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"The Tempest" - Wrap Up Assignment (#SAAMTeach)

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Language Arts And English +3 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary

This lesson is used after students have finished reading William Shakespeare's "The Tempest."

1. I print each of the paintings in this collection (most uploaded from The Folger Shakespeare Library's Digital Collection), and then post them across the board, around the room to create a "Gallery Walk" environment.

2. I remind students, before they begin, that the keyword in this play is "art." Just as it is Prospero's "art" to control Ariel and Caliban through magic and bring his abusers to the island, so it is the dramatist's art to create an enchanted island on a simple wooden stage. I share with them that artists have been, in turn, then inspired by what has appeared on the stage during productions of "The Tempest," for centuries. The various works of art posted around them span from the 1700's through the 20th Century.

3. Students are asked to walk through the gallery, and select one painting, one artistic interpretation of "The Tempest" that speaks to them, appeals to them, for any reason. Conversely, they should pick one they believe, for them personally, misses the mark as far as how they would interpret or envision this character, this scene, this play in general. They are to mark their names - - only their names - - on the board under the paintings.

4. When finished, we have then have a discussion about their choices - it's quite free wheeling - - no wrong answers here - - wonderful sharing of ideas. Many of the ideas and conversations I subtly steer to reflect some of the questions they will address in the wrap up writing assignment that follows.

5. When our conversations have finished, and after we've heard from everyone about their various interpretations, I give them the wrap up writing assignment. There are five individual response questions, with students being asked to write responses ranging anywhere from 175-200 words for each question. Three out of the five questions require them to return to this SAAM Learning Lab collection in order to write their responses, one other question is a classic literary analysis (thematic) question, while the last one is a historical context question. 

(I've attached the prompts as a resource.)

Note: This assignment went over far better than I expected and I look forward to recreating it/adapting it for other units.

The Tempest - 1734; Hogarth

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

"The Tempest" - 1801

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Production Cover (1900)

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Miranda, Caliban, Prospero mid to late 1700s

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Miranda and Ferdinand 1892

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Banquet Scene with mysterious "shapes"

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Prospero - late 1700's

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

"Miranda" - John William Waterhouse 1916

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Caliban on the shore (early 1900s)

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Cailban Water Color

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Ariel in Tree (1905)

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Ariel 1918 (Bat)

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Ariel

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection

Caliban -1904

Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Collection