Okay, I said I’d post what we were doing with our Twilight unit study once I got my ideas ironed out a bit. It’s not really a full-fledged unit study, I guess. Brianna is still doing her regular math and grammar. Each day, I’m having her work through Defining Twilight: Vocabulary Workbook for Unlocking the SAT, ACT, GED, and SSAT (which I’ll be reviewing soon…first impressions very positive) and And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity.
In addition, I’m having her choose at least two things a day from the list below, knowing that some, particularly the literature and composition projects, are more long-term and will take longer than a day to complete. I’m trying to let this be as self-paced and self-directed as possible, while not allowing Brianna to be a slacker as far as what she’s capable of doing.
**Warning: There are spoilers below, if you haven’t read the entire series.**
Literature and Composition
1. In Twilight, Pride and Prejudice is referenced. How is Bella like Elizabeth? How is she different? How is Edward like Mr. Darcy? How is he different? Are their other similarities in the two books?
2. In New Moon, Romeo and Juliet is frequently referenced. Bella is compared to Juliet, Edward to Romeo, and Jacob to Paris. Are these accurate references? Why or why not? Compare contrast the Twilight Saga characters to their Romeo and Juliet counterparts.
3. In Eclipse, the referenced book is Wuthering Heights. Compare and contrast the following: Bella/Cathy, Edward/Heathcliff, Jacob/Edgar. On p. 266 in Eclipse, a paragraph from Wuthering Heights is quoted. What does it mean? How does it similar to Edward’s thoughts about Jacob?
4. In Breaking Dawn, The Merchant of Venice is referenced. Its comparison is not as readily apparent as the others. Do you think Stephanie Meyer chose this book at random or are there similarities in the two books?
5. Examples of descriptive writing from Breaking Dawn:
- p. 383: Bella describes what she hears (good)
- p. 387-388: Bella describes what she sees (better)
- p. 415: Bella describes what she hears, then, what she smells (best)
After reading the paragraphs referenced above, write a descriptive paragraph of your own, describing something you can hear, see, or smell.
6. At the end of New Moon, Bella asks each of the Cullens to vote on whether or not she should become a vampire. Choose one member of the Cullen family whose opinion to represent. Write a persuasive paper with at least three point (a paragraph for each point, plus opening and closing paragraph) supporting your decision.
7. Write a book report on one of the cited classics.
8. Read several movie reviews. After watching New Moon (the movie), write a review of the movie.
10. Find examples of metaphor, simile, hyperbole (and other literary terms).
11. Do character analysis/book report on your choice of one book from the Twilight series.
12. Bella dreams a lot in the Twilight saga. Do these dreams play a particular role in the books? If so, what is the role. Be specific and give examples. What is the literary term for this ? (Foreshadowing)
13. Author Stephanie Meyer tells the Twilight story from Bella’s point-of-view (POV),using 1st person. How would the story have been different using the 3rd person? Choose one scene and rewrite it using a 3rd person POV.
14. Additional literature study suggestions: Sense and Sensibility, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, Bram Stoker’s Dracula
1. On a blank map of Washington, label the following: Forks, La Push, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Port Angeles, Pacific Ocean. Shade the following: Olympia National Park, Quileute Indian Reservation, Makah Indian Reservation.
2. Make a timeline of historical events that occurred during character’s human lives. (Time periods when each of the Cullen family lived as humans: 1600’s, 1860’s, early-1900’s, 1920’s, 1930’s)
3. Topic ideas for further study: WWI, Spanish Influenza, the rise of Protestant religions in the 1600’s, Civil War, The Depression
4. Geographical points of interest for further study – Denali wilderness, Washington, Arizona, Illinois, Italy, South America, Romania, Ireland, Brazil
1. Rain forests of North America/Olympic peninsula
2. Learn what animals and trees can be found in Olympia National Park. Choose one of each to learn more about.
3. Learn more about the rain forests of South America
4. Research the following: wolves, bears, mountain lions
Health and Personal Safety
1. In Breaking Dawn, on p. 93, Edward tells Bella the he spoke to Carlisle about physical love: “I asked him what I should expect. I didn’t know what it would be like for me…Carlisle told me that it was a very powerful thing, like nothing else. He told me that physical love was something I should not treat lightly. With our rarely changing temperaments, strong emotions can alter us in permanent ways.”
How does this agree or disagree with what God says about physical love? Do you think that physical love can alter humans in permanent ways? If so, in what ways?
2. Also in Breaking Dawn, on p. 317, Jacob and Leah are talking. Jacob remembers when Leah first became a werewolf and thought she might be pregnant. He thinks, “Because she couldn’t be pregnant…she hadn’t been with anyone since Sam.”
How does the fact that Leah and Sam had previously had a sexual relationship affect their current relationship? How does it affect Leah? How has it changed the way she perceives herself? How does it affect her relationship with others — her pack, Emily, etc.? How has premarital sex changed Leah in permanent ways? How do you think she and Sam justified, if they did justify it, their decision to have a physical relationship outside of marriage?
3. Begin reading and working your way through And the Bride Wore White: Seven Secrets to Sexual Purity by Dannah Gresh.
4. Edward tells Bella her scent is like his own personal brand of heroin. He is referring to how appealing the scent of her blood is to him and how hard it is for him to maintain his commitment to not drinking human blood. Read about alcohol and drug addictions and the affect they have on the body. Discuss with Mom why it’s so important to never experiment with alcohol or drugs.
1. Plan a trip to Forks. Write to the Chamber of Commerce for travel information. Plan your budget.
1. In the Twilight movie, each of the Cullen kids wears a Cullen crest. In New Moon, each member of the wolf pack has a tattoo. Read the movie companion books to discover the meanings of each. Design a crest for your family. Tell the meaning behind the symbols you decided to include.
2. Draw a key scene from the book. Choose a scene that is described well and include as many key elements as possible.
3. Create a visual display (presentation board, collage, diorama, etc.) representing some of the things you learned from your Twilight unit study.
1. New Moon Soundtrack — Listen to the soundtrack. Based on the mood of the music and/or the lyrics of the song, when/where do you expect to hear it and why?
2. Twilight author, Stephanie Meyer, writes Bella’s character as not having faith (as in “religious upbringing”). Meyer, herself, is Mormon. Why do you think she would develop Bella’s character as one without a sure belief in God — or heaven and hell? Does this lack of faith on Bella’s part advance the plot in any way?
3. There is a saying that says, “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” After reading Breaking Dawn, do you think that applies to the Volturi? Why or why not?
Those are just the basic ideas that we’re working with right now. Obviously there’s some great literature associated with the Twilight saga (Brianna began voluntarily reading Romeo and Juliet a couple of weeks ago), so a lot of the reading will count toward her 9th grade literature and composition credit for high school. We may be adding more ideas as they occur to us, but this seemed like a good starting place.
This post is linked to Thirsty Thursday.