Last week, our faculty teamed up with the HASS department and we observed each other. See this post for details. One of the pedagogies that really caught my eye as I observed my colleague was something called a walk through. Mr McMillan took an event from history and asked his students to walk in the steps of the different people involved in the event.
How the Walk Through Works:
- Students get a long piece of paper (i used old wallpaper and asked the to write on the back) and draw around 4-6 footsteps.
- The are given the event in history and asked to write what the steps were that the person took on the inside of the foot prints they have drawn
- On the outside of the footprint they write what they think the person was feeling or thinking as these events took place
- One student walks and reads what in the inside of the footprint as they go. Another reads what’s on the outside
The task is completed in small groups.
I liked how this placed the students in the “character” of the people involved in the historical events and I wanted to see how I could use this same pedagogy or tool with my year 9 students. They’ve been struggling to empathize with Macbeth’s choices and, in this lesson, I wanted them to explore the different pressures and influence that are on him as he makes the decision to kill Duncan.
This lesson was lesson 6 in the unit and will be followed by exploration of how we could direct the scene. Here is my lessson plan for today. You can see from it, that I have divided the students into 5 groups and that there are different kinds of view points being explored here. The idea being that they can identify how language can reveal many different themes. Next lesson, we’ll explore how staging can influence and really highlight those themes.
How the students went
The students took well to the task. The presentation part, where student walked through the same extract of the scene with different themes as a focus created some amazingly detailed conversation around inference and language. The strategy i used, the walk through, enabled them to bring the knowledge they had shown on character from last week’s lesson and use it in this new and challenging process. By having them hear different perspectives (from the different groups) students were experiencing, first hand how words can mean many things and be perceived in different ways.
As a part of a unit in which we are exploring performance of Macbeth, this activity added an extra opportunity to explore how meaning doesn’t stop with words. Students certainly walked away with questions about how they might use lighting, sound and other staging features to bring this message forward. The level of understanding is so great, infact, that with one group, I plan to change the task up and ask them to contradict the lighting with the view point and experiment with juxtaposition for effect. I think they will find this extra challenge really engaging