Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Weekly overview - week of 9/24/18

What a week! It’s been a flurry of Julius Caesar work, Shakespeare explorations, and some eighth grade/preschool/kindergarten bonding.  In Caesar news, we held auditions for the largest roles, assigned parts, and distributed scripts this week. Actors are starting to learn their lines, the tech crew is mapping out lighting ideas, the costumers are brainstorming ideas, and the production artists are creating posters. Our prop manager is also putting together a list of all items we’ll need for our production. If you are a parent or community member and are interested in helping with props or costumes, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Sam or Rachel.

In English, to continue to work to answer our overarching question of why we still read Shakespeare, we learned about the First Folio and how Shakespeare’s work has endured over time. Thanks to the wonder of technology (and the Folger Shakespeare Library), we were able to “leaf through” a digitized First Folio and learn about the printing process that made such books possible. This also helped us to understand why there are slight differences in different publications of the same text (much to our collective frustration).

Students also tried their hand at scene writing as we imagined the conversation during which Brutus told Portia of the conspirators’ plans. Since this conversation takes place off-stage, we have to imagine, based on what we know of the characters and their relationships, how it would have transpired.

At the end of the week, as a continuation of our study of connotation and how our own emotional response to words helps us to make meaning of them, we examined the real-time captions of the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings on three different news networks. Through close examination of the words, we were able to consider how much can be said in only a few words and how the words we use shape our understanding of events. For example, we talked about how Casca’s interpretation of Caesar’s crown offering would have been very different than that of someone who would have wanted Caesar to accept the crown. We ended the discussion with a journal entry on the ways in which Dr. Ford is similar to Brutus (and the theme of personal sacrifice for what one believes to be the greater good).

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