Monday, September 29, 2008

Word Trace Through Macbeth

Through our study of acts 2-3 of Macbeth, the kids were put into groups looking at the use of one of the following words: blood, hand, man, night, sleep. Typically, the kids put together a PPT presentation showing what analysis they came to about their word. I have had very interesting presentations and of course, mostly ones that simply regurgitate some information back to the class with no additional insight. BORING....

Because of some work I am doing with my grad school program, I asked the kids this year to demonstrate their learning using any way BUT PPT. No PPT allowed. To help them make the adjustment, we went through a few other tools that they could use to demonstrate their learning and understanding about the word as well as involve the class. We looked at wikis, blogs, Google Docs in class but it was really up to them to choose the appropriate tool for their learning.

I let my grad school buddies know of this, and Gary Stager our teacher, asked my students to think about the project this way: What Would Shakespeare Do? I loved that. I am going to steal that for a few other assignments. Can you imagine thinking about Daniel Pink's A WHole New Mind with Shakespeare?

After a few presentations today, we debriefed after each one discussing did their presentation merely distribute information or did they go above and beyond the expectations to really show WWSD? I asked the groups that gave a literal interpretation to spend some more time really pushing our understanding of Shakespeare's use of those words. Why those words? Who says them the most? Are there modern connections? What connections can you make between the uses of the words? and being creative with their interpretations. I am anxious to see them progress with their thinking.

Period 2: (Night) (blood) (Hand) ( check this one out!) They wrote a sonnet and connected the use of Macbeth's blaming his hand to a Good Charlotte song. (Man) This group took to heart the idea of WWSD. After their presentation, Kyle acted out one man plays to give interpretation to each of the ideas Shakespeare was delivering about "man". (Sleep) This group spent some time giving background information about sleep in a WMV and then went to the wikispace to give examples to prove their points further.

Period 5: (missing sleep) This group presented an in depth look at blood. Looking over their wiki, I wish they would have presented the demonstration of blood. This group explained the various uses of man over acts 2-3. This group portrayed an interesting rap rendition of night followed by a misplaying of Mission Impossible to demonstrate that night is a character not just a thing. They also talked about the preception night gives us of either fear or confidence depending on our action's intent. This groups presentation was in the format of a game show where the class participated by figuring out who said what quote and what the meaning was behind the quote. I asked them for the sake of the blog, to write up some of their thoughts and interpretations. The left side of the class totally dominated in the discussion.

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