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Illumination of text

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Shakespeare. Shakespeare's sonnets. London, 1899

March 2010
Julie Bowerman teaches English at Cedar Cliff High School, Camp Hill, PA

Plays/Scenes Covered
What's On for Today and Why

Students will identify words within text that are active and powerful. They will create a movie using pictures and visual depictions of words that illustrate the content of the text.


This lesson will take four 80-minute classes to complete movies and view them.


What You Need

Macintosh computers with iMovie and Garageband

Selections of sonnets

Demonstration samples of illumination projects


Internet access

What To Do

1. Play several demonstration illuminations.

2. Discuss with students how the words in the illuminations are emphasized to convey meaning.

3. Have students design a rubric. Steer them towards categories for conveying meaning through text manipulation, coherence of illustrations, vocal clarity and expression.

4. Have students select a sonnet or 10-20 line segment of text. (Text may also be assigned to cover a variety of texts or to compare responses to one text.)

5. Have students circle 6 to 12 key words in the text that demonstrate movement or epiphany.

6. Tell students to decide if some words in the text may be eliminated or if they need to include all of the text in their production.

7. Have students record their text onto theiMovie audio track. (Advanced students with computer eperience may record their audio track using Garageband to create audio effects along with the text.)

8. Have students select music, which they will apply to a further audio track and adjust levels of the vocal and music tracks to maintain clarity.

9. Have students make a list of pictures that they would like to include which they will download into iPhoto using the Safari control-click process.

10. Demonstrate how to use the iMovie editing elements of titles,transitions, video effects and audio effects.

11. Have students add pictures and graphic depictions or words to correspond to their vocal audio track.

12. Have students share/compress their iMovie as a Quicktime (CD quality) movie, which they will place in the teacher's drop box.

13. Have students write comments and questions as each illumination is viewed.

How Did It Go?
Assessment will be based on the application of word movement or illustration as well as coherence to the text using the student-design rubric.

If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.

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  Common Core State Standards

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