Our second week at Henderson-Higher Achievement went well and there were definitely improvements from last time. We have yet to show them the physical script or have them read. With so many scholars (now approximately 25), it’s important to get to know them and create a comfortable environment.
When we arrived, we decided to get the kids moving and play a name game to refresh our memories. Last week’s introduction of having them sit in their seats and go one by one lost their attention quickly. We had them play “slap slap clap” and say someone else in the circle’s names. This way, the scholars were also able to learn the names of those in the group they did not know from different middle schools. Next, we asked if anyone could go around the circle and say everyones names. A few students were impressively able to do this!
After the name games, we showed the scholars another video summarizing Macbeth. It was a bit more lengthy and detailed, but they were able to retain more of the plot. I was surprised at how much detail they remembered from the plot the previous week. We described our section of Macbeth in greater detail and began introducing the various characters so the scholars could begin to think of roles they’d want to play. In doing this, Jessie, Bridget and I realized we might need to add characters, such as more murderers or porters. A few students offered to be trees as well.
In discussing the role of the drunken porter, we explained that there is a scene of knock knock jokes. We asked for examples and one student’s joke was a bit inappropriate: “Knock knock. Who’s there? An earthquake. An earthquake who? Your mom”. He was quickly asked to gather his things and he was sent home. I felt a bit guilty as we had asked the students for their best knock knock jokes. To finish our rehearsal, we played another round of bullfrog, which the scholars had really enjoyed from the previous week. Jessie introduced the game mafia, and it was also a hit.
In conclusion, I feel that we were able to maintain better control over the group this week. One strategy that worked was moving a student that was having a smaller conversation. When we separated them from their friends, they were able to focus and stay on task. I’m glad they are enthusiastic to begin looking at the script and casting roles in the very near future!