Performing Antony's Speech: Recitation Examination and Explanation (Day 2 of 2)
Lesson 16 of 16
Objective: SWBAT perform and explain Antony's speech by reciting 10 key lines in front of the class and then explaining key elements of it.
Why this memorization testing? Memorization may be becoming a lost art, but it's very exciting to perform something you know and know well. Ask any musician who knows a piece "by heart" (sort of an interesting phrase when one considers passion needed to perform, no?). In any case, I see a bit of a resurgence in spoken word and performative work.
Poetry Out Loud is a national contest asking students to recite memorized poetry; Louder Than a Bomb is a spoken word recitation contest for original student works. The National Shakespeare Contest is yet another. Here's the thing: the more digitized and externalized our memories become--the more trapped in the "pages" of google docs, if you will--the further removed from our experienced lives they can sometimes become. A memorization/dramatization test like this makes it real, immediate, and powerful!
I have been heavily influenced by the Shakespeare Set Free series on this, and if you have not gotten a chance to pick one of them up, it is very much worth the time and money to acquire!
It's a pretty exciting day in class! I expect the students to come in with a buzz of excitement to be able to share what they know and have learned about Antony's speech. In order to provide support and flexibility, I have defined the following protocol:
1.) Yes, Everybody will be performing from the front of the class.
2.) We will put a friend as prompter in the front row. If you need help, just say, "line," and you will get a complimentary line.
3.) Grading is not based so much on a perfect recitation, but more on your attitude, effort, and voice in your delivery shakespeare recitation contest rubric.
4.) Let's all be a supportive audience!
Students will come up to the front of the class, one by one, to deliver their lines (SL.9-10.6). I will take notes on each one, allow prompted lines, expect applause for each performer, and ask a question or two about key words and choices of inflection to reveal figurative langauge (RL.9-10.4) and to further analyze Antony's rhetorical purpose (RI.9-10.6).
To conclude our discussion of Julius Caesar and rhetoric after the recitations, I will ask some group processing questions (SL.9-10.1):
1.) What did you appreciate most about the performances?
2.) What made this easy/difficult?
3.) What did you learn about Shakespeare's language that you did not already know?
4.) What suggestions do you have for next year's class?