I wanted to share our new, just completed, Hamlet project.
The seniors have been blogging in small groups as the characters in the play. We’ve done this successfully for a couple of years now.
This time around, a couple of our classes culminated the unit by remixing a soliloquy or a passage of their choice using VoiceThread. (Traditionally this project was a formal recitation in front of the class.)
The preparation was similar in both versions of the project.
To prepare their passages, students were required to:
- Know the meaning and pronunciation of all words. (Our dusty old set of OED saw new life these last two weeks!)
- Know the character’s emotional state and motivation in the scene.
- Be aware of any shifts in tone or mood within the passage.
- Study the context of the passage: What has just happened? What do you know about the character and the situation up to this point? What is the purpose of this passage?
- Retype the passage and include notations in the margins describing:
- Vocal pauses, stresses, inflections.
- Pauses (because VoiceThread is a slide show program)
- Tone of voice
- Definitions of words and phrases unfamiliar to you or those that may have an alternate meaning from the one(s) you know
- Explanations of allusions
- Notes on pronunciation of any unfamiliar words and phrases
Students were challenged to select a group of copyright-friendly images that reflected the following:
- Personal interpretation
Using Voicethread, they recorded their passages incorporating newly developed understandings of the piece in context.
Despite the fact that the students needed to plan a little more carefully for slightly unnatural pauses due to the slide show format of the tool, the project really worked!
The level of engagement was apparent as they practiced, recorded, deleted, rerecorded (oftening hiding in corners of the library). Before they presented at our little film festival, the students set the context for the audience. Their remarks, their choice of images, and their delivery all demonstrated personal understanding of meaning, as well as a variety of interesting interpretative twists.
Lizzie’s project is embedded at the top of this post, but please take a look at our lesson and some of our other student efforts. And please add your comments!