Read a couple of short ghost stories to the class, preferably from a collection written about local ghosts (lights out with a flashlight for a spooky effect).
Assign the following project:
You are the owner of a new company called "Rent A Ghost". You thought it was a great idea for a company but business has been slow. It is your job to turn this company around and get people to start using your services. To do this you will be designing a brochure listing all your available ghosts, describing their haunting habits, appearances, special talents, and hourly rental fees. (Remember the different types of ghosts in the stories and in the artworks for inspiration.)
Have students become familiar with what they are "selling" before they begin their brochures. Give students a number of web pages to choose from. While they are researching the web pages provided, they should take notes addressing the items that will be on their brochure.
Note: Before class, do a search on a search engine to find appropriate web sites (there is a lot of unsuitable information out there).
Suggest to students that they think of ways to attract business by offering special prices and deals. They should also decide the best way to circulate the brochure to best reach potential customers.
Remind students that brochures should be attractive so that on the first glance people will want to read more! The more ghosts the students rent the richer their company becomes!!
Ideas for Assessment
As a class develop a rubric addressing finished product, contents, overall appearance, etc.
Lesson #2: Ghost Writers
Objective Students will interview members of their community to create a newspaper article on local ghosts
local ghost stories
Explore each work listed above by discussing what is happening in each and what sorts of explanations students are inspired to give for the images.
Invite students to gather into a group and dim the lights. Ask students if they've ever heard a ghost story and ask class volunteers to share them with the class.
If possible, have a community member come and tell a story to the class as well. If not, tell students a few local ghost stories you researched yourself.
Discuss where these stories came from (e.g., how did it come to be that we are now telling them, were they passed down by family members, around a campfire etc.?).
Have students research ghost stories in their community by interviewing someone they know (neighbor, relative etc.) about their experience or an experience that has been passed down to them. Students should practice the Who, What, Where, When, Why process of investigating:
Where in the community did this ghost story take place?
Who was involved? (Was it a first hand account or has it been passed down?)
When did it take place?
What exactly happened? (Remember to include lots of detail so the story remains as "authentic" as possible.)
Why? (Why might there be a ghost dwelling in this area? Is there any explanation that is given as to whether or not this account is accurate? Students should give their own explanations and speculations.)
When all of the information has been gathered students should edit their interviews for spelling errors and grammar using the peer editing process. It would be fun to format them as if it were a newspaper. Look at local newspapers for formatting ideas. Have students invent a spooky title and a price and illustrate their reports.
Ideas for Assessment
Students could present their finished article to the class and answer questions regarding the ghost stories they researched and the people that they interviewed.
Lesson #3: Disappearing Ghost Stories
Objective Students will write disappearing ghost stories inspired by Robert Harris works with invisible ink.
toothpicks or Q-tips
As a class, observe the three Robert Harris paintings. Have students brainstorm words that come to mind when they see these works and record them on chart paper or the chalk board.
Tell students that they will be writing a short story that tells about what is going on in the paintings. They will complete their rough copies first and edit them (peer editing works well here). Length should not be more than a half page, as writing using the following method can be a little tricky.
When students are satisfied with the story they will write their good copy in invisible ink!
To make the ink mix equal parts baking soda and water.
Show students how to write with the ink, using only a small amount (lest the paper buckle and the words show through). Have students dip the toothpick or Q-tip into the "ink" and carefully copy out their stories onto the white paper and allow to dry.
Display the ghostly stories for a day or so on a bulletin board with a title.
Then, soak a sponge in grape juice, squeeze out excess, and have students go to the bulletin board one or two at a time to paint their ghost stories with the sponges. The purple writing will appear and the ghost stories will have appeared on the wall!
Students could type their stories using a word processing program and display them next to the invisible stories. This will also make assessment easier, as the invisible ink is not easy to write with legibly.
Ideas for Assessment
Students could be assessed on their editing process (assess rough copies and typed good copies). Attention could be given to whether or not they changed sentences that didn't flow and if they corrected spelling mistakes.
Lesson #4: Ghastly Prints
Objective Students will experiment with monoprinting.
Print blocks or styrofoam trays (unused meat packages can be found at supermarkets in the deli section)
Together view Robert Harris' works, CAG H-633a and CAG H-633b. Explain that these are prints. Discuss that printing is an art form where an original image is copied from one surface (plastic, metal, ceramic or styrofoam) to another (usually paper) by using ink or paint (use the example of printing presses, and demonstrate the print that a stamp and ink pad makes for increased understanding).
Have students create an abstract ghostly image directly onto a styrofoam tray using the washable watercolour markers. Students should draw fairly simple images, with more attention paid to outlining than to small details so that images will print more successfully.
When students have completed their drawings they slightly dampen a sheet of white drawing paper (using a sponge that has been wrung out).
Now they turn their styrofoam tray drawing side down on the paper and press firmly. (Discuss how the image is reversed when it's printed.)
Lift off the tray carefully making sure that it doesn't slide and smudge the design
They now have a monoprint of their original design!
More prints can be made by reapplying marker onto the styrofoam and repeating the process