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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Linking the Past and Present

Linking the Past and Present 

HOW I T WORKS
Linking the Past and Present allows students to explore Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and state-of-the-art technology simultaneously. Students learn to appreciate great literary works and also learn the technological skills that are in demand in digital production. Students initially attain the background of the production through research. Discussions are held on the life and times of William Shakespeare. With this background, the students proceed to digitally produce the play act by act. Students work in groups of two or three. To ensure they are familiar with the subject, use guided questions. You can create a web page that posts specific questions and links to guide students on the web, instead of asking students to surf on their own. Inspiration software allows students to graphically organize information. Students read, critically analyze, and act out the play. When they fully grasp all aspects of the play, digital video production begins. Production is broken up into: Pre-production (planning the character roles and assigning the students behind-the-scene jobs. They storyboard and cut out any acts or scenes they aren't going to use); Production (shooting each act scene by scene); and Post-production (utilizing digital editing software to create a consistent flow of the play as well as determining what  stays and what does not in the final product). 

THE STUDENTS
About 150 students from the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade participated in this program last year. All of the classes work together as a production studio would work. Each student had an individual and important role. They come together as one to produce a finished product. The studio is filled with busy workers. 

THE STAFF
Maria Venier graduated from Brooklyn College two years ago. She majored in TV/Radio Production. After working for Bloomberg News, the Prayer Channel, and WPLJ, she decided to take her production skills into teaching. In her first year, she used a camcorder and a simple tape recorder and turned her classroom into a room of creativity and imagination. As a result, her students were quickly motivated and interested in subjects such as Shakespeare. 

WHAT YOU NEED
Teachers will need a PC or Mac with digital audio/video editing software. The computers should have access to the Internet. Students can use either digital or analog camcorders. Students will need a VCR and a monitor. Teachers will need all sorts of cables and will need to know how to hook up all the equipment together. 

OVERALL VALUE
Nothing captures the imagination of students like being able to view—first-hand—a product of their own creation. The fact that they are involved in every aspect, using top of the line technologies, erases any fears they might have had when confronted with advanced machines. In this particular case, students have the ability to discover William Shakespeare in a manner that is fun. They gain an abundance of skills: communicating, evaluating, investigating, listening, perceiving, planning, presenting, prioritizing, reading, summarizing, synthesizing, writing, and self-assessing. 

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

 

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
History
Technology

GRADES
Grades 6 - 8

MORE INFORMATION

Maria Venier
Intermediate School 62
700 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218
mvenier@aol.com
Principal: 
Nancy Brogan

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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