After the class has experienced Hamlet through viewing or reading, this engaging and interactive team presentation exercise helps students synthesize, shore up and enrich what they’ve gleaned from the text.
The preparation and presentations should take approximately 5-6 days, depending on duration of class periods, length of presentations, and ensuing discussions. A typical schedule might look like:
Day 1: Introduce project & begin teamwork (students divide & conquer)
Days 2-3: Teams continue & finish work.
Days 4-6: Presentations in order (Acts I-IV)
NOTE: Time allotted for teamwork & presentations may vary
Having just completed your Hamlet reading or viewing experience, it may seem daunting to add on another week or more, particularly if you plan to enjoy further Hamlet enrichment, such as the “Hamlet Meets The West Wing” debate exercise (see separate listing). However, these presentations encourage students to more deeply interact with the text and each other, providing greatly enhanced understanding in the end. They also afford you, the teacher, ample opportunity, during both prep and presentation phases, to guide and clarify. If you allow six (6) days for this exercise, there should be extra time within the schedule, and at the end, to debrief and check for understanding.
The metaphor, “Loud Lines” (powerful passages), and graphing elements of this project have the opportunity to greatly enhance interpretation, discussion and analysis. This should be evident in student interactions within the teams, themselves, AND between presenters and audience, so leaving more “breathing room” in the schedule is encouraged. If, however, you feel you’ve accomplished deep analysis during your reading/viewing, then the schedule can be truncated.
Splitting responsibility for a larger act across two teams or assigning the same act to more than one team can also create more discussion and interaction opportunities. However, more teams will always require more time.
NOTE: The enclosed presentation rubric uses 5 elements with a possible 4 points each, totaling 20 points. (This should allow for an easy calculation to 100%.)