Friday, December 5, 2008

Critical Words Activity

The activity we completed today was centered around the words you all have been collecting for the last two classes where we read The Crucible. Today we narrowed down yours from a total of about eighty to the six most critical words in this play. 

First, you all broke out in to groups of two or three. In these groups, you eliminated repeat words and chose your top two words that you and your partner(s) deemed the most important. After this, each individual group member chose a word that they wanted to see as part of the list. 

Next, we collected all of the group words on a master list. If a word was a repeat, it got a check mark. The master list included the top twenty or so words that you all thought had the most relevance to this play. 

Once we had the master list, we voted on each of the words to narrow the list down to the six most important, or critical words.  We were going to have the top ten most critical words, but because several people were absent, we chose to narrow the list even further. The top six words you all voted to keep were: "vengeance", "damned", "innocence", "fraud", "conspiracy", and "corruption".  After these words were selected, I wrote them onto separate sheets of paper. Then you all circled around the room and wrote connections to the characters and events of the play. We tried to be as silent as possible as this activity was completed, but some of us had to talk a little to get out all of our thoughts. 

I posted some pictures of the sheets of paper with the words on them. This activity led to a in-depth discussion of the words you selected and their relevance to the play. It was interesting to hear about your different perceptions of the words and the various ways that you connected them to the play. 


Anonymous said...

This is a really neat idea! However, I have a question. How did you compile the master list? Did you read the whole play first and the students were writing words as you went?

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Yes, if you look back at previous blog posts, I mention that students collected the most essential words while reading each scene. We used these words in a variety of ways throughout the unit. This is toward the end. Each student had a list of more than fifty or sixty words; they worked in pairs to negotiate and narrow their focus to the absolute essential words. It was an interesting process.