis and preparing them for the activities in the final lesson.

Level 1: Imagine you are Marlow or the Russian. Make a character analysis of Kurtz from your point of view. Rules: You may only use the notes where your character was present/ involved. Explain your opinion in your own words. Give arguments/ quotes from the book to support your opinion. 
Level 2 (Differentiation/ Extra challenge): Write down a character analysis of Kurtz from both Marlow’s point of view and the Russian’s point of view.
They will have to use their quotes for the assignment
Insert part of the assignment
describe Kurtz from point of view characters (notes scaffolding) - provide students with feedback, support argument. Check understanding.
differentiation: the letter assignment for lower level students.

*Lesson 3: Goals
At the end of this lesson you: 
  • can analyse evidence extracted from the novel. 
  • can form an opinion based on well supported arguments from the novel. 

Slide 24 - Tekstslide

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Lesson 3: after reading
  • warm-up quiz
  • recap
  • trial
  • verdict

Slide 25 - Tekstslide

The third lesson starts with a warm-up quiz about horrors, aim of which is to stress what horrors Kurtz has committed, and referring to his last words "the horror, the horror".
It is followed by a recap question similar to that from lesson two. 
Then the students get into groups to give a verdict: can we held 
For this activity you will take a quiz.
based on the outcome of this quiz you will be put in groups.
Please click on this link to take the quiz
You have five minutes

Slide 26 - Tekstslide

  • quiz link needed
How horrible are the events in the book?

Slide 27 - Link

The quiz is used as a lesson warm up to bring back to memory the horrors mentioned in the book. 
You can choose to use the outcome to divide your groups. Or to just do it as a warm-up and discussion
You have read Heart of Darkness. What struck you as "horror"? Try to illustrate your answer with an example.

Slide 28 - Open vraag

Students enter their individual answers. Teacher wraps it up by showing all the answers and discussing some main points.

Kurtz: accountable or unaccountable? 

Slide 29 - Tekstslide

Teacher introduces trial: we know that Kurtz did terrible things. What but can he be held accountable? 

This might be a good occasion to link the whole to naturalism/psychological determinism (as a besides): the behaviour of individuals is shaped by their environment. So in how far can Kurtz be held accountable for what he did?
Kurtz's trial
  • Imagine Kurtz was being tried for the horrors he committed
  • In your group you will be assigned a judgement which you have to defend and support with arguments
    - Kurtz was accountable for his actions
    - Kurtz was not accountable for his actions
  • After each group presented their verdict,
    the whole class 

Slide 30 - Tekstslide

Are we working in new groups? 
Do we assign roles? (like I suggest for the homework assignments)

Make a compact trial version for the peers. Based on a couple of quotes.
We explain the extended version and we let them do the limited version.
Russian: he is amazing
Accountant: good trader
Marlow: he was crazy
Use the notes from your homework to help you discuss and form an opinion.
Your verdict of accountable/ unaccountable must explain Kurtz' role in: slavery, colonisation, & trade.
If your group has to decide that Kurtz is accountable, you must also explain whether he took those actions himself or as part of the company that was in the Congo.
If your group has to decide that Kurtz is unaccountable, then you must explain who should be accountable for those horrors (king Leopold II, the company, no one, he was insane etc...).
You may not use the same quote to support two different arguments.
You have 15 minutes. Afterwards, each group will present its verdict and explain why they believe Kurtz should be accountable/ unaccountable for his actions. 

Slide 31 - Tekstslide

We did our assignments and templates with the weaker student in mind. 
The stronger student will disregard those tools or use them as a checklist, but the weaker one will definitely need the scaffolding. 

Slide 32 - Tekstslide

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Slide 33 - Tekstslide

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Kurtz's trial
  • Imagine Kurtz was being tried for the horrors he committed
  • You will read some quotes from the story. Based on those quotes you will vote on Kurtz's fate. 

Slide 34 - Tekstslide

We don't have time to do the whole trial. But to give you an idea of what we want to do:
* read the quotes
* decide: accountable or not
* vote
* explain your choice
Kurtz's trial: Quotes
The Russian: This man suffered too much. He hated all this, and somehow he couldn't get away. When I had a chance, I begged him to try and leave while there was time; I offered to go back with him. And he would say yes, and then he would remain; go off on another ivory hunt; disappear for weeks; forget himself amongst these people--forget himself--you know.' 'Why! he's mad,' I said. He protested indignantly. Mr...
Simplified Trial Quotes
The brickmaker: Mr. Kurtz was a 'universal genius,' but even a genius would find it easier to work with 'adequate
tools--intelligent men.' He did not make bricks--why, there was a physical impossibility in the way--as I was well aware
Marlow: 'My ivory.' Oh yes, I heard him. 'My Intended, my ivory, my station, my river, my--' everything belonged to him. It made me hold my breath in expectation of hearing the wilderness burst into a prodigious peal of laughter that would shake the fixed stars in their places. Everything belonged to him—but that was a trifle. The thing was to know what he be longed to, how many powers of darkness claimed him for their own. That was the reflection that made you creepy all over. It was impossible--it was not good for one either--trying to imagine. He had taken a high seat amongst the devils of the land--I mean literally. You can't understand. […] 
The general Manager:  'I am as harmless as a little child, but I don't like to be dictated to. Am I the manager--or am I not? I was ordered to send him there. It's incredible.' . . . […] 'It IS unpleasant,' grunted the uncle. 'He has asked the Administration to be sent there,' said the other, 'with the idea of showing what he could do; and I was instructed accordingly. Look at the influence that man must have. Is it not frightful?' 

Slide 35 - Tekstslide

F=Due to lack of time: colleagues get to read 4 different quotes and vote on Kurtz's fate. In a normal lesson the student would be given three quotes for each character. You can go two ways: either restrict each group to one character or Give them all characters and decide the verdict for them. 

We don't have time to do the whole trial. But to give you an idea of what we want to do:
* read the quotes
* decide: accountable or not
* vote
* explain your choice
What is your verdict?
Accountable. He didn't receive orders to commit cruelties.
Accountable. He could have left at any point but he chose to stay.
Unaccountable. The circumstances forced his hand.
Unaccountable. He was insane.

Slide 36 - Quizvraag

Naturalism vs determinism 

Explain why you chose this option (mention the number)

Slide 37 - Open vraag

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