I've been enjoying reading about Dana Huff's unit on Romeo & Juliet, but I have to say that I much prefer the happier side of teen romance. That's why A Midsummer Night's Dream is probably my favorite piece of literature to teach. Like Dana, I've memorized many parts, and even play a game with the kids at the end of the unit, in which they read a random line and I guess who said it and in what act. There's something about the play, with it's overwhelmed lovers, clueless actors, and meddling fairies, that makes it, well, magical. It can also be pretty darn funny. And what I think I enjoy the most is when the students, too, appreciate the humor that Shakespeare so obviously intended. Karl Fisch got me thinking about if Shakespeare was one of our students today. Based on some of his choices in Midsummer, I imagine myself pulling him aside after class to discuss his latest antics:
"Now, Will, come on. You're a funny kid, but you can't keep handing in work like this. Don't keep trying to tell me that when you were writing about that Bottom with the head of an ass that you were actually referring to a donkey. Well, you're not fooling me, mister..."
This year, as I continue my journey of discover, I am eager to put a web 2.0 spin on it. Maybe I could set up a wiki and assign the kids to collaborate on an ending with a student from a different class period. Maybe I could use a wiki or blog to create an ongoing story, with kids adding their twists to those posted by classmates.