The Wiki Plan

Students will create a page for the classroom Shakespeare wiki based on a project they work on while the class reads the play. The California state English standards provide good inspiration for general project ideas. I have provided some examples for projects to aid the first group working on this, and future classes will benefit from the work of this first group. At the end of each project idea is the Intelligence utilized by the student, based on Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences.

Pix and Music: First assignment to bring pictures that mean something to student. Next bring music that means something. Third assignment combine them together with iMovie or MovieMaker. Once they have the raw materials they can play.

Word Play: rewrite a scene, making sure that each character is still saying the same thing. Linguistic

Shakespearean E-mail: Write a message to someone using Shakespeare’s language. Interpersonal

Illustrated Bibliography: identify books about Shakespeare and show, rather than tell, how useful they are by using photos and drawings of the information contained. Create a set of visual icons to identify categories of information that each book possesses. For example a quill pen for a book about Shakespeare’s writing, a married couple for an article about his family, etc. Spatial

The Question Page: Create a page for students to post every question they have about Shakespeare and the play they are studying. One homework assignment would be to pick one question and answer it as best you can. Logical

Word Collage: Students generate one sentence facts about Shakespeare and explain where they got the fact from. Take three facts and combine them into a conclusion. Example: 1)Shakespeare was married to an older woman. 2)He left his family in Stratford and moved to London to be an actor. 3) Many of his plays had unhappy love affairs. Conclusion: Shakespeare was unhappily married. Linguistic, Logical

Character Whats and Whys: A series of pages about each character, where students list an action of a character and explain either why they did that action or why it was important to the story that they did that. One is basic character analysis, the other is a meta-analysis of the play itself. Interpersonal

Video Analysis: Shakespeare is intended to be enacted. Using simple video recording technology students film a scene that fulfills a particular criteria: show the interaction of two characters and explain how that scene affects the plot (3.3); perform a scene that demonstrates a character’s important traits (3.4); enact “the most important scene in the play” and explain why it is so important (3.5); bring the imagery of a speech to life (3.7); make clear an instance of irony in the play (3.8); break down a scene and explain how the words and actions are meant to affect an audience (3.10). Linguistic, Spatial, Kinesthetic, Interpersonal

Shakespearean Presentations: Create a series of power points that detail the life of Shakespeare. Subjects include, but are not limited to, childhood, family, death, the authorship controversy, life during Elizabethan England, class differences, the Globe theatre, gender roles, religion, etc. Logical, Spatial

The Twitter Thesis: Students must express the main idea of their essay in 144 characters. Linguistic, Logical

The Research Essay: There is no escape, they must write a research paper. But the skills they will need can be practiced throughout the year (Question Page, Word Collage, Video Analysis, Presentations). Linguistic, Logical

The Quote Page: Write down your favorite lines from the play. From time to time choose a quote and have everyone respond on the blog. Intrapersonal

The Essay Wiki: Put the essays on the wiki and pair up each student. They will edit their partner’s essay online. Another group will compare and contrast the two essays and see which one they think is best. Linguistic, Interpersonal

Article Roundtable: Post an article on the Blog. Have students identify the lines they think are most important and explain how the author supports that one idea. Then go back and mark up the article on the Wiki, showing visually with color how the ideas relate. Logical, Spatial, Interpersonal

The Story of Shakespeare: Take one of the incidents related in the Shakespearean Presentations and bring it to life, either through story, poetry, video, or some other media. Linguistic, Spatial, Kinesthetic, Musical

Posting Norms: One of the problems with student’s familiarity with writing on the internet is their use of “133tspeak”, or Texting Speech. It is necessary to establish a set of norms so students understand the difference between posting for their peers and posting for everyone. The Wiki should be held to standard English vernacular, though blog posts may be stretched to accept variations. Linguistic

Shakespeare and the Natural World: All of Shakespeare’s plays use Nature imagery. Bring this imagery to life using a video or still camera. Naturalistic

Shakespeare’s Playlist: If he were alive today what kind of music would Shakespeare listen to? Why do you feel that? Musical, Intrapersonal