There’s a lot to talk about in classrooms today, as we wait for the Something Wicked unit plan that will accompany the video game in the spring.
SPOILER ALERT: the pitch video and blog contain plot spoilers. If your lesson plans rely on plot surprises, use Something Wicked at the end of the unit.
WHAT IS THIS?
For now, we’ve got a blog and a 2.5 minute pitch video explaining the concept of Something Wicked, which will be a free 5-minute PC mini-game adaptation of Act 1 Scene 2 of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
Skip ahead to find suggestions for using the Something Wicked blog and pitch video in class.
WHY DO I NEED THIS?
Will your students read Macbeth this year? Whether Macbeth is their first Shakespeare play or their fifth, following the Something Wicked development process can get them actively engaged in the play. How? Use our story to:
- Encourage critical thinking
- Promote a close reading of the text
- Revise negative associations with Shakespeare
Neuroscientists are now confirming what educators have known for years: “It is literally neurobiologically impossible to think deeply about things that you don’t care about.” By using the excitement of a video game, Something Wicked gets students emotionally invested in the work.
BUT I’M NOT TEACHING MACBETH
Even if you’re not teaching any Shakespeare this year, following the development of Something Wicked can still get your students excited about adapting stories across different media. Most of the suggestions below can be used for just about any work of literature on your curriculum.
WHAT DO STUDENTS NEED?
Just a classroom computer to watch the pitch video and read the blog.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Below, we include a handful of quickie bell ringers (what’s that?) as well as ideas for longer projects. We’ve also included suggested sound bytes to introduce each one.
Got more ideas? Add them in the comments or let us know how you adapted ours!
QUICKIE BELL RINGERS
Show the Something Wicked pitch video (2.5 minutes) and ask students:
“If you were in charge of art for this game, what paintings/movies/TV shows/album covers/video games would you add to a Pinterest board for inspiration?”
“What themes does it seem like this video game will highlight?”
“Based on the pitch video, what plot points do you expect to see/read in Macbeth?”
“Can a video game format adapt a well-known story? Defend your position.“
“List the story beats in 1.2.“
“What are the rules of Macbeth’s Scotland, as set up in 1.2? What is allowed, punished, and rewarded here? Use lines from the text to support your claims.“
“What video game mechanisms would you create to reward or punish these attributes?“
Have students read our blog post, “Thinking with a Medium.” Ask them to
“explain either 1.2 or a scene of your choice to the grade below you. Pick any two media forms (pencil, TV sitcoms, contemporary dance…) and discuss how each medium would highlight different themes from Macbeth. Use lines from the text to support your claims.“
Love making stuff as much as we love making stuff?
Use the previous suggestion and ask students to make their adaptations. Invite lower grades to a pop-up Macbeth gallery.