Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Work of Shakespeare - Abridged!

Lesson of the Day: Romeo & Juliet, charades (here the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together)
Video of the Day: Taylor Swift's "Love Story"
Idiom(s) of the Day: "outskirts of town," "on the nose," "flashback"

The lesson:
I passed back their work from yesterday, and we went over some common errors. Then I prefaced the video with some info on Taylor Swift, and passed out a sheet with the lyrics on it. We watched the video, and I asked them to compare the story from the video with the story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (the song includes the lyrics "you were Romeo, I was a scarlet letter / And my daddy said "stay away from Juliet"). I asked them to think about other examples of tv shows, books, or movies that use the story of a young couple whose parents try to stop them from being together, and they came up with a few. That was pretty much it for my transition into charades - it was rough, but it worked in class.

I explained how to play charades, and for my second and third classes, I wrote on the board
1. What Kind?
2. How Many Words?
3. "Sounds Like" or "Whole Idea"?

since some kids from my first class actually just stood there for a full minute and a half.

I let the kids from whichever team wasn't acting/guessing at the moment use my iPod to time the opposing team. They took turns, and almost everyone cradled it in two hands, with complete reverence, as though I'd told them to guard a baby bird with a broken wing. It was super cute.

Some kids were absolute machines. One kid got his team to guess 6 things in a minute and a half, which is NOT EASY to do with foreign media. One thing I didn't expect was when the kids would convey video games not by acting out the title or what the title sounds like, but by mimicking what game play looks like. The best example of this was Starcraft, which I gleaned from the kids motions is played with one hand on a mouse and the other on the keyboard. My other favorite was when a really shy kid crouched down on the floor and walked jerkily sideways, then mimed eating something, and grew - and the previously restrained class of 20 fairly screamed "SUPERMARIO!"

At the end of each class, I asked them if they'd like to play again. All of the classes, even 2-1, which seemed to be fuzzy on gameplay for most of the class time, answered with an enthusiastic yes. So sometime after interviews, maybe in December, I'll probably incorporate some variation of Charades.

Overall? Not my best lesson, but not a bad lesson. Success, but not of the fist-pumping variety.

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