Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tweeting Shakespeare was A HIT!

I had seen this idea somewhere on Pinterest and thought to myself, "My kids will NEVER go for that! They hate anything that is popular and 'cool'!"

But after struggling to get them to attend and having to do 90% of the work for them yesterday, pulling out every trick in the book to get them to understand what Shakespeare is saying in the beginning of Macbeth, I was out of patience and completely out of ideas. This was my Hail Mary shot in the dark, a chance that turned out to actually get them involved and even *gasp* interested in what the heck Shakespeare was saying through Banquo about the potential for ruin in the face of realizing your greatest dream.

So after my customary QOTD (Question of the Day), I wrote the specific lines they needed to pay attention to with the instructions about character length and a little note about Banquo and who he is in the story to give them a sense of understanding about who is who and what is what.

I paired them up based on strengths and weaknesses, interest in the story, and excitement about the challenge. Then, I made it more interesting by saying that 5 minutes prior to the end of the class, they would have to write their tweets on the board and I would judge the best tweet for correct context, interpretation, and interest. I would be looking for a unique hashtag at the end to connect all of the ideas together and at the end of the judgement, I would also award points to the best tweet onto their ongoing "Positive Points" count, which gives the winner a surprise at end of the month.

Here is the original mini-speech by Banquo to Macbeth in Act I, Scene III:

Tweet #1: 
Going to be given the crown and title "Thane of Cawdor". Evil can tell the truth, but can lead to death. Going to be king. Don't screw it up! #Macbeth

Tweet #2: 
Macbeth we want you to be a noble and faithful leader so as not to bring us to our doom #savior

Tweet #3: 
Face and make friends with your fear, this may mean battling demons but deciding to will encourage self growth #struggles

WOW! I was shocked! I didn't know how they would do and how they would feel having to interpret the passage without my help, but I was so pleasantly surprised with their response and how they felt after completing the assignment that I think I will do something like this again with other passages in the play and passages from other literature we tackle this semester. 

The ideas are endless and interesting to see them actually embrace an idea that has a following or such a huge place in modern pop culture. All in all, it was a great day of instruction and seeing them take SOME ownership over their own education- something that I have been fostering in some of these guys for three straight years now- is a really good feeling.

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