Monday, September 3, 2012

Putting it all together: Prompt books and Performances with The Most Dangerous Game

Hope everyone is enjoying their long weekend.  It has been a crazy week!  In addition to my regular teaching job with Freshman English, I am also an online instructor for our local community college.  I teach online Freshman Comp and Research and have four sections (that's about another 100 students).  This week was spent teaching during the day and then getting home and teachings some more.  Very busy week, but I love it.  I am an online teacher for two local high schools and have another class with just community college students.

Last week, my classes put together all their new skills of performance and prompt books together.  Each group of 4 was given 4 pages of the short story The Most Dangerous Game. They were then instructed to cut 50% of their section, complete a prompt book, add in at least 3 extras (10 sec of silence, moment of laughter, line spoken directly to the audience, etc), and finally put it up on stage. They were also required to add in one prop and one costume change.

The results were fantastic.  Not only did it give us a great overview of the story, the action really helped to reinforce the theme of the story.  Their prompt book skills have improved tremendously.  They made critical choices about what to keep and what to cut.  They also made specific choices about their staging and movement.  One cool surprise was their use of sound effects and other things with the use of laptops.  Many groups chose background music or scenes to have on their computer while they performed.

I also noticed they are a lot less shy about performing.  Everyone is comfortable and out of their shells.  They take risks in their lines and movements.  Most of them even memorized their scripts!

Here is a sample script:

Rainsford on his Yacht

Here is a pic of one of my students with their group prop.  They were so creative!!  A great success and much better than just reading the story aloud and then lecturing on it.

I will post the handout for the activity on my Wiki.  This is part of my livebinder site.

This week we will be working on a jigsaw activity of the book How to Read Literature Like a Professor.  Each student is responsible for one chapter and will be making a Pecha Kucha presentation.  Let's see how it goes.

Blessed to be teaching!