Quote Originally Posted by Maradona View Post
The tabs are off, but Shakespeare is a huge part of high school English classes (except in the 11th grade). But your point, JT, about the validity of such an assignment is solid. There is no part of the SAT or in most majors in college where students will write a play in any style, let alone Shakespeare's. The state tests won't assess them on their ability to recite lines or make rhymes. It is for those reasons and others that work in my classroom must be grounded in and governed by relevancy. Spending two months having the kids learn to make togas and memorize Brutus and Anthony's speeches is fun waste of two months, but a waste nonetheless. Out of the nearly two hundred students I have each year, I doubt if more than 1 or 2 will become English majors, much less drama majors - and if they were to inquire about these, I would quickly attempt to dissuade them from entertaining such a dire possibility. But if you have to teach someone about something, making them do something related to it is a worthwhile idea. We have to teach Shakespeare (thankfully) according to the California Department of Education and we have very little time to do so in body of the year. After next year, though, when schools move to the national Common Core Standards, students will be analyzing "workplace documents" far more than the Bard. "To fill out this application correctly or not to fill out this application. That is the assignment. Whether it be nobler in the classroom to suffer the text and fine print of outrageous lease agreements or take up pens against them and, by annotation, understand them." Yes, the kids are doomed...
Forsooth, Master Shakespeare would use "word" for its wordliness.

I think it's more of Threepio's overreaction "doomed," Maradona, than true doom-liness. We teachers have ways of making you students... get more out of assignments than you can possibly realize. I have always used "workplace documents" in my assignments (due to my history background, where little literature was focused on), but within the context of the literature. My lessons will still continue to do so, especially in the "new" junior year English/history course we designed.

But I will admit I am a little skeptical, with how lessened in importance that novels have been in the CC.