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Using literature in the EFL classroom with specific reference to children's literature and literature and film - by Emma Metcalf
- lesson plan 3

For stage 1

Hilariously funny, miraculously observed, endlessly touching.

A very funny, not-to-be-missecl book which will surely become a classic.

I not only wept, I howled and hooted and had to get up and walk round the room and wipe so that I could go on reading.

A dazzling urban satire of modern human relations? An ironic, tragic insight into nuclear family? Or the ramblings of a thirty-something?

Wild comedy...observed with merciless, flamboyant wit...a gloriously funny book.

At last: a wit to touch the hearts of three generations. . .The author's accuracy and comic timing left me wincing with pleasure.

For stage 2

I will put the sleeves back on my records.

I will be kind to the dog.

I will stop squeezing my spots.

I will help the poor and ignorant.

I will not start smoking.

I will hang my trousers up.

I will not spend more than earn.

I will reduce the circumference of thighs by 3 inches.

I will not bitch about anyone behind their backs, but be postive about everyone.

I will put my photographs in a photograph album.

I will not drink more than fourteen alcohol units a week.

I will get up straight away when wake up in mornings.

For stage 3

Bridget Jones's Diary cover
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole cover


Age: 52





Attitude to life:

Love interests:



Age: 13 3/4.





Attitude to life:

Love interests:


For stage 3

Wednesday 22 February

9st, alcohol units 2, cigarettes 19, fat units 8 (unexpectedly repulsive notion: never before faced realiiy of lard splurging from bottom and thighs under skin. Must revert to caloriecountzng tomorrow).

Tom was completely right. I have been so preoccupied with Mum and Dad, and so tired from taking Dad's distraught phone calls, I have hardly been noticing Daniel at all: with the miraculous result that he has been all over me (1). I made a complete arse of myself (2) today, though. I got in the lift to go out for a sandwich and found Daniel in there with Simon from Marketing talking about footballers being arrested for throwing matches (3) 'Have you heard about this, Bridget?' said Daniel.
'Oh yes,' I lied, groping for an opinion. 'Actually, I think it's all rather petty. I know it's a thuggish (4) way to behave, but as long as they didn't actually set light to anyone I don't see what all the fuss is about.'
Simon looked at me as if I was mad and Daniel stared for a moment and then burst out laughing.(5) He just laughed and laughed till he and Simon got out and then turned back and said, 'Marry me,' as the doors closed between us. Hmmmm.

Thursday 23 February

8st 13 (if only could stay under 9st and not keep bobbing up and down like drowning corpse - drowning in fat), alcohol units 2, cigarettes 17 (pre-shag nerves - understandable), calories 775 (last-ditch attempt to get down to 8st 7 before tomorrow).

8 p.m. Blimey. Computer messaging somehow whipped itself up to fever pitch. (6) At 6 o'clock I resolutely put my coat on and left, only to meet Daniel getting into my lift on the floor below. There we were, just him and me, caught in a massive electrical-charge field, pulled together irresistibly, like a pair of magnets. Then suddenly the lift stopped and we broke apart, panting, as Simon from Marketing got in wearing a hideous (7) beige raincoat over his fat frame. 'Bridget,' he said smirkily, as I involuntarily straightened my skirt, 'you look as if you've been caught throwing matches.'
As I left the building Daniel popped out after me (8) and asked me to have dinner with him tomorrow. Yessssl

Midnight. Ugh. Completely exhausted. Surely it is not normal to be revising for a date as if it were a job interview? Suspect Daniel's enormously well-read brain may turn out to be something of a nuisance if things develop. Maybe I should have fallen for someone younger and mindless who would cook for me, wash all my clothes and agree with everything I say. Since leaving work I have nearly slipped a disc, wheezing through a step aerobics class, scratched my naked body for seven minutes with a stiff brush; cleaned the flat; filled the fridge, plucked my eyebrows, skimmed the papers and the Ultimate Sex Guide, put the washing in and waxed my own legs, since it was too late to book an appointment. Ended up kneeling on a towel trying to pull off a wax strip firmly stuck to the back of my calf while watching Newsnight in an effort to drum up some interest-
o ing opinions about things. My back hurts, my head aches and my legs are bright red and covered in lumps of wax.
Wise people will say Daniel should like me just as I am, but I am a child of Cosmopolitan culture, have been traumatized by supermodels and too many quizzes and know that neither my personality nor my body is up to it if left to its own devices (9) I can't take the pressure. I am going to cancel and spend the evening eating doughnuts in a cardigan with egg on it.

1. Is this a literal meaning? What do you Daniel has been doing to Bridget?
2. Do you think Bridget generally does sensible or stupid things?
3. Does 'match' have two meanings? What are they? What do you think the joke is?
4. What kind of people go to football matches?
5. Do they laugh quietly? How do they laugh?
6. Do you think the computer messaging is becoming more or less frequent?
7. Do you think the beige overcoat looks good?
8. Does Daniel go out of the office for a long time?
9. Does Bridget try to do things to 'keep in shape' or not? Why/not?

For stage 3

Sunday January 11th

Now I know I am an intcllcctttal. I saw Malcolm Muggcridge on the television last night, and I understood nearly every word. It all adds up (1) A bad home, poor diet, not liking punk. I think I will join the library and see what happens.
It is a pity there aren't any more intellectuals living round here. Mr Lucas wears corduroy trousers, but he's an insurance man. Just my luck.(2)
The first what after Epiphany?

Monday January 12th

The dog is back. It keeps licking its stitches, so when I am eating I sit with my back to it.
My mother got up this morning to make the dog a bed to sleep in until it's better. It is made out of a cardboard box that used to contain packets of soap powder. My father said this would make the dog sneeze and burst its stitches, and the vet would charge even more to stitch it back up again. They had a row about the box, then my father went on about (3) Mr Lucas. Though what Mr Lucas has to do with the dog's bed is a mystery to me.

Tuesday January 13th

My father has gone back to work. Thank God! I don't know how my mother sticks him. (4)
Mr Lucas came in this morning to see if my mother needed any help in the house. He is very kind. Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the outside windows. The ladder didn't look very safe. I have written to Malcolm Muggeridge, do the BBC, asking him what to do about being an intellectual. I hope he writes back soon because I'm getting fed up being one on my own. I have written a poem, and it only took me two minutes. Even the famous poets take longer than that. It is called ~The Tap', but it isn't really
about a tap, it's very deep, and about life and stuff like that.

The Tap, by Adrian Mole
The tap drips and keeps me awake,
In the morning there will be a lake.
For the want of a washer the carpet will spoil,
Then for another my father will toil. (5)
My father could snuff it (6) while he is at work.
Dad, fit a washer don't be a burk! (7)

I showed it to my mother, but she laughed. She isn't very bright. (8). She still hasn't washed my PE shorts, and it is school tomorrow. She is not like the mothers on television.

Wednesday January 14th

Joined the library. Got Care of the Skin, Origin of Species, and a book by a woman my mother is always going on about. It is called Pride and Prejudice, by a woman called Jane Austen. I could tell the librarian was impressed. Perhaps she is an intellectual like me. She didn't look at my spot, so perhaps it is getting smaller. About time! (9)
Mr Lucas was in the kitchen drinking coffee with my mother. The room was full of smoke. They were laughing, but when I went in, they stopped.
Mrs Lucas was next door cleaning the drains. She looked as if she was in a bad mood. I think Mr and Mrs Lucas have got an unhappy marriage. Poor Mr Lucas!
None of the teachers at school have noticed that I am an intellectual. They will be sorry when I am famous. There is a new girl in our class. She sits next to me in Geography. She is all right. Her name is Pandora, but she likes being called 'Box'. Don't ask me why. I might fall in love with her. It's time I fell in love, after all I am 13 3/4 years old.

1. What is the literal meaning of add up? What does the 'it' refer to here? What has Adrian suddenly understood?
2. Does Adrian feel lucky or unlucky?
3. What verb is Adrian´s dad doing? If you 'go on about something' is it positive or negative? Can you find another example of this expression in the text?
4. Do you think Adrian´s mum and dad have a good relationship and like spending lots of time together?
5. What does Adrian´s dad do?
6. If you work too hard, what could happen?
7. Does Adrian think his dad is clever?
8. Does Adrian think is mum is clever?
9. What does this refer to? Has the situation been continuing for a long or short time?

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