Tuesday, May 06, 2008

High School English ... Done Right?


Now, see, this guy's blog I can appreciate a bit more.  For a lesson on Romeo and Juliet he has the students tell a biographical story in which they are to mix relevant quotes from Act I.  The problem would seem to be that not too much happens in Act I :).  But I like this idea much better than the tests I've posted in the past that are little more than "True or False, the Prince threatens to put people in jail if they disturb the peace."  Goes to my whole "Just because he wrote it 400 years ago doesn't mean it couldn't happen today" thing.

1 comment:

mmain said...


In my classroom in Minnesota, I have had great success have the students turn the traditional "scene summary" into individual stories. The idea is that each student re-tells the story of Romeo and Juliet but with in a completely different context. Many will simply adapt it to a high school dating situation, but some get into the creativity of it all. One student made it the story of a guy and the dog he found at the pound. The student made it work incredibly well and made the relationship appropriate (it did not make any references to an Elizabethan bestiary in case you were worried). The best one,though, was a student who turned the story into Romeo and Julian. It was a modern day tale of two gay lovers. Once again, it was handled tastefully and had amazing insights. For instance, Julian was dating a young woman (Ms. Paris) to stay closeted. I appreciate you promoting Shakespeare as an archetype that still works today. Too many people want to only see his work as a product of ages past, rather than an active morality tale that continues to reveal who we are as humans. I have tremendous success teaching Shakespeare to high schoolers specifically because I do get them to think about Shakespeare in terms of their daily lives.