Unit 2 – “Conflict and Communication” Exploring relationships and conflict resolution (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

Relationships are one of the most important parts of being human, and central to healthy relationships is healthy communication! In this unit, we will read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a close emphasis on the relationships between the characters of the play and how staging opportunities can bring the story, and these relationships, to life. We will also explore different types of relationships through a variety of other texts. You will demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skill by reenacting a scene from a play, completing a language analysis, and finally doing some creative writing of your own.

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Session 1 – “Comedy and Conflict” Boss vs. Leader
What better way to start the study of a dramatic text by doing some drama? Today we will introduce the big ideas of the unit by acting out scenes involving a lovable band of ‘Mechanicals’ preparing to put on a play.

Session 2 – “Problems with Parents” Types of Parent-Child Relationships
Today we look at the different types of parent-child relationships and practise making connections with how such relationships can be explored in dramatic texts.

Session 3 – “Green-Eyed Monster!” Jealousy and Envy in Relationships
We have all experienced jealousy and envy at some point in our lives. Today we learn that it is a natural part of being human, but can also lead to some negative consequences!

Session 4 – “Melancholy Matrimony” Problems in Marriages
We are finally introduced to the last group of characters in the play: the fairy King Oberon and Queen Titania. Today we will learn about some common marital problems and apply our knowledge by giving some much-needed marriage counselling to this troubled couple!

Session 5 – “Twists and Turns” Irony and Comedy
Now we get to the good part of the play! Our three groups of heroes collide to comedic effect, produced by Shakespeare’s use of irony. We will finish Act 2 and then devise our own comedic scenes about some unsuccessful relationships using irony.

Session 6 – “One-Sided Love” Coping with Unrequited Love
Unrequited love is such a common plot device in emotional fiction. But how does it relate to real life? Today, we will explore this phenomenon through both fiction and non-fiction texts. We will also learn about imperative voice and the style of advisory writing and apply our knowledge of psychology in a role play.

Session 7 – “Communication for Conflict Resolution” Communication Styles
We will learn about different types of communication styles and their effects. We will focus especially on an assertive style using the DESC model, applying it to short dramatic presentations to demonstrate our understanding.

Session 8 – “The Subtleties of Subtext” 
“Words mean everything and nothing to an actor.” What could this quote, seemingly paradoxical, possibly mean? In this lesson, we will explore the related idea of subtext and practice inferencing skills.

Session 9 – Dramatic Interpretation
In these lessons, we will choose a scene a prepare a dramatic interpretation. We will aim to imply meaning through careful selection of verbal and non-verbal techniques. The interpretation will build on our knowledge of different types of relationships that we have explored over the prior weeks.

Session 10 – Advisory Texts
In these lessons, we will explore a range of different advisory texts in order to identify purpose, structure and stylistic features. We will then select and produce one of these texts to show our understanding of the text type, relationship dynamics and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

ASSESSMENT

Task 3 – Dramatic Interpretation

Task 4 – Advisory text

FURTHER RESOURCES

  • Video SparkNotes: Video that provides a useful visual summary of the novel. Use this to review your comprehension of the story.
  • No Fear Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s language is tough, but not with this handy guide! Shows the modern language side-by-side with the Bard’s original words.
  • BBC Audiobook: Listen to this while reading to help bring the story to life!
  • Resource folder: All my resources will be placed here.

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