Allison Turner

Society of Fellows in the Humanities
Columbia University

Sample In-Class Assignments

Reading for Place: Task Sheet

  • I use this activity to teach Ann Radcliffe’s The Romance of the Forest. Students are divided into groups, and each group is assigned one of the three settings in the novel. After filling out the answers to questions on their task sheet, they work together as a group to make a claim about the importance of their setting in the novel.

Reading Questions: William Cronon’s “The Trouble with Wilderness”

  • I use this handout to guide students through William Cronon’s argument in “The Trouble with Wilderness.” In my experience, students find this essay both challenging and impactful. In our discussion of the handout, I record students responses on the board. This allows students to supplement their own notes with anything they’ve missed, and it allows each student to ensure that they have a clear grasp of the argument and its components.

Castaways Handout

  • I use this packet of passages to teach Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Students are dividing into groups, and each group is assigned one of the four castaway passages. After analyzing their passage and determining what is unique about it, they then present their findings to the rest of the class.