Summative Assessment: A Streetcar Named Desire

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Objective

SWBAT write arguments to support claims in a review of a scene from the play that employs analysis of substantive topics, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

Big Idea

Recapping A Streetcar Named Desire

Overview

This lesson serves as the summative assessment for play.  Additionally, following the test, I want students to watch a clip of the movie from the Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brando version, directed by Elia Kazan.  I always find it interesting to note how students interpret the characters and whether the movie lives up to their expectations.

Summative Assessment: A Streetcar Named Desire

45 minutes

This part of the lesson is simply the summative assessment on A Streetcar Named Desire. To reflect Common Core standards, many questions that require students to engage the text beyond simple recall.  I chose the first set of questions to specifically assess students' knowledge of Blanche's character and how she contrasts to Stanley.  Students' success hinges on their ability to glean text evidence and make inferences from this information.  For example, Blanche immediately sets herself up as a liar when she is not forthcoming about her interest in alcohol.  Secondly, the dialogue also veers off to discuss Blanche's interest in her looks.  These test questions set the stage for the second set which assesses students knowledge of structures and themes in the play and how these topics develop and interact in the play.  This part of the assessment involves deeper techniques that the playwright employs to present his work in a thoughtful and artistic manner.  For example, the motifs are a foundation in which the themes develop.  The Varsouviana Polka is a motif that indicates the origins of Blanche's decent into fantasy.  It provides a stark contrast to the reality that surrounds Blanche.  Students are assess on their ability to recognize how these motifs reveal themes and how these themes come together by the end of the play.

Review and Assess: A Streetcar Named Desire

25 minutes

Following the test, I would like to give students a chance to see the classic Elia Kazan production of A Streetcar Named Desire that was filmed in the early 1950s.  Because of time, I will not have an opportunity to show the entire movie, but I am showing this scene which involves Stanley's attack on Stella.  My intent is for students to write a review of the scene using the actual New York Times theater review from 1952 as a model. The activity is Common Core aligned because it requires students to use specific evidence from the clip to support their arguments as to whether the acting was well done, the set was appropriate, etc.

Students will first read the movie review and answer the questions on the handout attached.  These questions require them to notice characteristics that are included in a movie or stage review.  I specifically want students to notice that the review focuses on actor performances and provides evidence of the reviewers claims as to whether the performances are good.  Secondly, they will notice information about the plot, and lastly, students will qualify the director's interpretation.  Did it match up to how they envisioned the scene?