“Othello: The Social Network” is an excellent way to bring differentiated instruction to the classroom for a complicated Shakespearean play.
We hear a lot these days about how our students enjoy communicating with one another on sites like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter. This project is essentially a character analysis assignment in the form of a “mock social network.”
Students must imagine that characters from Othello have social networking pages where they post their thoughts, concerns, activities, motivations, and more.
There have been many creative ways to teach Othello over the years including mock newspapers, mock trials, and the like. This project puts a 21st-century spin on those assignments and allows students to express themselves in a familiar medium.
Students may role-play as one of six characters in Shakespeare’s play – Othello, Desdemona, Iago, Cassio, Bianca, and/or Emilia – and write “status updates” as if they were the character. They must write updates in a way that demonstrates what they know about each character and/or how the character impacts the play.
For example, a student might role-play as Othello sharing his love for Desdemona or discussing his concerns about his treatment by others, while a student playing Iago might make comments that lead to his betrayal of Othello. A student might imagine Bianca’s jealous actions, while another student might consider writing from the perspective of Emilia to better understand why her small role in the play is so important.
The idea behind the assignment must apply to all: we must find this character’s social networking profile “believable”; the student must stay within character to prove their knowledge of the play.
Consider purchasing the assignment today!
Othello: The Social Network Project
by Christopher Mitchell
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License