Sunday, March 22, 2009

Shakespeare 2.0

The following is a project I designed based on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Feel free to use project idea in your classroom. In addition, after I began this project I discovered Classroom 2.0 had an online conference related to Shakespeare media projects entitled "PBS & CR 2.0: Remixing Shakespeare for 21st Century Students." You are able to watch a recording of the conference by clicking the link.

Traditionally when studying a Shakespeare play, teachers have students write an essay, memorize and present lines, act out a scene, and complete reading responses. Although those are all valid assignments, I think Shakespeare should be paired with a contemporary project idea. Shakespeare’s plays are some of the oldest texts that students study in high school, so it’s understandable that many students feel disconnected when reading Shakespeare. This project takes the power and innovation of web 2.0 to help bring Shakespeare into your world. It is my hope that this project will help you connect to Shakespeare.

You will be creating a myspace page or a blogger page for one of the characters in Hamlet. This task will require you to have a solid understanding of Hamlet; however, it could also be very fun.

· Set up a myspace page or blogger page
· Research your character
- - Skim through the play to the point we are in class.
- - Take note of every scene in which your character appears
- - Write a quick summary of your character’s actions, motives, relationships, emotional state, personality, etc. Make sure that when you’re taking notes that you write the act and scene.
· Write a blog entry for every scene that your character appears in
- - Write a minimum of one paragraph about the scene from your character’s perspective. The paragraph should have at least five full sentences.
- - Use everyday English, not Elizabethan English. Better yet, use colloquial language including slang.
- - Remember that most blogs, or at least the type of blog you’re creating, is like a diary. Don’t hold anything back; be honest. Capture the emotional state, motives, and personality of your character.
- - Don’t use msn lingo. If you write plz instead of please then I will cry.
· Find a suitable passage that would be good to memorize (Sec. 3: 4 lines; Sec. 4: 6 lines; Sec. 5: 8 lines)
- - Identify the passage
- - Understand the passage
- - Determine how your character is saying the lines
- - Memorize and rehearse
- - Record yourself saying your lines (you’ll have an opportunity to use my webcam)
- - Post it on your page
- - Reflect =)
· Have fun and make the webpage reflect your character. Play with colours, fonts, pics, etc. Make sure you have reasons for your choices because I’ll ask you to explain them.

How to get a 4+ or better
· Make sure you are meetings the expectations aforementioned
· Interact with another character in the class (very easy and fun if you’re using myspace)
- - If you’re Ophelia and a friend is Hamlet, write love letters to each other
· Do an original writing piece
- - If you’re Claudius you can write a “How to Murder Your Brother” article
· Anything else that is above and beyond the expectations and demonstrates reading and writing skills.

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