Implementation of ‘Fashion, Literature and Newspapers in the 19th Century’ (SOI-GR-94)

The learning scenario “Fashion, literature and newspapers in the 19th century” by Ana Relvas was implemented in a Grade B class of my Senior High School (Experimental General Lyceum of Heraklion). My 17 years old pupils worked in groups and they discovered the 19th century Press, using Europeana resources. They searched how a newspaper article is presented diachronically and also the press’ relation with literature, fashion and historical circumstances.

The implementation context

In my scenario’s implementation, I focused on the 19th century Press and its current types (paper, digital). This is a part of the Greek language and Literature lesson. The main task given to the pupils was to search and discover the relation between newspapers and the real-life, but also the historical circumstances, fashion and literature.

During the past school year, I taught this class about realism in Literature in detail. One class of 24 pupils participated in this learning scenario’s activities. They are 17 years old and they have been familiar with Europeana’s platform since last year, during another learning scenario’s implementation. Their English knowledge is C1/C2 level.

The preparation

Before the lesson, I have prepared a worksheet based on Annex 1 of the current learning scenario. Ι added two images: “L’ echo des feuilletons” and the 11th volume (1881) of the Greek literature Journal “Estia”. I have also added a photo of “Estia’s” authors and poets group of the same period. The questions related to these images were about the relation between the images and the era.

I have also added some links in this worksheet, for pupils to work in groups of four. These are the links from the Europeana platform and the learning scenario suggested by some of them:

These are also some other links that I suggested to them:

I didn’t use the suggested online teaching material in the learning scenario, because the sites are in Portuguese. Furthermore, my pupils are not familiar with tools like Prezi. I didn’t choose Padlet, because I needed a tool that my pupils would use for a cooperative presentation.

Researched topics

In the same worksheet, I have added the link of a cooperative presentation in google drive and each group had a specific topic to search, based on the previous resources. The topics were: 

  • What is the meaning of “Press” and why it is known as the 4th estate?
  • What are the positive effects of the Press? 
  • What are the negative effects of the Press? 
  • What information (ideas, literature, fashion, lifestyle etc) we got from the 19th century Press? 
  • Can the information media be also communication media?
  • What are the similarities and the differences between the19th century’s and today’s Press?

I uploaded this worksheet in advance on the PC’s desktops that my pupils would use during the lesson, in the computer lab. The ICT teacher, Periklis Georgiadis, helped me with this.

The teaching process

The first two teaching hours took place in the computer lab. The worksheet I had prepared was available on the projector and on the PC desktop of each group. For about 10’ of the first teaching hour, Ι showed the two images to my pupils and we discussed the era and the people of the two countries presented in the images. It is related to my pupils’ knowledge of the literature of the 19th century, in Greece and in other countries of Europe.

Students working in the computer lab
Students working in the computer lab

Afterwards, I divided them in groups of 4. I explained to them the steps they would follow to search Europeana’s platform and to answer the research question of their group. For the rest of this teaching hour and the next one, the pupils were working on their project’s question and they were preparing their presentation, in parallel. They worked on their topic for about 80’.

Students browsing the Europeana Collections
Students browsing the Europeana Collections
Students working in group
Students working in group

In the 3rd teaching hour (45’), the groups presented their research results in front of the whole class, using the PC and the projector of their classroom.

I focused on the connection between newspapers and the real-life, the historical circumstances, fashion and literature and the time was sufficient since during the last school year my pupils worked on realism studying various excerpts of books, novels and narratives. So, the time I spent on these activities was sufficient.

Students following the lesson

Learning outcomes

The pupils liked a lot that they worked in groups in the computer lab, so they had the opportunity to search for digital resources and to write their investigation results online. They were very enthusiastic about their achievements and that was very obvious during their presentations. The fact that they had a contact with the digital resources and a chance to check the similarities and the differences between the press of the past and today- from original texts and images- was a very interesting point. You can see their presentation here (in Greek).

The advantage of working with European resources in the classroom is that the pupils become researchers and through critical thinking, they navigate, compare, categorize, decide and finally create their work. They achieved the learning tasks by participating in it. So, the lesson becomes more interesting and interactive.

For me, it is very important to search for the links of digital resources in advance. It takes time, but it is worth because you can plan your steps in the teaching process and guide the pupils to the general topics/links they will search. Otherwise, they will waste a lot of time navigating and deciding how to be specific. The interesting point is that I found many other interesting resources about my lesson and I added them to the worksheet I gave to my pupils.

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Fashion, literature and newspapers in the 19th century by Ana Relvas

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The featured image used to illustrate this article belongs to the public domain.

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