“The Tempest: 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 The Tempest have social networking pages where they post their thoughts, concerns, activities, motivations, and more.
There have been many creative ways to teach The Tempest 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 seven characters in Shakespeare’s play – Alonso, Gonzalo, Prospero, Miranda, Ariel, Caliban, and/or Ferdinand – 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 Ferdinand and post some of his “happy-go-lucky” perspectives to his profile “page,” while a student playing Prospero might grovel about his usurpation or talk windily about his pursuit of knowledge. A student playing passive Miranda might write about her surprising marriage proposal to Ferdinand or his disdain for Caliban, both moments in the play that empower her. There are several possibilities here for handling The Tempest, even the play’s darker scenes.
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!
The Tempest: The Social Network Project
by Christopher Mitchell
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License