After watching the ‘Baz Luhrmann’ version of Romeo and Juliet, it was obvious that the majority of my Year 9 English class had little understanding of the film and were disinterested in the topic. To help piece together the themes and events in the movie, I played Jeopardy where the students were broken up into mixed ability teams. I found this helped the normally shy and unwilling participants demonstrate more confidence in answering questions and learn from their peers. This game play also helped to set up the team skills needed to play "Who wants to be a millionaire?"
The assessment for the unit was an analytical essay which the students struggled to grasp. Generally speaking, the writing achievements for this class were rather low, which in turn reflected a lack of resilience and engagement with the content. However, to synthesise their learning and understanding of the literary techniques and themes found in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, I asked each student to create 10 questions that related to the play and what they had learnt throughout the unit. I collaborated their work and used it in a WWTBAM template. The students then played ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ at the end of the unit.
What is the time frame of the project?
Two lessons were used. One for designing questions/answers and one for game play.
What are the outcomes and achievements for this project?
I was surprised that some students who had achieved a low grade for their essay knew the answers to the game. The general interest, enthusiasm, and engagement of the whole class increased incredibly which was a great outcome. It was enjoyable to find that these students had learnt to identify the literary techniques and could showcase their knowledge in a format other than an essay. I also believe there was a sense of pride within the class as they could see their work being used in the game.
Testimonials about the benefits of this project.
'"I would recommend using this game as it was a fun way of observing what the students had learnt and it helped to build team skills."
What is next for this project?
Bree would like to use games in the future as a stimulus for enhancing vocabulary and imaginative writing.