Teaching prose is mainly meant to develop the four language skills -Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. The activities planned by the teacher must allow developing these four skills in a class.

In a good appealing voice, the teacher must read the passage aloud with correct pronunciation stress pause and intonation. The attention of the students must be focused on the teacher and her reading. The students while reading silently must be given instruction to read with their eyes without lip movement and to locate difficult words. This will increase speed and develop the ability to connect meaning directly with symbols.

The intensive reading helps the students not only to comprehend the central idea of the passage and identify the topic sentence but also to acquaint with new vocabulary and structure. After silent reading, the teacher can ask a few comprehension questions to check the understanding of the learner. Factual questions, vocabulary related questions based on the passage can be asked.

During work-study, the learner must be encouraged to find out the word meaning from the dictionary. Practice for the correct pronunciation of the word must be given. Writing the phonetic script of the word on the board gives a visual impression. A detailed study of the passage can be given after having the students read the passage silently a second time. The teacher must help the students to read through the lines. reading between the lines and read beyond the line. The teacher should correct the students then and there if they commit mistakes while reading aloud. The importance of correct pronunciation, stress, pause, intonation, tone variation must be made clear.

Review questions can be asked by the teacher at the end of the period to check whether the instruction has been a success. The assignment given to the students must not be a burden for them. The teacher must make sure that the student understands what is being taught. Assignments must reinforce the concepts taught.

Lesson Plan

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde

The day had been warm and sunny; and, in the cool of the evening, the whole family went out to drive. They did not return home till nine o’clock when they had a light supper. The conversation in no way turned upon ghosts, so there were not even those primary conditions of receptive expectation which so often precede the presentation of psychical phenomena. The subjects discussed, as I have since learned from Mr Otis, were merely such as form the ordinary conversation of cultured Americans of the better class, such as the immense superiority of Miss Fanny Davenport over Sara Bernhardt as an actress; the difficulty of obtaining green corn, buckwheat cakes, and hominy, even in the best English houses; the importance of Boston in the development of the world-soul; the advantages of the baggage check system in railway travelling; and the sweetness of the New York accent as compared to the London drawl. No mention at all was made of the supernatural, nor was Sir Simon de Canterville alluded to in any way. At eleven o’clock the family retired, and by half-past, all the lights were out. Sometime after, Mr Otis was awakened by a curious noise in the corridor, outside his room. It sounded like the clank of metal and seemed to be coming nearer every moment. He got up at once, struck a match, and looked at the time. It was exactly one o’clock. He was quite calm and felt his pulse, which was not at all feverish. The strange noise continued, and with it, he heard distinctly the sound of footsteps. He put on his slippers, took a small oblong phial out of his dressing-case, and opened the door. Right in front of him, he saw, in the wan moonlight, an old man of terrible aspect. His eyes were as red burning coals; long grey hair fell over his shoulders in matted coils; his garments, which were of antique cut, were soiled and ragged, and from his wrists and ankles hung heavy manacles and rusty gyves.

‘My dear sir,’ said Mr Otis,’I really must insist on your oiling those chains and have brought you for that purpose a small bottle of the Tammany Rising Sun Lubricator. It is said to be completely efficacious upon one application, and there are several testimonials to that effect on the wrapper from some of our most eminent native divines. I shall leave it here for you by the bedroom candles, and will be happy to supply you with more should you require it.’ With these words the United States Minister laid the bottle down on a marble table, and, closing his door, retired to rest.

For a moment the Canterville ghost stood quite motionless in natural indignation; growled, then, dashing the bottle violently upon the polished floor, he fled down the corridor, uttering hollow groans, and emitting a ghastly green light. Just, however, as he reached the top of the great oak staircase, a door was flung open, two little white-robed figures appeared, and a large pillow whizzed past his head! There was no time to be lost, so, hastily adopting the Fourth Dimension of Space as a means of escape, he vanished through the wainscoting, and the house became quite quiet.

On reaching a small secret chamber in the left-wing, he leaned up against a moonbeam to recover his breath and began to try and realise his position.

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Devika Panikar has been teaching English Language and Literature for 14 years now. She is an Assistant Professor with the Directorate of Collegiate Education under the Government of Kerala. She teaches at the Government Colleges coming under this directorate and is now posted at the Department of English, H.H. The Maharaja’s Government College for Women, Thiruvananthapuram. This website is a collection of the lecture notes that she prepared by referring various sources, for her students’ perusal. It has been compiled here for the sake of future generations.