I don’t know about you, but the English Teacher in me never ceases to be excited when a new Shakespeare adaptation comes to the big screen.
At the Cannes Film Festival this year, a brand new take on MACBETH was premiered, this one starring Michael Fassbender as the titular character and Marion Cotillard as the powerhouse Lady Macbeth. It looks like the filmmakers said, “Let’s take on the Scottish play, but make it look like Game of Thrones…” and by the pricking of my thumbs, something awesome this way comes!
Check out the trailer! Macbeth (2015) Trailer
If I were teaching Macbeth this year to my students, I would definitely show them the trailer as part of my efforts to engage and excite them.
Then I thought, “now there’s a project that can be used for any Shakespeare play”. Trailers can show the key moments that express theme and characters. So often, students are on the hunt for those quotations to help them with their analysis of the text and synthesis of major ideas. Why not have your students make their own trailers of what they are reading?
This project requires access to video cameras and some creativity on the students’ part. Break them into teams of four and have them comb through the text for the scenes and moments they feel are most important. Have them film those scenes and cut it together to create their very own trailer. Add a writing task to have them explain why they chose the scenes and moments they did.
This can be done as a wrap up project that reviews the text and prepares them for any writing assessment or exam you will be assigning at the end of the unit of study.
Has anyone assigned a project like this? We’d love to hear your experience and how engaged your students were with this kind of assignment.