The objectives of the lesson:
1 to teach the students to apply the studied practical skills of spoken English at the lessons of American literature
2 to get the students acquainted with the creative works of a famous
3 to develop literary taste
Technical and visual aids: cards, pictures, a poster.
1 Organization moment
a) the objectives of the lesson
b) the level of preparation
2 Work at the biography of J. F. Cooper
a) The mixed- up paragraphs
The teacher: I am sure all of you know the biography of J. F. Cooper.
In order to check your knowledge I ask you to make 2 teams , read the
mixed- up paragraphs , discuss in groups and decide in what order they
( the students are given the cards with the biography sketches of J. F. Cooper)
"Cooper began writing at the age of thirty. The periodical press had
started a campaign for a national literature. America had become
politically independent of Britain, but culturally it was still in
bondage to British and European culture. There was a particular need for
a talented writer to record the heroic past of the country, and to
express the national mind in writing. Cooper did it. He was moved to
write a historical novel.”
"Cooper left a very large literary
heritage. In addition to his 32 novels he also wrote a history of the US
Navy and many articles and pamphlets on social problems. He was the
creator of the historical novel. He gives the reader a broad panorama of
his native country and the gigantic pace of its development since
"James Fenimore Cooper was the first American
novelist to reflect the history of his country as a succession of
changes brought about by European bourgeois civilization; to show the
harm that civilization caused the Indians; to show how the white men
setting in the new territory destroyed along with the forests, man, bird
"In 1808 he entered the US Navy; three years later
he married, left the Navy and settled down in Cooperstown to assume his
inherited role as cultivated country gentleman.”
Cooper was born in New Jersey, when he was only one year old his family
moved to what is called Cooperstown, New York State. Cooper was
privately educated by an English tutor on the family estate and grew up
as a young aristocrat. He studied at Yale Collage without much interest
or distinction, and left the University without taking a degree.”
" In 1821 he published ‘The Spy’, a novel about the American
Revolution. Its immediate success prompted him to write another book,
’The Pioneers’, and later ‘The Last of the Mohicans’. He wrote six
novels over a period of five years and they were translated into other
languages. In 1826 he decided to go to Europe for a tour.”
b) the discussion of the biography
c) the next task is : to ask and answer ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ questions to each other
When and where was J.F. Cooper born ?
Who were his parents?
What education did he get?
Why did he leave the sea?
When was his first book published?
How many novels did he write? And so on.
What influenced Cooper , the novelist?
Why didn’t he graduate from Yale college?
Why did he become a country gentleman?
Why were his books a success?
Why did he go to Europe?
Why was it difficult for him to recognize his country after returning to the United States?
Why did the American press launch a vicious campaign to slander Cooper and discredit him in the eyes of the public?
What was the real reason of his death? And so on.
3 Creative works by J. F. Cooper.
a) the task is the following: look at the poster and mark the novels that were written by J. F. Cooper.
b) make the list of his novels and do it in groups
c) the teacher: "The Leather Stocking Tales” is the greatest creative
work by J. F. Cooper. There are five novels in this work.
( a poster)
The Leather Stocking Tales:
The Deerslayer (1841)
The Last of the Mohicans (1824)
The Pathfinder (1840)
The Pioneers (1823)
The Prairie (1827)
These novels are all about the life of American Indians.
The main character in all these novels is Leather Stocking as he was
called by the Indians. He was a white man, a hunter named Natty Bumppo.
How do you imagine him? Describe his appearance.
( the students discuss the appearance of the hunter in pairs ,then in group)
e) the teacher: Listen to the description of his appearance:
He was sunburnt, his body was very thin. He wore a dark green hunting
shirt and a summer cap of skins. He also had a knife on his girdle but
no tomahawk. On his feet he had moccasins. The eyes of the hunter were
small and quick, all the time moving while he spoke, and looking on
every side of him as if he was afraid of an attack of the enemy. But his
face was kind and open.
f) work at the extract from the novel ‘The Last of the Mohicans’.
You are to fulfill the following task: each member of the group must
read his or her own passage, make the notes and retell the context of
the passages to each other in order to catch the main idea of the
( cards are given to all the students)
me, Chingachgook,’ he said to the Indian. He spoke one of the languages
which was known to all the Indians that had lived in the country between
the Hudson and the Potomac rivers.
‘Your fathers came from the
setting sun, crossed the big river, fought the people of the country,
and took the land; and mine came from the red sky of the morning, over
the salt lake, also fought the people of the country and took the land.’
‘My fathers fought with the red men!’ answered the Indian in the
same language. ‘Is there no difference, Hawk-eye, between the
stone-headed arrows of our men and the leaden bullets with which you
‘The Indian is wise though nature has made him with a red
skin!’ said the white man. ‘ From what I have seen of hunting, I think a
rifle in the hands of the white men was not so dangerous as a bow and a
good stone-headed arrow sent by an Indian hand.’
2)’You have the
story told by your fathers,’ said the other coldly. ‘What say your old
men? Do they tell the younger warriors that the pale-faces met the red
men, painted for war, and armed with stone-headed arrows or rifles?’
‘Though I am white,’ said the hunter, ‘I can say that my people often
do things with which, as an honest man, I cannot agree. So I ask you,
Chigachgook, what happened when our fathers first met?’
For some minutes the Indian did not speak. Then he began his story
‘Listen, Haw-eye, and you will understand. It’s what my fathers have said, and what the Mohicans have done.
We came from the place where the sun sets at night, over great plains
where the buffaloes live, until we reached the big river. There we
fought the Alligemi, till the ground was red with their blood. From the
banks of the big river we went to the salt lake. There were none to meet
us. The Maquas followed us at a distance. We said the country should be
ours. The land we had taken from the enemy we kept like men. We drove
the Maquas into the woods with the animals. They could not get fish from
the big salt lake, we threw them bones to eat.’
3)’All this I have
heard and knew,’ said the white man when the Indian had stopped;’but it
was long before the English came into the country.’
‘A big tree
grew then where another tree now stands. The first pale-faces who came
spoke no English. They came in a large canoe, when my fathers had buried
the tomahawk with the other red men around us. Then, Hawk-eye,’ he
continued with great feeling, then, Hawk-eye, we were one people, and we
were happy. The salt lake gave us its fish, the wood – its animals and
the air – its birds. We took wives and they had children. We kept the
Maquas far from our lands’
‘Do you know anything of your own family
at that time?’ asked the white man. ‘You are a wise man for an Indian!
And I suppose your fathers were brave warriors and wise men.’
‘My people are the grandfathers of Indian nations. The blood of chiefs
runs in my body, where it must stay for ever. The white men landed and
gave my people the fire-water, and they drank until the sky and earth
seemed to meet, and they thought they were happy. Then they gave their
land to the pale-faces. Step by step they were driven back from the big
salt lake and have never visited the land where their fathers were
buried. All my family is dead, they have gone to the land of the
spirits. I am on the mountain-top now and soon must go to the spirits
too, and when my son Uncas follows in my steps, there will no longer be
any men of the blood of the chiefs, for my boy is the last of the
‘Uncas is here!’ said another voice. ‘Who speaks to Uncas?’
The white man made a quick movement of his hand to take his rifle, but the Indian sat without turning his head.
The next moment a young warrior passed between them with quiet step, and seated himself on the bank of the quick river.
g) discussion of the extracts
h) the students are given the task to stage any extract they like (group work).