Medieval Feasts and Multimedia

I cannot believe how quickly this semester is going by. It seems like we just started and now the third quarter is over. I have been busy as usual with lesson plans and professional development. The cold season (as in the sickness and not the temperature) in my area has been awful. I have had kids coughing and hacking for weeks. Vitamin C, anyone! Other than that my spring semester is going quite well.

We recently finished a unit on Romeo and Juliet. When my students first learned we were reading Shakespeare they were a little intimidated. As English language learners this happens often when they believe that a text is too hard for them to understand. We started the unit with an easy and interesting assignment. I gave their parents a homework assignment (the kids thought this was awesome), they had to write a letter to their son or daughter about what they wanted in a future spouse. On a previous post you can see that I got some very interesting responses. Another way that I helped my students was by providing sections from No Fear Shakespeare at key points. This is available free on the web on the Sparks Notes website.  I will caution you that some of the material needs to be looked at closely. I found some very foul language and some quite risque sexual scenes described in some of the translation. With the No Fear Shakespeare I added some hands-on activities and role-plays. When we finished they were surprised that they read Shakespeare and begrudgingly admitted that they actually enjoyed most of it! We celebrated by having a Shakespearean feast and watching Gnomeo and Juliet (which they wrote a compare/contrast essay about).

Here are some links to the activities I used in my unit:

In my science and drama classes I have discovered that they really enjoy making videos. I have had my students create videos as culminating projects at the end of our units. I have been amazed at the products they have created. I will be posting some of them (hopefully) as soon as I get parental permission.

How do you use multimedia in your classes?

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