1. Create your own renditions of Jane's drawings based on her descriptions of them. Do your drawings help you understand their meaning in new ways?
2. Write a short sequel to the novel, describing Jane and Rochester's married life. What happens to their children? What happens to Jane after she finishes this novel? You could also write alternative endings for the novel: What if Jane had married St. John, for example?
3. As a precursor to studying the text, research Charlotte Brontë's life and culture, exploring the politics, religion, and daily life of Victorian England. What was life like in Brontë's time? What would a normal day be for a teenager?
4. If your school has access to electronic discussion boards or an asynchronous discussion forum such as TopClass or Web Crossing, post questions and responses as you read through the text. Post a minimum number of questions (two, perhaps) and a minimum number of thoughtful replies (say, four). Try to give fuller, more developed discussion responses instead of a brief response such as "I couldn't agree more."
5. Keep a dialectical reading journal as you read Jane Eyre. Purchase dialectical notebook paper (or make it by dividing paper they already have into two columns [the left about 3@bf1/2 inches, the right about 5 inches] running the length of their paper. In the right column, keep track of the plot (being sure to put in chapter numbers so you can quickly locate passages for class discussion). In the smaller column, write your responses to what you have just read. For instance, you may offer up commentary or questions regarding a particular chapter's action. Working dialectically helps you engage with the text and read actively, rather than passively.
6. Using an electronic search engine such as Yahoo! or Alta Vista, conduct a search for Web sites related to the novel. Assemble a list of sites, critically annotating each one with a few sentences (not just summarizing its content, but really considering the credibility of each site). Create a master list of Web sources, and then make your own Web site for Jane Eyre. In lieu of summarizing action, you can discuss film adaptations, research critical approaches to the text and present your findings, discuss visual representations of the text (for example, you can scan drawings and engravings that have accompanied various printed versions of the text, analyzing which themes and ideas the artworks provide), start a discussion board, and so on.
7. Watch a variety of film adaptations of Jane Eyre. Look for specific comparisons and contrasts between the films (such as how Rochester and Jane's love is depicted in the text and in the movie; outright deviations from the text; how music, settings, and costumes contribute to our understanding of the novel; the characterization of Blanche Ingram, and so on). Post your findings to a Web site or discussion board on the novel.