“Macbeth: The Social Network” is an excellent way to bring differentiated instruction to the classroom for a complicated Shakespearean play.
We hear a lot these days about how our students enjoy communicating with one another on sites like Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. This project is essentially a character analysis assignment in the form of a “mock social network.”
Students must imagine that characters from Macbeth have social networking pages where they post their thoughts, concerns, activities, motivations, and more.
There have been many creative ways to teach Macbeth over the years including mock newspapers, mock trials, and the like. This project puts a 21st-century spin on those assignments and allows students to express themselves in a familiar medium.
This packet includes pages for seven characters in Macbeth. Students may role-play as any of them (or all of them) and write “status updates” as if they were the characters. They must write updates in a way that imaginatively demonstrates their knowledge of the character. Ideas for doing so might include interpreting the character’s motivations, justifying his/her actions, inventing private thoughts, and more.
The idea however must apply to all: we must find this character’s social networking profile “believable”; the student must stay within character to prove their knowledge of the play.
For example, a student might role-play as Macduff and post thoughts that reflect his impulsiveness, while a student role-playing as Lady Macbeth might make comments reflecting her constantly twisting mindscape. A student might take artistic liberty to imagine Malcolm’s thoughts on being king, while another student might get really wild and explore what it’s like to run a joint social media account as the three witches. (That one will be wild, right?)
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