Tilting With Windmills
One of the most famous scenes from Don Quixote is that of the old, wizened knight tilting with the windmills. It is just one of the scenes that could be used to connect the literature lesson on The Man of La Mancha with history and philosophy.
Objective: To have students find connections and comparisons between Cervantes' novel and Wasserman's play, The Man of La Mancha. To find connections to Spanish history, world history and philosophy. To create presentations on knowledge gained.
Standards: While standards vary from state to state and country to country, it is pretty universal that students must read some world literature and be able to relate what they have read to the present as well as the past. In addition, they must be able to analyze and compare the work they are reading for universal themes. This lesson plan meets these standards.
Prior Knowledge: Discuss with students what they know of the Spanish Inquisition, the Knights Templar and the Crusades. Ask what are idealism, romanticism and chivalry.
Materials: Cervantes' novel, Don Quixote - excerpts can be used in conjunction with Wasserman's play; The Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman; materials for presentations, i.e., computers for PowerPoint presentations, poster board, video cameras, projectors, etc.
Lesson: Mind-Map prior knowledge with students. What do they know about the topics listed above? Have students read corresponding chapters and scenes from the novel and play. Have them prepare a compare and contrast list. (Click here for handout.) Discuss findings in small groups, then have groups report findings to entire class. Ask students about universal themes - what are they and where do you find evidence for them within the text?
Give the long-term assignment for groups to create a presentation of their choosing on one of the topics that cross-link with history or philosophy. Students must identify the subject, show what they have learned as well as how it connects to both literature and either history or philosophy of that time, and be prepared to answer questions.