Teaching Waiting for Godot in Literacy Classes. a Creative Project in Which Students Will Design a Set of Teaching Materials and Critically Analyse Them.

Topics: Theatre of the Absurd, Samuel Beckett, Existentialism Pages: 13 (4409 words) Published: April 14, 2013
A creative project in which students will design a set of teaching materials and critically analyse them. The Teaching Sequence
Lesson 1
Focus Objectives:
To be able to take part in a whole class discussion, contributing ideas To be able to respond imaginatively to a text
To work collaboratively, ask the students to imagine
To use words and phrases to help them picture what was happening Materials and Resources:
Flash cards, Interactive white board
Key teaching approaches:
Live meaning making
Responding to a visual image 
Class Discussion

Before mentioning the text, ask students to work with a partner and improvise the possibilities of passing time as two tramps. The setting of the play ‘A counrty road. A tree. Evening.’ is given as a setting of their improvisation. While students are experiencing live meaning making, give them an important image of the first scene ‘Boots’ in flash cards and ask every one of the pairs to change the route of the conversation via ‘Boots’. Choose the dialogues that are similar to the play’s underlying ideas and introduce a character ‘Lucy’ -by a rope around his neck- to whom the pairs need to respond. Use the IWB to show the ideas of main Existentialist philosophers which are juxtaposed with statements of Samuel Beckett. Discuss with the children what they know about Existentialism and these ideas. What does lay behind them? Ask students to compare and contrast these ideas with Beckett’s and think if these statements can throw light on the implications of Beckett’s writings. Tell the myth of Sisyphus (tragic figure in Greek mythology) and emphasize the futility and aimlessness of his punishment. Send them off to think.

Lesson 2
Focus Objectives: 
To be able to take part in a whole-class discussion 
To learn to use language
To show their understanding of a character’s subconscious by acting To use drama techniques
Key teaching approaches:
Whole-class discussion
Sharing ideas

Accompany students to watch the performance in a theatre. Ask them to look out for powerful or subtle ‘moments of theatre’ in the performance. Want them take notes about stage, costumes, directions etc. during the performance. After the performance, begin the session by a whole class discussion about what they have found about the play and the existentialist ideas that they have learned in the first lesson. Ask them to share their ‘felt experiences’ of the play and discuss their attitudes towards play before and after performance. Allocate two students to each character in the Act 1, Part 1 (from the ‘His Highness’ line to ‘Help me’ line): one to speak the words of the character, the other to follow with unspoken sub-textual thoughts of the same characters. After voicing their thoughts, ask them to make a note of the underlying ideas of this scene to refer to in the next session. ‘Split personalities’

Lesson 3
Focus Objectives: 
To make them think deeply about the play
To be able to demonstrate their understanding of a text through drawing To encourage the children to use the text to support their imaginative responses and ideas. Materials and Resources:
Mini white boards and board-markers
Key teaching approaches:
Reading aloud the implications of the students

Begin the session by reading the notes that students write about their implications of the scene. Discuss why they think that way. Want them to prove it through text. Who or what do you think Godot represents? Why? Hand out mini white boards to the students and ask them to draw what Godot is for them in these boards. After they finish drawing, tell them to turn the boards upside down. Show critics’ opinions about Godot. After seeing different ideas from critical point of view, make a discussion on their pictures of Godot and ask the students to share their ideas. Ensure that they are able to back up their...
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