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Reenacting Shakespeare

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Keywords: English, Language Arts, Drama, Shakespeare
Subject(s): Art, Video, Technology, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Drama
Grades 9 through 12
School: West Morris Central High Sch, Chester, NJ
Planned By: Natalie Miller
Original Author: Natalie Miller, Chester
1. Students receive the project assignment, which requires small groups to modernize and perform scenes from Shakepeare's Romeo and Juliet. Requirements include that all students must have an active roll in completing the project (analyzing/summarizing scene, writing modernized script, putting together costumes, props, etc., performing in script, recording skit, editing project)
2. Students are broken into groups and are assigned various scenes from the play.
3. Students re-read assigned scenes, annotating the text, and summarizing lines.
4. Students create an outline that details the tasks needing to be completed based on project requirements.
5. Students spend some time brainstorming, assigning roles, creating costumes, writing a script, and making plans to execute skit.
6. After 3 class periods of preparation, students break into their groups and begin filming their skits.
7. After 2 class periods of shooting scenes, students reassemble in computer lab to edit their performances.
8. After 2 class periods of editing, students meet for the play's "Opening Night" where each group shows their scene, while we all watch.
-If performances turn out well, class will then work together to integrate all scenes, do more editing, and offer a showcase of the entire "Modern Romeo & Juliet" to other students after school as a review and preparation for culminating test on the Shakespeare unit.
I have done minor versions of this in class before, but because of not having access to video equipment, have not been able to record or efit modern performances. I am also looking forward to being able to put the finished product on a secured website for students and parents to access.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This could be interdisciplinary, with students from Drama, English, Media, and Technlogy classes working together.
Students being able to showcase their work reinforces earlier studied lessons on Shakespeare, and provides a review for final test on material.
Materials: Video Cameras, Flip Video, Tripods, Headsets, English/Language Arts