Monday, February 20, 2023

20 'Macbeth' video/audio annotations


Here's a renewal of the ShowMe analyses of key moments in Macbeth, now moved to a new location. Each is short (2/3 minutes).

Thursday, February 09, 2023

Swiss Army Knife quotations


A simple, low-preparation revision technique in classes.

Pupils should know quotations which have multiple uses, just like the famous knife. A good way to emphasise this in class is to choose one, and spend time ‘exploding’ it, getting as much out of it as possible, and interrogating every word. This is part of the process of thinking deeply about a text. It could be done in just 15 minutes.

Give out A3 sheets of blank paper (or if it’s a last minute decision just use the board, with pupils jotting down bullet points). Put the quotation in the middle (volunteered by a pupil, or chosen by the teacher). Then in pairs (ideally, but works with individuals) ‘interrogate’ the statement in a limited amount of time: say, 10 minutes.

Then come together as a class to share ideas, and get yet more out of the statement: put these ideas on the board/screen.

Above, an example from Lady Macbeth (PDF): the murder scene, Act II scene ii. A very simple and apparently banal statement which can reveal a lot. You can have a very rich discussion about the play based on it.

Questions could be asked in advance/afterwards, such as:

  • If you had to highlight one word only, what, and why?
  • Why does the character say this?
  • Does she believe it?
  • How is she similar or different to other characters?
  • How does this echo anything that has already been said/happened?
  • Can you connect anything later in the play to this?