What a Farce!

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SWBAT analyze the structure of a farce by reading a script.

Big Idea

Having fun with farce!


10 minutes

To begin today's lesson, I show the students Abbott and Costello's class sketch, "Who's On First?"  I do this without introduction or explanation.  The sketch starts at about 1:23; however, if you want to enjoy the singing and dancing, be my guest!



When the video is over, and the laughter has subsided, I tell the students that the skit is an example of a farce.   I write the definition of farce on the board, "an exaggerated comedy with an absurd plot, ridiculous situations, and humorous dialogue."  This is what we are going to read today.

Getting Down to Business

30 minutes

For the bulk of our class time today, I have students read "A Defenseless Creature" from Neil Simon's The Good Doctor.  There are a few ways to read a play aloud with students; however, with this particular farce, I want everyone to enjoy the silliness of it by reading aloud.

Since there are only 3 parts, I break the students into groups of 3 and let them read the play aloud with each other.  The room gets loud and fun, and I truly enjoy listening to them have a good time reading.

Did They Get It?

10 minutes

I end this class with a quick, verbal formative assessment.  We go back to the definition of farce I have written on the board.  I ask the triads (NEVER SAY THREESOME TO SEVENTH GRADERS) to discuss how this particular play is an example of farce. 

I walk around the room and I hope to hear them talking about the absurdity of the plot and the ridiculous situation of the woman trying to get money from the bank even though her husband's misfortune is none of the bank's concern.

Before class is over, I do remind students that tomorrow they will be taking a summative assessment over units 1-4 of our Greek & Latin word roots.