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Characterization in Art May 2, 2016

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After reading Act 3, scenes 1-3 we analyzed some works of art to see their connection to the text.

Visual Art

Juliet: Philip H. Calderon, lithograph

Romeo: The Curse, Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazine, photograph

Friar Lawrence: The Promise, Annie Leibovitz for Vogue Magazine, photograph


Juliet: Sergei Prokofiev, Op. 75 No. 4 – “Juliet as a young girl,” from 10 Pieces from Romeo and Juliet for Piano. Performed by A. Gavrilov

Tybalt: Sergei Prokofiev, Romeo & Juliet Suite No.1 Op.64 – No.7 “Death of Tybalt”

Friar Lawrence: Igor Roma, pianist, plays Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet (VII. Friar Laurence)

Mercutio: The Ballad of Queen Mab performed by David Adam Moore, from Gounod’s opera Romeo et Juliette

Nurse and Lady CapuletRomeo et Juliette – de la Haine a l’Amour. Musical.


Mercutio: Sergei Prokofiev Ballet, performed at the London Royal Opera House, choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan. Mercutio is in green.

Romeo: Rudolf Nureyev’s production of Romeo and Juliet was filmed at the Palazzo dello Sport in Milan in 1983. Starring Rudolf Nureyev as Romeo.

April 11: Turning in our plays and reflections April 11, 2016

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1. Students had their free read time

2. Next, I asked students to label the following in their plays by annotating in the margin:

  • Dramatic irony
  • first plot point, midpoint, third plot point, climax
  • Realistic dialogue
  • Deep monologue
  • Aside
  • Put a vertical squiggly line next to your favorite part (each group member) and write your name

3. Students spent some time reflecting on the progress they have made and what they learned over the course of the project by answering these reflection questions on a separate sheet of paper: Playwriting Reflection.

HW: If you didn’t finish your reflection in class, finish it at home tonight!

Wednesday, March 9: Building Plot March 9, 2016

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Over the past few days we have worked on building our plot structures.

Here are the notes and handouts from these days:

Theme in Drama notes (L8)

The Three Act Plot Structure Notes (L9)

The Three Act Plot Structure Outline – required for moving forward with writing the play

We will have work days on Thursday and Friday this week. Just a reminder, here is the assignment that was passed out.

The Politics of the Domestic: A Collaborative Playwriting Project

Your task is to collaboratively write a play that illuminates how a social or political issue can impact the everyday lives of everyday people. Inspired by Lorraine Hansberry and A Raisin in the Sun, we will choose a topic that has political or social relevance (like housing discrimination), and show its impact on the personal lives of an everyday family or set of characters (like the Youngers).


  • You may choose your own group based on your topic, or you may work alone. Your teacher reserves the right to make final grouping decisions and split up any group at any point if you are not using your time efficiently.


Your play must . . .

  • be set in a living space (living room, bedroom, trailer, jail cell); no setting changes are allowed
  • take place in a restricted time frame, not more than one month
  • have at least as many characters as there are group members (but it can have more); an odd number of main characters is recommended
  • follow the three-act plot structure
  • include thoughtfully-written stage directions for the actors in almost every line, as Hansberry does
  • be at least ten pages long (i.e. at least ten minutes)
  • include at least one monologue of at least 200 words for each main character (i.e. each member of the group)
  • have a title drawn from a poem

It must include the following:

  • a thorough description of the setting and time period
  • dramatic irony (at least three times)
  • a symbol (at least one per group member)
  • coincidence-related tension
  • comic relief after a moment of tension
  • a main character that the audience feels ambivalent about or has some moral ambiguity
  • foil characters: two characters that have opposite personality traits
  • five self-interrupted sentences that the audience must complete in their minds (this is an exercise in subtext)
  • three asides that the character says aloud for only the audience to hear

You must also include at least one of the following:

  • a one-sided telephone call; a sound effect or line delivered offstage; a word, phrase, or sentence delivered in unison; or characters talking over each other (format this on your page in two columns)

Tuesday, March 1: Character continued March 1, 2016

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  1. We took a short vocab quiz review.
  2. Free read!
  3. We finished our L7 notes from yesterday and worked in groups to determine the needs and wants of our characters.

HW: Study for vocab test tomorrow! Here is a link to study online: Quizlet Class

Monday, February 29: Character Names and Types February 29, 2016

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  1. If students handwrote their Bone Structure Character Sketch, I collected it. If not, it should be shared on Google Drive.
  2. We had free read time.
  3. We discussed the power of naming our characters using this notes sheet: Meaningful Names in Literature. Students spent time coming up with names for their characters.
  4. Next, we began looking at different types of characters here: Types of Characters.

HW: Study for your vocab test on Wednesday! Here is the word list: Lesson 2 Vocabulary

The Bone Structure: Character Sketch February 25, 2016

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Click here to open the assignment.

Then go to File > Make a Copy.

Rename the File with your name and your Character’s name. Put it in your Group’s Google Drive Folder.

Tuesday, February 16: Exploration Stations February 16, 2016

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1. Free read!

2. We are going to start writing our own political plays, inspired by Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. To do this, we started by exploring different social justice issues today. Students filled out this sheet (Political Play Topic Exploration Stations) as they walked around to stations with the links below. If you were absent, you can fill the sheet out at home using the links:

Incarceration, Jail Conditions, School to Prison Pipeline

More Than 100 Marchers Protest the Durham County Jail




 #matthewmccain #dennismcmurray

Durham Gentrification and Affordable Housing Crisis



Transgender and Queer Youth




ICE raids/Immigration




Sexual Violence, Rape Culture, and Domestic Abuse




Friday, February 12: Reflections on Theme in Raisin February 12, 2016

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  1. Freeding.
  2. Students received Raisin ACEIT poem comparison. We read two poems thematically related to the play and annotated them in groups. Then, students began writing a paragraph on which theme best matched Raisin. Here are notes on ACE-IT paragraphs if you need them at home: ACEIT completed notes.

HW: Finish your ACE-IT paragraph on the back of the poem annotation sheet for Monday!

Tuesday, February 9: Act 3 motifs February 9, 2016

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  1. #freereading
  2. As we continued to read Act 3 of Raisin in the Sun, we looked for motifs we’ve seen throughout the text using this chart: Motifs in Raisin Act 3

HW: Make sure all your vocabulary notes from Unit 2 past weeks are complete for tomorrow.

Friday, February 5: Background on Restrictive Covenants February 5, 2016

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    1. Free reading.
    2. We read the poem “The Ballad of the Landlord” by Langston Hughes: The Ballad of the Landlord.
    3. Next, we watched a film about discriminatory housing practices in 1960s Chicago. As we watched, we annotated the poem for connections. Here is the video link:


4. Next, we continued reading Act 2, scene 3 of Raisin.

5. We then looked at a document from a 1919 Chicago Neighborhood Association promoting segregation (see the back of The Ballad of the Landlord).

HW: Finish reading Act 2 scene 3 on your own. Here is a link to the text if you need it: Raisin in the Sun online (read 547-562).


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