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'Of Mice and Men' Speaking and Listening Task???

Discussion in 'English' started by RKNorwich, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. Hi everyone,

    Just wondering if anyone knows any speaking and listening activities for 'Of Mice and Men'? I need something drama focused preferably but would welcome any suggestions!

    Thanks in advance xxx
  2. I've just completed an S&L task with my top set Yr 11 group on 'M&M'. It wasn't a drama based task but a group research and presentation task and worked well as they also get to learn lots about context in connection with novel. If this sounds what you're after- I'll be happy to send you more info.
  3. That would be great - thank you so much. Is there a private way of sending e-mail addresses - I'm yet to figure out this new site!

    Thanks again xxx
  4. I've done a drama-based task on this. Groups of three for preference. One is the sherriff and the others are their own choice of the minor characters - Whit, for instance. They have to plan, improvise and perform a scene where the sherriff questions them about the two deaths and events surrounding them. It means they have to do some research in the book and think about geberal background and attitudes and the facts of the story; but apart from minor clues they are free to create their own characters. You can do it with only two; four is possible but a bit difficult for them all to play a full part.
    pennywiskar likes this.
  5. Oops. That should have been "sheriff," shouldn't it? Hangs head in shame!
  6. I think we can forgive you on a Friday afternoon!!

    Thanks for the great idea x
  7. Antigone9

    Antigone9 New commenter

    I did a similar kind of thing to the activity described above but with the whole class. We had a mock trial for George with two groups of six lawyers. The rest played characters. We had the obvious people plus some extras such as the girl from Weed, Curley's wife's mother, the sheriffs who came to the ranch after Curley's wife was killed and so on. So in total we managed to include all 26 students.
    They spent a lesson preparing, including the lawyers getting questions ready and the witnesses getting their stories straight etc. We discussed trial procedure etc and I taught them some appropriate phrases.
    The trial took a whole lesson (probably could have run longer). I had them stay in character the whole time, so the when the witnesses weren't being questioned themselves they 'reacted' too. I filmed it, which always seems to encourage them to concentrate. It was a bit complicated but the students were enthusiastic about it and performed very well. At the end, as 'judge' I gave some kind of verdict. Of course some students had bigger roles than others. Students picked the roles out of a hat for the sake of fairness. Even some of the minor characters were very interesting though.

  8. Ooh, I like that! How do you cope with the actual assessment bit when they are all performing at once? Or is that where the filming comes in (not a lot of video equipment available at my school!)
  9. Antigone9

    Antigone9 New commenter

    Yes, I have to admit I find assessing speaking and listening tough and always video anything that will be formally assessed. I was an NQT last year; hoping this gets easier with time! But, if you just couldn't film, I suppose (as it's a trial) you will only really have two people taking centre stage at any one time. You just have to keep half an eye on the rest.
  10. EmmaBB

    EmmaBB New commenter

    Group discussion on who suffers most in the novel. Always works well and helps pupils understand the complexities of Crooks and Curley's Wife.Good warm up discussion with whole class on what suffering can manifest itself as.

  11. For drama-based I do an activity in pairs where George is on a radio chat show and is being interviewed about events at the ranch and life with Lenie beforehand. Usually produces some very good results.
  12. Can I get the Information please ?
  13. y9840125

    y9840125 Occasional commenter

  14. Not drama based but I got my group of B/C boys to research the American Dream and give group presentations. As well as the obvious, they had to include the rise of Hollywood, background on conditions in California as well as their opinions about George and Lennie's dream in Section One.
  15. millicent_bystander

    millicent_bystander New commenter

    I'm just finishing the planning for a drama based activity for the new spec. It is based around a meeting between John Steinbeck, his publisher, press officer and bookstore owner where Steinbeck has decided to rewrite the novel and the meeting focuses on whether to keep Lennie or Curley's wife in the novel.
    Hopefully it will generate some effective discussions around language, author intent and purpose and characterisation - all the things they'll need to consider for the controlled assessment or examination (depending on English or English Literature route).
  16. Nead2604

    Nead2604 New commenter

    Speaking and listening role play...research context of Great Depression, the Dust Bowl etc of America. Using cues from the novella
    , develop the role of someone living through that context. Character to have a name, job or looking for one, describe suffering going on or going through etc.....Coud be the wife of a farmer who has lost his farm, factory worker whose factory has closed down, black man/woman and suffering prejudice, single woman etc.....Answer questions, try to use language (Americanisms, colloquial language etc), This is developed through research during homework activities,
  17. I'm in the middle of doing a drama focused s&l assessment with my bottom set year 11's, which is going well.

    Their task is to produce a 'lonely hearts' video for a character of their choice. In their video they have to explain what type of person they're looking for ( It doesn't have to be romantic, could be a friend or parent figure) as well as explaining what they can offer.

    We watched some of the 'smack the pony' videos on YouTube to prep (check these first as some are too rude to show) and then some time to prepare their own video. I'm fortunate in that I have a large cupboard, complete with window and desks, so during lessons over 4 weeks, students go into the cupboard, where a laptop is set up, and they record their video.

    I then assess their video. Some were organised enough during prep sessions to record several entries, watch them back, self-evaluate and improve on it.
  18. We had a company called Top Box Productions into our school. They did a 1 hour performance of OMAM and then a workshop where they got the students on stage to re-create different scenes. I was able to put this toward their Speaking and Listening assesment. The company also covered speaking and listening "performance" in their workshop.
    They were very good, but the only problem at your end may be the cost. We paid £450 + VAT. Very reasonable and the best price out there for what they did.
    If your just looking for a simple speaking and listening excercise they might be a bit pricey, but if you want a show and a workshop (not sure what the maximum number of students allowed to watch is) that you can put towards speaking and listening, I'd go for this. Their website is http://www.topboxproductions.co.uk
    Hope this helps.
  19. I have done some fabulouss and l activites on omam. One is based on de bono's thinking hats immediately after Lennie crushes Curley's hand. (Check out the black and white film version-it's great)
    Show them the scene. Assign each "station" a thinking hat and get groups to move around to respond to that scene in the novel using 6 hat htinking..Had an outstanding lesson from ofsted using this method. It's easy to assess also.
  20. Hello there, I wonderd if you would be happy to share some resources with me on this ?
    I need something drama based to cover the begining of the novel and this sounds fab !!
    Thank you

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