Teaching Pride and Prejudice would be the highlight of my teaching career. While I haven’t taught it at high school, I have tutored it at a university. And I loved it.
What’s not to love about reading a book from a subversive feminist icon who disguises her social commentary as a book of manners?
If you are lucky enough to be teaching Pride and Prejudice in a high school, I’m sure you’ve got your work cut out for you though. Austen’s prose can be dense in comparison to modern texts.
And irony can be difficult to catch when you think you’re reading a fluffy romance about Colin Firth and that chick who plays Elizabeth Bennet.
To help you out, we’ve found a bunch of teaching resources for Pride and Prejudice, including resources you can use before, during, and after reading. We’ll also throw in a few resources that are whole-unit resources.
Teaching Pride and Prejudice: pre-reading activities
1. Agree or Disagree Activity by The Lit Guy
The first activity we have for teaching Pride and Prejudice is this pre-reading agree or disagree activity by The Lit Guy.
The activity has ten statements students need to either agree or disagree with – and they need to be able to defend which side they have chosen.
This activity great way to prompt discussion before reading and it is helpful in introducing important ideas that arise in the novel.
2. Love, courtship and marriage rules in Pride and Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice teaching resources that get your students excited about the novel, while also teaching background information about the time in which the story is set are important.
This activity introduces students to the rules in society regarding dating, love, and marriage in 1800s England. By providing background information, students are better able to understand Elizabeth Bennet’s situation in the novel.
The PowerPoint presentation also explains the rules surrounding inheritance and money – a strong theme in the novel.
3. CrashCourse worksheets for Pride and Prejudice
These videos are great because they discuss important themes, characters, and interpretations of the novel. Plus they’re short and free.
I love to use the videos with these worksheets I created.
But beware – CrashCourse videos often have plot spoilers. If you’d rather avoid spoilers while reading the book, the videos may be best to watch in snippets before plot reveals.
4. Mini activity bundle
Other pre-reading activities for Pride and Prejudice are these activities, which are part of a mini bundle by English Bulldog. Some of the activities can also be used as pre-reading activities.
The mini bundle includes four activities, including
- a textual analysis activity – students are given a folder of quotes and asked to decide what theme applies to the whole group of quotes. Students then need to create a poster, analyse the quote and the language used, and explain why the quotes exemplifies their theme the most.
- a pre-reading carousel discussion – students move around the classroom or hallway and read statements on posters that are designed to provoke strong agreement or disagreement. With a partner, they need to write a statement of agreement or disagreement with the poster.
- a fishbowl debate – students work through some preparation activities and then discuss their selected or assigned positions. You can also use this as a jumping off point for your students to write an argumentative essay.
- and a QR mini flip – this fantastic resource provides QR links to chapters of the novel and audio recordings of the novel. It also includes space for students to take notes on introductory/contextual information, character development, themes, literary devices. This is perfect if you don’t have enough textbooks for your whole class.
Each of the activities comes with common core-aligned lesson plans, preparation steps, a classroom agenda, and ideas for assessing learning. They also include PowerPoints with student-friendly objectives, directions, and activity time limits.
Activities while reading
Activities that students complete while reading the text are an easy way to ensure comprehension and scaffold analytical skills.
1. Character Map by Bare Bones
This character map by Bare Bones is a fun resource for students to use while reading. The number of characters in the novel and their relationships with each other can be confusing.
Providing a character map that students can refer to is an easy way to help students understand the relationships between the characters in the novel.
2. Close reading passages
These Pride and Prejudice close reading passages by Literature Daydreams are a great tool to try and cover British Literature without reading the whole novel.
Or, if you’re lucky enough to have the time to read the whole text, they would be a fantastic way to develop your students’ analytical skills.
The activity contains
- 4 close reading extracts
- 5 worksheets for each extract (so 20 total) with a worksheet for each the skills of summarizing, vocabulary knowledge, comprehension, information retrieval and close analysis
- an answer key for the worksheets
- a teacher’s guide
These workbooks by Stacy Lloyd contain 36 unique pages of graphic organizers for students to use while reading Pride and Prejudice.
The workbooks include activities such as
- background information on the text
- personal response activities
- review questions
- textual analysis and close reading of key quotes
- inferential questions
- analysis of literary elements such as theme, plot and characterization
- creative tasks such as twitter updates and making predictions
The resource also includes an answer key (although answers will vary, the key is a guide only).
Activities after reading Pride and Prejudice
Once you’ve finished reading Austen’s novel, you probably ways to assess learning in some way. Below are several quizzes to do so.
1. Reading Comprehension Multiple Choice Quizzes
This reading comprehension activity by Test Prep includes two excerpts from Pride and Prejudice and ten questions for each excerpt.
The structure and format of the excerpts and questions are based on SAT-style formats, so it would be great for your students if they need to gain familiarity with that style of testing.
2. Pride and Prejudice Novel Study Quizzes
These quizzes by Angela Gall contain five sets of ten-question comprehension quizzes. The questions have different styles including
- character description/quotation matching
The product also includes a 70-question objective test, essay test prompts, handouts for higher-order thinking questions, and pre-reading and post-reading questions.
If you are after worksheets for teaching Pride and Prejudice, this product also has many handouts that can be used, such as tips on analyzing literature, why food/weather/illness is important in literature, and information on the position of women etc.
Whole unit for teaching Pride and Predjudice
Finally, we have a whole unit of work for teaching Pride and Prejudice. Because sometimes you just do not have the time to sift through a bunch of different activities to find exactly what you want to fill a gap.
This 5-week unit by S J Brull contains many activities for Jane Austen’s novel. The Pride and Prejudice teacher guide and activities include
- pacing guide
- pre-reading activities with quotes from the novel that students have to agree or disagree with
- film and text essay graphic organizer and information
- reading quizzes with easier plot-based questions through to deeper analysis questions
- notes to track theme throughout the text
- posters with important themes and quotes
- author study activity where students create facebook and twitter profiles and newsfeeds for Jane Austen, as well as exit tickets
- character analysis worksheets to track character development throughout the text, a minor character graffiti activity to develop an understanding of how minor characters contribute to the theme, and a character review project that is creative but also encourages evidence-based writing
- Socratic method discussion with a 20-slide powerpoint to explain to students how to participate in a Socratic discussion
Want more British Literature content?
Check out the following posts on the blog:
- Teaching Shakespeare in high school: 7 easy tips
- 13 easy, engaging lessons for Romeo and Juliet
- Teaching Lord of the Flies: 12 awesome activities & wonderful worksheets
- 12 excellent teaching resources for Macbeth – make Macbeth easy
- Fun, engaging, and easy Shakespearean insults lesson you have to try
- 5 awesome free resources to teach Shakespeare
- Worried about teaching Shakespeare? How to make it fun + easy
Check out the following Crash Course Literature products on my TPT store: