October 25th, 2014 | Published in Film
“In 1974, famed US horror writer Stephen King and his wife Tabitha lived for a year in Boulder, Colorado. In late October, they spent a night in the mountain resort town of Estes Park, 40 miles northwest of Boulder. They checked into the historic 155-room Stanley Hotel – and found that they were the only guests for one of the last nights of the hotel’s season. King’s imagination went wild as he wandered the abandoned hallways, ate alone in the grand dining room and talked up the bartender. By the end of the night, he knew he had enough material to start writing his next book…The Shinning” L. Galloway, BBC
ESL Voices Lesson Plan for this post with Answer Key
Excerpt: Stephen King’s hotel of horrors By Lindsey Galloway, BBC
“Though King called the hotel in his book The Overlook, the fictional Overlook and the real-life Stanley not only look alike, with sprawling front porches and crisp Georgian architecture, but both were completed in 1909. Founder FO Stanley, who invented one of the era’s best selling steam-powered cars, The Stanley Steamer, in 1897, came to the Rocky Mountains from Massachusetts in 1903 to find treatment for his tuberculosis. He and his wife Flora fell in love with the region and founded the hotel six years later. During its early heyday, the resort hosted celebrities including former US president Theodore Roosevelt, Titanic survivor Molly Brown and Emperor Hirohito of Japan.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977, the Stanley has retained many of its original features, including the entrance’s sprawling veranda, its founder’s favourite billiard room and the grand staircase that graces the lobby.…Apparitions are nothing new for the Stanley’s ballroom. People report seeing the keys on the room’s piano being pressed with no one there, and hearing music fill the space.
…In the book, the room beyond door 217 turns out to be far from ordinary – it is the site of a gruesome haunting. In real life, it was the room where King stayed.
Long before King’s stay, the room had a history. In 1917, the chief housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson was lighting the hotel’s acetylene lanterns during a storm in case the electricity went out. When she went to light the one in what is now room 217, the lantern exploded, blasting out the floor beneath her feet and sending her falling down to the story below.
She survived (albeit with two broken ankles). Even so, guests of 217 report her spirit stops by on occasion – usually to tidy things up, sometimes putting stray items away or unpacking a suitcase.
The hauntings, both the fictional and the ostensibly real, hardly deter guests. In fact, room 217 is usually booked months in advance. That said, the fourth floor rooms receive the most reports of unusual activity, from the sounds of children playing in the halls to lights turning off to faces appearing in windows.
In September 2013, King’ published Doctor Sleep, the long-awaited sequel to The Shining, which follows Jack Torrance’s son Danny, now in his 40s – all the way back to the site of the Overlook.”
I. Pre-Reading Activities
Directions: Place students in groups, ask students to think about what they already know about haunted places and ghosts.Next, have students look at the pictures) in the text and generate ideas or words that may be connected to the article. Debrief as a class and list these ideas on the board.
II. While Reading Tasks
Directions: Students are to infer the meanings of the words in bold taken from the article. They may use a dictionary, thesaurus, and Word Chart for assistance.
- In late October, they spent a night in the mountain resort town of Estes Park.
- King’s imagination went wild as he wandered the abandoned hallways.
- The Shining is about a snowed-in hotel with a haunted history.
- The fictional Overlook and the real-life Stanley look alike.
- Founder FO Stanley came to the Rocky Mountains in 1903 to find treatment for his tuberculosis.
- The Stanley has retained many of its original features, including the entrance’s sprawling veranda.
- Apparitions are nothing new for the Stanley’s ballroom.
- In the book, the room beyond door 217 is the site of a gruesome haunting.
- The hauntings, both the fictional and the ostensibly real, hardly deter guests.
- The hotel even offers a five-hour paranormal investigation.
Directions: Review the following statements from the reading. If a statement is true they mark it T. If the statement is not applicable, they mark it NA. If the statement is false they mark it F and provide the correct answer.
- In 1974, famed US horror writer Stephen King and his wife Tabitha lived for a year in Tucson, Arizona.
- They checked into the historic 155-room Stanley Hotel – and found that they were the only guests for one of the last nights of the hotel’s season.
- The Shining was published in 2000, and quickly became a horror classic.
- Tabitha saw a ghost in one of the halls.
- The most haunted room was 217.
- The Stanley Steamer was a steam-powered car.
- Former US president Theodore Roosevelt, Titanic survivor Molly Brown, and Emperor Hirohito of Japan were guests at The Stanley Hotel.
- The Stanley Hotel has the reputation as one of the United States’ most haunted hotels.
- In 1997, King adapted his book into a mini-series.
- The sequel to The Shining is Doctor Sleep, published In September 2013.
Directions: The following sentences are from the article. For each sentence choose the correct preposition from the choices presented.
Prepositions: during, in, by, from, of, with, for,
___1974, famed US horror writer Stephen King and his wife Tabitha lived ___a year ___Boulder, Colorado. ___late October, they spent a night___the mountain resort town ___Estes Park…The Shining, published ___1977, quickly became a horror classic, ___no small part due its scarily secluded setting: a snowed-in hotel ___a haunted history, hidden away ___the Rocky Mountains.During its early heyday, the resort hosted celebrities including former US president Theodore Roosevelt, Titanic survivor Molly Brown and Emperor Hirohito of Japan. The Stanley’s original MacGregor Ballroom, ___its raised stage and large windows showcased expansive mountain views. Late one night, main character and hotel caretaker Jack Torrance finds himself at a magnificent masked ball attended___1940s-styled guests –Room 217 was a perfectly ordinary door, no different ___any other door ___the first two floors ___the hotel,
III. Post Reading Tasks
Directions: Have students use the WH-question format to discuss or to write the main points from the article.
Who or What is the article about?
Where does the action/event take place?
When does the action/event take place?
Why did the action/event occur?
How did the action/event occur?
Directions: Place students in groups and have them answer the following questions. Afterwards, have the groups share their thoughts as a class. To reinforce the ideas, students can write an essay on one of the following discussion topics.
1.The following three statements were taken from the article. Rephrase each one, then discuss the meaning with the members of your group.
“The hauntings, both the fictional and the ostensibly real, hardly deter guests. In fact, room 217 is usually booked months in advance. That said, the fourth floor rooms receive the most reports of unusual activity, from the sounds of children playing in the halls to lights turning off to faces appearing in windows.”
“Though a classic in its own right, the film adaptation of The Shining – directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson – has long been disparaged by King for not being true to his story’s characters.
The film does not feature any scenes from the Stanley; there was not enough snow in Estes Park at the time to recreate the snowed-in Overlook. The exterior shots instead show the Timberline Lodge in Mt Hood, Oregon.”
“Meanwhile, the Stanley, which is open year-round, has continued to draw visitors from around the country. As part of its effort to attract even more guests, the hotel is offering a special “Doctor Sleep Package” through the end of 2015, including copies of both The Shining and Doctor Sleep and possible upgrades to room 217 by request. Ghost sightings are not guaranteed – but in this hotel, and with one of King’s books in hand, a few scares certainly are.”
IV. Listening Activity
Movie Trailer: The Shinning By Stephen King
Directions: As a class begin a discussion of the types of films students enjoy watching. This is a good way to get them thinking about movies in general. Some ESL Students who are interested in movies may already have some basic knowledge of the vocabulary used when discussing movies. Some may not. Therefore, reviewing some basic terms before watching the trailer will prove helpful.
- Trailer |ˈtrālər| noun -an excerpt or series of excerpts from a movie or program used to advertise it in advance; a preview.
- Plot/Story |plät |noun – the main events of a play, novel, movie, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.
- Genre ˈZHänrə/noun- a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter (Examples: Drama, Suspense, Thriller, Comedy, Horror, Love story)
- Cast |kast|noun- actors, performers, players, company, troupe; dramatis personae, characters. he joined the cast of ‘The Barber of Seville’:
- Director |diˈrektər|(abbr.: dir. ) noun -a person who supervises the actors, camera crew, and other staff for a movie, play, television program, or similar production.
- Rating |ˈrātiNG| noun – The MPAA rating system is one of various motion picture rating systems that are used to help parents decide what films are appropriate for their children.(Examples: R (restricted for adults) PG (may not be suitable for children.Parents should see the movie first) PG-13(G-13 indicates there’s material in the film that may not be suitable for children under the age of 13).
While Listening Questions
Directions: Students listen for the correct word or phrase to complete the sentences taken from the video. They are to choose from the options presented.
- I don’t suppose they sold/told you anything in Denver about the tragedy/tragic we had up here during the winter/winner of 1970?
- I had/hired a man named Charles Grady as the winter caregiver/caretaker.
- From what I’ve been told he seemed like a completely formal/normal individual.
- But at some point during the winter, he must have suffer/suffered some kind of a complete mental/metal breakdown.
- He ran amok and killed his familiar/family.
- The only thing that can get a bit trying up during the winter is the tremendous sense of isolate/isolation.
- Is there something bad/sad here?
- Here’s Jimmy/Johnny!
Questions for Discussion
- What Genre is this movie?
- What scenes did you like in the trailer? What scenes did you not like? Provide reasons for your answers.
- After watching the trailer again, outline the story or plot of the movie. If the trailer is too short describe what the trailer did show.
- Who are the actors and actresses in this movie? Who is the director? Who wrote the story?
- After viewing the trailer, what rating would you give this film? (PG, PG-13, R).
- Are there any questions you would like to ask the actors, or Stephen King?
Please come back again.