What are we learning? Macbeth, fortunately!

05/05/2016

English Fortune Cookies

Creativity is the highest test of whether we have understood an idea. With some air dry foam clay, a few modelling tools, tracing paper and some felt tip pens, 9A1 and I were going on an adventure …

Some of the best ideas come from colliding two separate ideas. In ‘Macbeth’ there are lots of ideas. We decided to make some of them collide: fate and fortune, superstition, appearance and reality and celebration banquets. What did we decide to do? We made fortune cookies to show our understanding of characters and theme in the banquet scene from ‘Macbeth’.

9A1 used lots of skills; some were skills that were familiar to us in English, like working out what fate a character experienced in the play or using aphoristic language (deliberately vague language), working within a team, problem solving (the need to see the fortune and have it encased in a cookie created lots of problem solving discussion), and using Microsoft Publisher; and some were less familiar in English, such as working with clay.

During this work, Natasha showed us creative education at its best. She flew with the idea of creating an instruction sheet on how to form a fortune cookie from dough, creating a prototype, modelling how to create the cookies to other members of the class and making links with local businesses (she persuaded her dad to let us have some professional packaging for the cookies). She showed great organisation and flair. Would I take Natasha on as an apprentice if I worked in a creative industry? In a heartbeat! My only fear would be that she would need a pay rise very quickly and probably be better than the boss within months.

All the class enjoyed the work and you can see the fruits of their labour in the photographs. Trying to motivate students to enjoy ‘Macbeth’ can sometimes be a hard sell, but the Blackburn Central students were coming to the classroom asking if they could work on their project. I call that a Shakespearean success.

I will hand the last words over to Natasha who did so much to make this element of our learning as good as it was: “I myself love the thought of Shakespeare and all his plays so when Mrs Shuttleworth came to me with the idea of making fortune cookies based on the celebratory banquet Macbeth has after being coronated it gave me a blast of enthusiasm. It was exciting to learn about Shakespeare and English in a whole new creative way, it being the cherry on the top! I loved the fact that I got to go out myself and do the extra work to make the process go that much quicker, perfecting the best technique to actually fold the fortune cookies and then going and finding the best way to make it more appealing, coming to the conclusion of using publisher to make a collage using appearance verses reality quotes from ‘Macbeth’ itself to make more packaging for the cookies and to highlight them in more detail. Overall the experience was rejuvenating, bringing English to the doorstep of enjoyment in learning.”

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