We all have fond memories of Jack London stories: our heart rate going faster at the adventures of Buck (The Call of the Wild) and White Fang (White Fang), or feeling angry about cruelty against animals. Reading Jack London’s descriptions of the remote wilderness, we might have kindled the idea of visiting Yukon Territory or Alaska or California, Jack London’s home state where many of his stories start or end. Who hasn’t dreamt of travelling the west coast from Alaska through British Columbia, all along the Pacific?
Jack London’s most famous mirror stories, White Fang (Helbling Readers, Level 3) and The Call of the Wild (Helbling Readers, Level 4) have all the elements that can make a book exciting for teens: adventure, challenge, dogs, wolves, wild nature, travel, friendship and loyalty. Classics like them can still compete with today’s popular teen literature.
We have prepared a Jack London Special for your IWB to help you motivate your students to read these stories and establish some background knowledge for them. Download the PDF file and use it on your IWB. You will find information about the images and the answers to questions 1-3 in the Teacher’s Notes.
Here are the lesson steps you can follow:
1 Set the scene. The first part of the lesson focuses on Yukon and California, their geography, wildlife and outdoor activities.
2 Discuss the topics. Talk about dogs, wolves and violence against animals.
3 Complete two projects. Find out about the Klondike (or Alaska) Gold Rush and collect information about sled dogs.
4 Extra project: Jack London. Ask your students to prepare a Biography Card about Jack London. He had a hard and fascinating life, and he was a great adventurer, and your students will certainly find his life interesting.
- Download our blank biography card here.
5 Read a chapter from The Call of the Wild.
- Download a sample chapter here. You can use the audio file if you want to turn this par of the lesson into a shared listening and reading activity.
6 Watch a film adaptation. There is a famous and popular Disney film adaptation of White Fang from 1991. It stars Ethan Hawke and Klaus Maria Brandauer.
Download the PDF file for your IWB and the Teacher’s Notes: