Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Classroom Update

English, as a subject, lends itself to so many creative projects.

I just wish I could come up with more of them.

Currently, English II is creating a shield for a character of their choice in Julius Caesar.  The project requires them to adequately characterize one person in the play and support that characterization with evidence from the play.  It also requires a fair amount of creativity--pictures, design, representation (symbols), etc.  (If you are interested in this project, feel free to hit "Contact Me" and request the materials.)

In a week or two, we will finish the play and I would like to have another interesting activity for them to do.  I would love to show a film and have the students draw some comparisons between the play and the film, but I'm stumped as to which film I should show.  I don't want to show Julius Caesar, because the movie versions are old and horrible and because I don't want this to be a sit-and-watch-but-don't-do-anything activity.  When the freshmen watch Romeo + Juliet, they at least have to look for examples of anachronism.  I'm toying with the idea of Crimson Tide, but the film is rated "R" and that's always a concern when you're talking about sophomores.

Another person at the school suggested Valkyrie, but that movie just doesn't appeal to me at all (and let's face it.  If I'm going to watch a film twice a day until it's over, I need to enjoy it).  So I'm open to suggestions.  I really just want a movie that supports similar themes.  I realize "Mean Girls" is similar, but it's not one I really want to watch in the classroom--at least, I don't think I do.  Thoughts?

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English I is plugging along in Romeo and Juliet.  We are currently working on a newspaper project that takes quite a bit of time and applies several skills.  They have to cite material, summarize scenes, write journalistically, arrange things in a visually pleasing manner and work together for one ultimate goal.  I really like this project because the students take it seriously and I end up with some awesome stuff in the end.

Typically, I do this project at the end of Act III and require them to write 2 main news stories from the Act.  Again, if you want the information, feel free to contact me.

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Gothicism has long been one of my favorite parts of American Literature.  I also love Poe's Perfect Prose and all the necessity behind his long, meandering description.  It requires the students to pay attention to every description and instead of declaring it "boring," they have to develop explanations. 

After "Hop-Frog," we will read "Rappaccini's Daughter."  I generally have them write a critical review of the story that identifies the gothic elements as well as incorporates personal opinion of the piece, but I'm open to suggestion here, too.  I'd like to actually DO something.  I'd rather see them create--especially since we already write so many papers in this class.  But sometimes I just run out of ideas.  Someone, stimulate the creative part of my brain!

1 comment:

Big Al said...

I realize that I'm so far behind and may be too late with this comment, but I liked "10 things I hate about you," which is based on "Taming of the Shrew," I think ;)