Using This Web Site
The Web site for Oliver Twist offers a wealth of resources for your students.
Essays and Interviews
Includes Who Was Charles Dickens?, a biography of Dickens; Down and Out in Victorian England, which provides historical context for the novel; and Stay Tuned: The Rise of a Killer Serial, which includes information about Victorian serialization, contemporary reviews of the serialized version of Oliver Twist, as well as the installment publishing schedule of the novel. These essays can provide background for your teaching and give students a context for viewing the series and for completing related research projects.
Provides information about each character in the production. A photo of each character is accompanied by information about who they are, an excerpt from Dickens's text describing them (if it exists), and information about -- and sometimes quotes from -- the actor. Students can use this section to help them keep track of the plot and characters. Ask students to compare the Dickens's description of the character with the actor's portrayal. Are the actors true to Dickens's intent?
Puts the action of Oliver Twist on the map. This feature locates the action of the story on a map of London. Students can use it to help them follow along with the plot and visualize the story. By rolling over the different points on the map with a mouse, the user sees illustrations and background info about the locations.
A Dickens Timeline
This timeline will help students grasp Dickens's life in the context of his work and major world events. Exploring the timeline can help students understand how Dickens's work reflects his world and serves as social commentary. You might want to assign students to study another Dickens work and its historical context in greater depth: pairing the study of Hard Times with conditions during the Industrial Revolution, or American Notes or Martin Chuzzlewit with mid-19th-century American social history.
A Victorian Twister
Test your students' knowledge of Dickens! Students can play a series of four games that quiz them on Dickens's life and times and their familiarity with the plot and characters of Oliver Twist with suitable responses from a British peanut gallery.
From Novel to Film
Pairs sections of Dickens's text with the screenplay and actual video from the film. Students can use this section to explore the challenges of adapting a novel. You could assign students to go through a similar process, taking part of another novel or short story and turning it into a screenplay (and even videotaping it!).
Have your students submit their thoughts about Alan Bleasdale's adaptation for posting in our Forum. Do they feel that Dickens would be happy with the film?
Offers additional Web- and book-based resources for teacher background and student research projects.
Using the Web Site | Teaching Oliver Twist | Serial Publication
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Essays + Interviews | Who's Who | Oliver's London | A Dickens Timeline
Teacher's Guide | Novel to Film | A Victorian Twister | The Forum
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