For those of you reading Rhinoceros, here is a link to a contemporary article connecting current politics to the play written in 1959.
Welcome to the drama unit of 8th grade Magnet English!
Over the next few weeks, you will become intimately acquainted with a theatrical work which has received widespread critical acclaim as a masterpiece of theater. The culmination of our study of the drama will be a performance of selected scenes from each drama.
We will be reading the plays in class in a “Reader’s Theater” setting. You will select which roles are being read by which students (and the roles will rotate daily), then you will act out the entire play as you encounter it for the first time. You will be standing and moving around a makeshift stage as you read and act. Sure, the performance will be
rough. Concentrate more on the story during the Reader’s Theater, but remember that this is a play and it is meant to be performed. When you have finished reading your section for each day (approximately one third of
the play), you will sit with your lit-circle groups and attend to the thought-provoking
questions and activities found herein.
After reading, discuss the following questions in your lit circles. Take notes on what your fellow
group members say. For homework, using your notes, write a well-developed essay which is informed
by your discussion. DO NOT answer the discussion questions in your essay; rather, use the
ideas from your discussion to craft an assertion which you can defend. Also, please do not summarize
the plot. Your essay should be a minimum of 1.5 pages typed.
Day 1: Introduction and Plot
1. What is established in the opening scene of the play? How did the playwright establish those
2. What role does setting play in the drama? How would the drama be different if the setting were
3. What motivates each of the main characters? What are their hopes, dreams, desires, etc.? Do they
(hopes, dreams, etc.) differ or conflict among characters?
4. What are the essential conflicts which are introduced in the play? How might they be resolved?
What clues does the playwright provide which might foreshadow potential solutions?
Day 2: Analysis
1. What are the major dramatic events in the play and how have the characters handled those
2. What motifs and/or symbols are in the play? How do you know?
3. How does the playwright establish character? How is each character distinctive?
4. Aside from direct dialogue, how is character revealed?
Day 3: The Human Condition
1. How do the symbols, motifs, or ideas relate to the human condition? i.e. How have you seen
these things represented in other texts or media?
2. How does the play transcend the stage to comment on society?
3. Do you agree with the playwright’s assessment of the human condition?
1. Which characters were static and which were dynamic? How?
2. How did the playwright incorporate use of time to manipulate the plot?
3. How is the essential conflict resolved? Are all conflicts resolved? Were the resolutions predictable?
4. In looking at the information flow, when did the audience know things that some characters
didn’t? When, if ever, was the information revealed to the other characters? Why or why not?
Your final order:
Research Paper with works cited (typed 12 pt double spaced, 5 page maximum)
Draft paper (edited in class)
Notecard (rubber banded or in ziplok with name on a card on top).
In the top left:
In the top right of each page EXCEPT the first:
Last name, Page number.
See the SAMPLE PAPER for help on this .
AISD provides some pretty incredible research resources which are both more efficient and more valid than just going to Google. Some of these resources are available only when you are logged in through the AISD network, and some are available from home. Let me know if you need any specific passwords to sites found here.
Here is a doc which lists some of the passwords (thanks Gullet!).
We are starting the research this week. The packet, complete with calendar, is being distributed and is also posted HERE or under the Documents 2016-2017 tab.
Mr. Ibarra and I will both be absent on Monday, so a substitute will be in class. Stop crying; it will be fine.
The sub will have detailed lesson plans, of course. But just to keep the train on the rails, here is the lesson plan. Consult it and help the sub along. I'm counting on you to make this awesome.
BTW, I will not be able to put you into your non-fiction groups on Monday. Mr. Ibarra will take care of it on Wednesday.
Magnet English, 8th Grade
Write the Sacred Silent Writing Prompt on the board. It is “Write a series of Haikus about the Future.” Give them 10 minutes to write.
Next, invite students to share what they have written. A few will raise their hands and want to share.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Their “Preservation Hall” memorized passages are due NEXT TIME. They will each be performing their selection for the class. Remember, bonus points available for going above and beyond.
Also… announce that the final documents and showcase for the Time Capsule will be on November 15th. November 15th will also be the day we start the non-fiction unit.
Ask students to get into their Time Capsule groups. These should be groups of 3. Once they are grouped, pass out the sheet labeled “Time Capsule from Tomorrow: Day 2” to each student. Invite a student to stand and read the instructions.
Distribute the “Genre Conventions” worksheet. You only need to pass out 2 sheets PER GROUP for them to fill out.
For the rest of class, students should be discussing the various implications of future technologies, looking up examples of various genres of writing, and starting to create their actual documents.
Final Announcement (toward the end of class): “Next class period will be a production day. You will need to assign yourselves homework. What do you need to bring to create your authentic documents?
2nd Period Non-Fiction Book Assignments. Have books on November 14th!
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
12 Mighty Orphans
Packing for Mars
NO NAME. Sigh.
Mountains Beyond Mountains
Groups will continue to brainstorm, envision, and discuss a variety of consequences of the innovation/technology. Look again at the list of cultural elements as you consider the broad implications of your technology.
Students will decide today on what five pieces they will create. Two of them will be from the “wordier” category, and the other 3 can be from the “not so wordy” category. Total word count is expected to be between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
Think like Bradbury; consider a narrative approach. Choose a character, family, or group around whom your documents will revolve. What do they do for a living? What motivates them? How do the documents reflect the issue in society?
As you consider different genres, look up examples of the genre, then fill out a Genre Conventions Organizer for each example. As you examine the example, consider the following:
Homework and the Web
This is not an online course. The information here is to assist students in clarifying assignment expectations. Please note that different classes may have different expectations depending on how much we accomplished during class. The student is responsible for completing homework regardless of the accuracy, clarity, or timeliness of this website. Other ways to clarify expectations are a face-to-face encounter with Mr. Webster or getting information from a classmate. If you miss class, the info on this website may not provide enough context and instruction for you to successfully complete the assignment. See Mr. Webster for help.