Choosing a Scene
Students will find it overwhelming and daunting task to write a compare and contrast essay, journal or project. The best thing to do is to observe carefully one particular scene. If the students get the handle of it and like the task, you can then go on and do other activities with them.
Try to pick a scene which has the best examples of the characters, the scene and their language. Make sure students go over the scene carefully so they understand it properly before they go on to embark on changing it.
In this example, let's use Midsummer Night's Dream- ACT III Scene 1
The students are asked to create groups to begin the project. The project should count as a good portion of their grade in order for them to get points. In this case, students will able to comprehend Shakespeare's message by changing genres and language. Each group is assigned a different genre, and this way you will have a lot of creative responses. You can switch it around for different projects depending on what the students choose to do.
1. Shakespeare as a children's book - By choosing this scene in Midsummer Night's Dream Students must adapt the scene to make it more children friendly, yet still maintain the message of the book. They are asked to create illustrations and pay particular notice to the use of color and setting.
2. Midsummer Night's Dream as a Latin Soap Opera- In this case, overdramatic, melodramatic speeches are the key to success. Students are asked to create a video of a Latino soap Opera called "Night Dreams in Media Noche" complete with dialogue and characters.
3. Midsummer Night's Dream as a local legend- This explains the genre of a legend, and the task is to make the language, setting and characters particular to the local area. Descriptions are the key to this exercise.
4. Midsummer Night's Dream as a Facebook Account- The two characters in the scene must engage in status updates and wall conversations to get the point across. Students can use photographs and videos in the Facebook account to make it more engaging (This is perhaps one of the more challenging so beware of using this one).