Week one is over and it went well. All lessons at this school are double’s (80 mins), which is great, it allows plenty of time get into particular concepts and really drill down into them. It’s been a week of late nights, but that is to be expected, with some rewarding learning experiences as a result. The fact that I have 2 x Year 10 and 2 x Year 11 classes all doing the same work at the same stages, gives me the opportunity to teach everything twice and change my approach if needed. It also allows me to teach the second class with more confidence as I’m much more familiar with the material. I taught a few double lessons of both R&J and TKAM.
R&J was fun. First, I provided a bit of context for the play and to help give students an appreciation of the language in Shakespeare, I assigned them into roles and they read some scenes aloud. I was surprised how much they got into it and they all seemed to have fun. Next, I discussed key themes, plot and had them do a character analysis exercise using a character in Act 1 Scene1.
With the Year 11s, I helped frame part 1 of TKAM to set them up for part 2 which they are reading now. We had a conversation about key themes and I picked out some quotes from each chapter to demonstrate some literary techniques (imagery, symbolism etc) – related them to themes – and explained how we might build on this in part 2 of the novel (the court case). They will be doing a summative assessment after I’m gone in which they are required to write an essay, using key themes and discussing literary techniques, questions TBA. Over the weekend I need to work out how I’m going to teach these texts for the next 2 weeks (I’ve been given free range).
Today we worked out an assessment piece for R&J. Students will write a script for part of a scene, with Director’s notes and include a folio/PP that explains props, costumes etc. used to create meaning. I won’t have time to go through the whole play, so I’ve picked out some key scenes to focus on, now I just need to think of how to teach it…
TKAM, I will continue with conversations about the text and start getting them to complete some tasks that involve identifying quotes, relating them to key themes and explaining their significance to the text.
As far as ICTs go I haven’t used anything new or special (I haven’t had a chance) but it is a Google school so creating ,sharing and providing instructions using something similar to Study Desk is how they operate day-to-day.
I would love to hear from anyone who might have some interesting suggestions for how to teach R&J to Year 10s in a fun and engaging way.
The feedback I’ve received so far has been fantastic and I hope the next two weeks go this smoothly. I hope everyone is having fun and a good experience wherever you may be…
All the best Chris.