From Canada all the way to Japan, Anne (with an’e’) Shirley is one of the most popular characters of children’s literature. Many of us might want to travel to Prince Edward Island just to see the countryside we explored with Anne. There are many aspects of the story which offer great research opportunities. Its romanticism (think of Anne’s obsession with Tennyson’s poetry), mishaps (remember when Anne dyes her hair and it turns out green?), fashion and social events that can easily make us fall in love with everything about Anne of Green Gables. Some of your students might have already heard about Anne, but just in case they haven’t, start with showing them the trailer of the 1985 mini series by Kevin Sullivan.
After or while doing some research you can start reading the first and second parts of our series:
- Anne of Green Gables – Anne arrives, Level 2 Red Reader – adapted by Nicole Harrick
- Anne of Green Gables – Anne grows up, Level 3 Red Reader – adapted by Nicole Harrick
Let’s look at some project ideas you can put to your students. You can ask your students to do research individually or in groups, and focus on one or more topics. Use our ideas to introduce the research topics in class. You will need a projector or an interactive whiteboard, a laptop and a good Internet connection for this lesson.
- Watch this HD trailer of the TV series on YouTube.
- Watch the trailer again, and pause after the first 10 seconds. Describe the scenery and the countryside. Would you like to visit this island?
- How many main characters can you count in the short video? Try to identify them.
- What’s the relationship between the people?
- What does Anne look like? What does her best friend look like?
- How many mishaps can you count in the video? Make a list of the funny things that happen to Anne.
Now let’s explore Prince Edward Island.
Is Avonlea a real place?
- Look for Avonlea on a map. Can you find it on Prince Edward Island?
Explore Canada, Prince Edward Island and Cavendish
- How much do you know about Canada?
- Prepare a fact file about the country at home.
- Where is Prince Edward Island? Find it on Google Maps.
- Find Cavendish on the map. The author of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery lived here and this place inspired the setting of the novel.
Plan a journey to Prince Edward Island
Imagine that you are going on holiday to Prince Edward Island. Plan everything for your journey and holiday. Complete the following plan.
- What to see. Check out the following places on the Internet. Find out about the opening hours, addresses, websites and the entrance fee.
- Green Gables Heritage
- Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish Home
- Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace
- Getting around. Is there public transportation on the island? Can you rent a car?
- Getting there. Would you fly there? Which airline companies fly to Prince Edward Island? Where is the biggest airport? Where is the biggest and nearest international airport in Canada?
- Nature on the island. You will see beautiful scenic roads on the island, and there is a national park. Find out about it.
- Prince Edward Island National Park
- Dunelands Trail
Where to stay. Would you sleep in a hotel, a farmhouse, an inn or a B&B? Find out about accommodation on the island.
- Where to eat. Find restaurants, tea houses, cafés and bars you would like to visit.
Here are some useful websites:
- Prince Edward Island Tourism website
- Parks Canada: Green Gables Heritage Place
- The Government of Prince Edward Island: Green Gables
At the beginning of the novel (Anne arrives Level 2 ) Anne Shirley in 11 years old, and she goes to school. What was school like in Canada around 1908, the publication of the novel?
Do some research and find out about:
- One-room village schools
- Queen’s Academy – teachers’ college
Meals and drinks at home or at social events are important and entertaining scenes in the novel. Learn about the traditional social events, and find out how to recreate the meals, drinks and events from the stories. First, learn about the recipes and the traditions, and then choose one and make it at home.
- Afternoon tea – host a tea party
- Anne’s layer cake
- Raspberry cordial
Here are two delicious-looking books for you to find recipes and inspiration:
For more about literary meals, visit these two posts on this blog:
Two more tips
- Did you know that Anne of Green Gables is very popular in Japan? Find out more about it. Start by reading about the Anne of Green Gables anime.
- Download this PDF file and create a poster.
What have you learnt about Anne? Would you like to visit Prince Edward Island? What about hosting an Anne Shirley tea party?