Oct. 5th Class (Shakespeare/Following Directions)

Another great class…

I love Shakespeare, so it was up my alley to read the scene where Romeo and Juliet meet one another and he persuades her to kiss him.  What was hard was being in a group of 3 and at least 2 people having very different ideas about what our task was in “rewriting” the scene for kids.  I think there was a difference of opinion as to whether it had to be super realistic or something updated and funny for kids today.  The collaborative process can something get slogged down.  But that’s okay.  One pair did the rewrite brilliantly.  I think the exercise was brilliant and could be modified for any type of reading, although the task we had initially to read the scene and figure out what was going on didn’t seem to have as much scaffolding as other activities we’ve done.

Lately I prefer having students read a text, then go back and unpack it, do background and vocabulary, etc., and then read it again and see if it came to life. I like the contrast it provides to do a cold reading and then go back.  I also like doing that and then reading some information text about the literary text.  That was effective.  Challenging students to find out what was authentic in a movie scene was very relevant to today’s students.

The exercise on making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich was a good example of what can happen when directions are not clear.  It does take effort to break down directions. I still do everything that was pointed out to us when I get directions for assignments.  I underline key words, I number the steps (if they are not numbered).  I break everything down so that I can make sure I do each step or  contain in a project or paper all the things I am supposed to.

What will I use from today’s lesson: 1) Don’t use Round Robin and put students on the spot; 2) be clear when giving directions but also help them, maybe more importantly, learn how to break down directions themselves; 3) try cold reading, then unpacking what it means, learning background, and then reading again.


About Kate Collins

AACPS Teacher (Certified in ESOL, Special Education, English, and Theater)
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