Creative Practices

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Creative Practices’s Docs Mini-Unit Plan for Exploring Shakespeare

Dissecting Shakespeare

 

Lesson Plan Title:      A Shakespearian Audience

Unit Lesson Title:      Understanding Shakespeare

Grade:                          12th

 

 

 

Purpose: What is necessary for 12th graders to understand prior to a performance of Romeo & Juliet?

 

LESSON OBJECTIVES                                

 

Students will

  • have a comfort level with Shakespearian language and poetry
  • will be able to identify all major characters and plot lines prior to the performance
  • have a framework of criticism with which to apply to an upcoming performance

                                                               

MATERIALS NEEDED                                                Scripts of Romeo & Juliet

Students Previous Knowledge          

Ÿ  Students will have read the play

Ÿ  Students have an understanding of iambic pentameter and Shakespearian prose

Ÿ  Students are familiar with theatrical criticism and some examples of it

 

 

 

 

Standards:      

 

NYS Learning Standards:                                            

ELA:1,2,4

 

Benchmarks:

Developing Theater Literacy Benchmarks

Understanding Dramatic Texts

Responding to Theater Performance

Students integrate an understanding of dramatic text and theater history in their responses to live performance.

Students develop skills as critics by analyzing the critical writings of others

 

Common Core:

ELA speaking and Listening Standards Grades 11 & 12

Comprehension & Collaboration 1:a, 1:b

Writing Standards Grades 11 & 12

3:a, 3:b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARM-UP

 

Students will play I am a tree. One student states that he/she is a tree and forms a statue or tableau of that tree. The next two students will make a statue or tableau of something directly related to the tree (i.e. acorn, tire-swing etc.).  A fourth student chooses one of the 2nd two statues and assumes it’s shape and form. Next two new students take turns becoming a statue or tableau directly related to that object or person. Class will do this first all together then separately in groups of 4 or 5.

 

 

Rationale: Ensemble building/re-enforcement, fosters creative thinking & cognition skills      

 

Role of the Facilitator: to demonstrate the game/activity then to guide students through activity occasionally stepping in to advise.      

HOOK

Students are asked to do a gallery walk around the room and to choose one of 3 pictures that they most identify with. The teacher/facilitator will then ask informally what they see, what they like, and what they wonder about the pictures that most struck them. As he/she asks the questions, the facilitator will write down the responses on the black/smart-board.

 

 

Rationale: Prepares students for the Liz Lerman critical response rubric                                                           

 

Role of Facilitator: to guide the students through activity and to lead the reflection.

 

MAIN ACTIVITY           

Students will then get a formal briefing on the Liz Lerman critical response rubric. They then will be asked to take 10 minutes and with a minimum of 5 sentences each, write down at least one thing they see or have noticed their reading of Romeo and Juliet, at least one thing they like about it, and at least one thing they wonder about the production they are about to see the next day. Each student will then be paired with 3 others. Each group will then try to find at least one common theme in each I like, I see, I wonder.

                               

Rationale: To put the students in a positive and quizzical state of mind pre-performance of Romeo & Juliet. Also they will begin to develop a critical response and analysis of the play.                                                           

 

Role of Facilitator: To explain the critical response rubric to the class and then to guide and advise the students through their discussion of the shared themes.                                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFLECTION  

The groups will present their shared themes to the rest of the class.  The teacher/facilitator will then guide the groups in a larger discussion of the shared themes of the groups.

 

 

 

 

Rationale:

–          To find group consensus and interest in the material.

–        To foster the recognition of thematic elements and themes and to develop a positive critical response of those themes and elements.                                                 

 

Role of Facilitator: To guide the reflection discussion and make sure every one is heard from.                                               

 

 

Modification/

Differentiated Instruction: 

Students with writing difficulties can work with a partner or get individual instruction and help from the teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

Theatre Literacy                                        

 

Tableaux, statue, improvisation

 

 

Dissecting Shakespeare

 

 

Lesson Plan Title:      Finding the conflict

Unit Lesson Title:      Understanding Shakespeare

Grade:                          12th

 

 

 

Purpose: How does understanding the conflicts inherent in the world of Romeo & Juliet help us to understand the world the characters inhabit?

 

LESSON OBJECTIVES                                

 

Students will

  • Be able to identify and analyze the major conflicts in the world of Romeo & Juliet
  • Be able to make a literature-self connection to the conflicts and themselves

 

                                                               

MATERIALS NEEDED                                                Large classroom space, a chalk/smart board, pen & paper

Students Previous Knowledge          

Ÿ  Students have read the play and seen a performance

Ÿ  Students are familiar with various improvisational games and the warm-up for those games

Ÿ  Students are familiar with hot-seating

 

 

 

 

Standards:       (NYS Learning Standards and the NYC Benchmarks)

 

NYS Learning Standards:                                            

ELA 1,2,3 & 4

 

Benchmarks:

-Students increase their ability as imaginative and

analytical actors while continuing to participate as collaborative

ensemble members.

-Through sequential and sustained activities in various

theater forms, students improve upon and gain new

performance skills.

 

Common Core:

ELA speaking and Listening Standards Grades 11 & 12

Comprehension & Collaboration 1:a, 1:b

Writing Standards Grades 11 & 12

3:a, 3:b

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARM-UP

 

Students will play the game “The wind blows”. The class will form a large circle with an assigned number of spaces in that circle (if the class has 26 students, there will be 25 spaces in that circle). The teacher/facilitator demonstrates the game by saying something like, “The wind blows for all those wearing blue.” (if the teacher is wearing blue). Now, anyone wearing blue must change places in the circle with another person wearing blue. Inevitably one person will be without a spot and will go center. That person in the center is then responsible for saying ‘who the wind blows for’. The wind can blow for any number of reasons or feelings. I.e. the wind can blow for anyone feeling “tired” that day, or anyone who doesn’t like broccoli.  This should be played for just about 5-10 minutes.

 

 

 

Rationale: This gets the students thinking and acting like an ensemble.               

 

Role of the Facilitator: To demonstrate the game, and to referee when necessary.        

HOOK

Students divided up into 2 lines facing each other across the room. Students will then be asked a series of questions. If they agree with the question, or feel that it pertains to them, they will cross the room and join the other line. First the questions will deal with questions of conflict in their own lives (i.e. cross the room if you’ve ever felt bullied). After a few minutes the students will be asked to cross the room operating under the beliefs or feelings of a certain character. If there is any unusual or remarkable movement, the teacher/facilitator should briefly reflect on it with the class. This should go on for about 20 minutes.

 

Rationale: This activity asks the students to make a literature to self connection, and helps the students make personal connections to the Romeo & Juliet.                                                       

 

Role of Facilitator: Leads the activity                                   

 

MAIN ACTIVITY           

Students and teacher will brainstorm and come up with several major sources of conflict in the play. Students will be asked to pick out 4 sources of conflict that they feel are the strongest. The class will then be divided up into 4 groups. In their groups students will be asked to come up with a 8 line argument as to why their source of conflict is the strongest and why. (take 10 minutes for this). The groups will then present each of their arguments to the class orally. The groups will then be asked to pass their work (paper argument is written on) to the next group. The group that receives the other group’s argument is then tasked with editing the other group’s argument down to just 2 very persuasive lines. These edited arguments will then again be presented orally to the class. 

                               

Rationale: Students learn editing skills in a group, supportive environment                                                      

 

Role of Facilitator: Will demonstrate how to write the argument, then how to edit it. Will explain and help out groups as needed.                                               

 

 

REFLECTION                                                  

Students will reflect with teacher/facilitator on what are the elements of a good argument; what is needed to reasonably persuade someone. Students and teacher will come up with 5 elements of a good argument that can be agreed upon by the entire class.

 

 

Rationale: Helps prepare the class for the next lesson. Helps foster a student-centered learning environment.                                                                

 

Role of Facilitator: To help build consensus and to guide reflection.                                     

 

Homework: None

 

Modification/

Differentiated Instruction: 

-Students with difficulty writing can help prepare oral arguments, or be responsible for presenting for their groups

-Students with shyness issues can be responsible for the writing down of the arguments.

 

 

 

Theatre Literacy                                        

 

Character analysis, improvisation & ensemble

 

 

Dissecting Shakespeare

 

 

Lesson Plan Title:      Trial by Classroom     

Unit Lesson Title:      Understanding Shakespeare

Grade:  12th                 

 

 

 

Purpose: What is necessary to understanding the underlying conflicts in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet?

 

LESSON OBJECTIVES                                

 

Students will

  • Gain a more complete understanding of the characters motivations
  • Be able to provide a critical defense of their assigned characters through writing

                                                               

MATERIALS NEEDED                                               

 

Pen & paper and large open classroom.

 

Students Previous Knowledge          

Ÿ  Have read the play and seen a performance

Ÿ  Have discussed and had homework assignments dealing with persuasive writing

Ÿ  Hot seating

 

 

 

Standards:      

 

NYS Learning Standards:

ELA:1,2,4

Benchmarks

Students increase their ability as imaginative and

analytica actors while continuing to participate as collaborative

ensemble members.

Developing Theater Literacy Benchmarks
Understanding Dramatic Texts

Responding to Theater Performance
Students integrate an understanding of dramatic text and theater history in their responses to live performance.
Students develop skills as critics by analyzing the critical writings of others.

Common Core:

CC: RL 11-12.1, RL 11-12.6, W 11-12.1.2.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARM-UP

 

The class will spend 10 minutes or so playing “One Lie and Two truths.” The teacher will ask the classroom to be the ‘jury’ and demonstrate the game. The teacher will then demonstrate, and for example might say, “My name is Jonah, I am 30 years old, and I am incredibly fond of hanging by my toe nails and having wet noodles thrown at me.” The teacher will then ask, “When did I lie?” The class will obviously pick the third.  Asking for a volunteer to go next, the teacher will pick someone else to tell us one lie and two truths, reminding them they don’t necessarily have to go in the same order.

                This should go fairly quickly, and everyone should get a turn naming three things. 

 

 

 

Rationale: The activity will encourage the class to have fun with public speaking, and encourage a group dynamic.

 

 

Role of the Facilitator: To lead and demonstrate the activity, then to ensure participation        

HOOK

The facilitator will ask the students if this classroom/space were a courtroom, what would it look like? The students and the teacher should then take the next few minutes ‘constructing’ the ‘courtroom,’ using materials at hand (i.e. folding chairs, tables, etc.).

 

 

 

Rationale: Using a process drama the facilitator will use the student’s own understanding of a courtroom to help set up in the main activity.                                      

 

Role of Facilitator: To encourage the student’s in their imaginations and to ensure participation                           

 

MAIN ACTIVITY           

Building on previous class-work, the class will then begin the activity, “Trial by Classroom”.  The purpose of the trial, will be to determine guilt or fault in the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Using the newly constructed ‘court,’ the activity will begin. The teacher will now assign two groups (of 5) as the ‘jury’ for a time, one group will act as the prosecution, and one as defense. The final group will be responsible for being in the ‘Hot Seat’, as either prosecution or defense witnesses. The teacher will, along with keeping things organized and moving, join the hot-seated group as teacher in role and as the presiding judge. It will then be decided who the class would like to have as their first witness/defendant/etc. The hot-seated group will then take on the role of someone, or some-ones, like Lord and Lady Capulet, Montague, Benvolio & friends etc., and will take the stand. The ‘defense,’ then the Prosecution will be given the opportunity to ask questions, cast aspersions, et all at said group, all moderated by the Judge/teacher in role.

                The ‘witness’ group will either have the opportunity to speak as a group or to confer on a question, or assign an individual member to speak for them. If the group is having difficulty answering, or the Judge feels like things are veering off topic, he will step in.

                When one witness group is finished on the stand, the teacher will then step out of role.

                                                                               

Rationale: This activity encourages critical thinking on the part of the students and asks them to think in a way beyond as a mere audience member.                                                    

 

Role of Facilitator: To act as presiding judge, and sometimes hot seated character                                       

 

 

 

 

REFLECTION                                                  

Student’s homework will be to write a final summation of their arguments for either the guilt or innocence of whomever they assume is guilty of the deaths of Romeo & Juliet.

 

 

 

 

Rationale: This asks for a sample of persuasive writing and also can help determine a student’s understanding of the material.                                                            

 

Role of Facilitator: As teacher.                 

 

Homework

See above.

 

Modification/

Differentiated Instruction:

– Students in with difficulties with writing skills can be graded on a curve and will also be afforded more time to complete the writing assignment.

 

 

 

 

Theatre Literacy                                        

 

Character, character analysis, hot-seating

 

 

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