Monday night was filled with games, videos, and knock knock jokes. Within that mix, me, Jessie, and Carolina were able to learn more about our individual teaching styles, and our style collectively.
We arrived to all 25 of our scholars in chairs waiting for us to begin. We started with name games. To my surprise, a lot of the students did not know each other’s names. After a few rounds of “Clap, Clap, Slap,” we asked the students if anyone could say everyones name. There were a few takers. Once they started to get sidetracked and talk, we had them take their seats off stage and we began reintroducing them to Macbeth. They remembered the story for the most part, but we showed them new, longer videos to refresh their memories. We also explained the part of Porter, where he tells three knock knock jokes. The students got a kick out of how Porter was drunk. We then told them we got to incorporate our own knock knock jokes. After asking for a few examples, one student told an inappropriate joke that resulted in him being sent home. I felt so bad because we encouraged participation and humor, we just were not expecting inappropriate humor.
While showing them this video, and having a discussion about it after, I realized it would be beneficial to know what exactly the breakdown is for the other groups sections. This way, when we explain our part in more detail, we can also explain what parts other groups will be doing. Additionally, this made me realize we need to add in more characters and make multiple Macbeths, Lady Macbeths etc. so we can split up lines. During this discussion we also were able to get a gauge for how many students wanted non speaking roles.
After we exhausted them with Macbeth, we regained in their attention with more games! We played Mafia. This was fun in theory – and always used to be my favorite game. However, the students were all peaking so it defeated the purpose. After two rounds we stopped and switched to Bullfrog.
In general, we had a much better session with these students in terms of maintaining their attention and controlling their behavior. Some improvements we made were rewarding good behavior by choosing them to be the next bullfrog. We stopped doing an activity or game as soon as it became too rambunctious. Additionally, we would get weird requests from students like can we sit in a chair in stead of the floor, and we would say if you are good this round and help us quiet the others, you can have a chair the next round.
However, going forward, I do think we can improve and have a few ideas. First, I think we need to break up the class into three groups, and Jessie, Carolina, and myself can talk with a smaller group when we go through lines. Also, I think the three of us need to see what the breakup of other groups parts are so we can explain that aspect to the students. A lot of them are intrigued with certain parts of the story that we do not have in our act, so it would be nice for them to understand that more clearly. The final idea I have is if we could show the students our act of the play in the Macbeth 2010 movie. I think that will help them see the full picture they are acting out. As we keep working with these students, we will continue to make adjustments with our ideas to better the result of our production.