Are you looking for fresh, exciting, contemporary literature in the classroom AND having students NOT being able to rush to Sparknotes as a substitute for reading? Consider plays put on by the L.A. Theatre Works, broadcast nationally and available for streaming or as MP3s.
The play “Red” won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Drama. Using John Logan’s drama, based on the painter Mark Rothko, students will read and employ important literary themes, while close reading and annotating the text. Students will view many supporting video clips. This lesson prepares students for AP Literature and Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, the SAT essay and critical thinking activities. Students will view performances of the play on Broadway, read and listen to the complete play, as links are provided to audio and text. Alfred Molina reprises his Broadway role on the audio. Students will view commentary (clipped or entirely) on Rothko’s art from varied sources. There is a thematic writing prompt available, rubric, student samples, and scored notes from an experience College Board AP English reader.
In this resource there is a unique detailed rubric that can be used to score Socratic Seminars in a way that encourages organic fluid discussions. In the guide there is a step by step explanation on how to conduct a fish-bowl discussion with the rubric. The Socratic seminar acts as a drama exploration. The packet includes a complete lesson, common core standards, essential and key questions, links to video clips and resources. All four lessons have an opening, work session, and closing structure.
Key words: American Literature, Socratic Seminar, writing, art, AP Literature, critical thinking, Mark Rothko, John Logan, annotations, Drama, chaos and order