The Graveyard Book’s setting, characters, and tone borrow from the conventions of Gothic literature. Have students use storyboards to identify the Gothic elements in the book. Students can make reference to the list below to choose and depict 3-5 Gothic characteristics present in the novel. Beneath each depiction, students should provide a brief description of the element’s connection to the novel.
It doesn't get much gloomier than a graveyard! Bod grows up among gravestones, coffins, and old bones. The inhabitants of the graveyard walk around in the decaying clothing they were buried in and make use of artifacts left in their tombs. A shadowy, ghost-filled cemetery is the quintessential Gothic setting.
For much of the book, the identity behind the Dorians' killer remains unknown. The existence of the mysterious Jack and his mission to kill Bod keep the reader in suspense throughout the book.
The Graveyard Book contains all sorts of supernatural beings, including ghosts, ghouls, the Jacks of all trades, and the unique members of the Honor Guard.
The Jacks of all Trades set out to kill Bod and his family due to a prophecy. In ancient Egypt, a prophet foretold of a child who would "walk the borderland between the living and the dead...if this child grew to adulthood it would mean the end of [the Jacks] and all [they] stand for."
The graveyard comes alive at night and much of Bod's life is spent in the darkness or moonlight. Bod's special powers enable him to see in the dark without difficulty, so he can effortlessly exist in a world of shadows.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 5 (Advanced / Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or GroupCommon Core Standards
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Create a storyboard illustrating Gothic elements in The Graveyard Book.
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