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A WebQuest for older high school students in a language or literature (English) course. Explores the novel "Speak" under various guises.
This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2010-04-28.
A WebQuest for 11th Grade (English, Literature)
By now, you have read Speak, by Laurie Anderson Halse, and watched Speak, the 2004 film directed by Jessica Sharzer. The issues dealt with in both the novel and the movie are directly relevant to you, a few of which are: coping in high school, understanding the effects of rape/sexual assualt, and finding a personal voice.
Now, I turn the discussion over to you.
You will now direct your own discussions to either the movie, the book, or both. Feel free to draw from your personal reactions to the film or novel; incorporate your own past experiences when deciding how you would like to direct your personal and your group work. In your groups of four, you will each contribute to a group interpretation of the material. As a group, you will look closely at the film adaptation, the literary function of the novel, the psychology involved in both, and you will work these viewpoints into a cohesive whole. In conjunction with the group assignment, you will create a short story - instead of a traditional academic paper, I want your written work to correspond more strongly to your personal emotions and reactions.
Below are my guidelines for your work. Above all, I want you to act as Melinda did: find YOUR voice. Speak Up, and be heard in the classroom.
Your task will involve researching different aspects of the book and movie Speak with TWO end results:
1) The first product will be an in-class presentation and discussion facilitation that you will do with the group to which you are assigned. The presentation and discussion should last 10-15 minutes. All group members should be actively involved in the designing of the facilitation; use your individual perspectives ("Director," "Psychologist," "Literary Analyst," or "Discussion Facilitator/Artist") to create probing questions that should ensure an ACTIVE class discussion. If there is specific information from your research that is pertinent to your questions, please do present it to the class; however, be sure that there is a greater emphasis on class DISCUSSION than there is on presentation of information.
2) The second product will be a creative writing piece (5-7 pages, Times New Roman, size 12 font, 1 inch borders, double spaced). Here, I would like to have you "show but don't tell" me your reaction to Speak. Draw freely from your own interpretations, and respond to one of the following prompts:
a) Diary entries written from the perspective of Melinda, FOUR years later
b) Re-tell the story from the perspective of any CENTRAL character other than Melinda (i.e. Ivy, Mr. and/or Mrs. Sordino, Mr. Freeman, Andy, Rachel)
c) Create an alternate ending in the form of either a novel or a screenplay (for example, what would have happened if Andy didn't attack Melinda in the closet at school?)
1. You will be assigned to groups of 4 students.
2. Each member of the group will pick ONE of the four roles to enact within your group ("Director," "Psychologist," "Literary Analyst," or "Discussion Facilitator/Artist"). The roles are detailed below.
3. Once you have decided on your roles, discuss them as a group and collaboratively decide on a specific direction for your group to take. Each group can have different focuses through the 4 roles. (i.e. All groups need to have each of the four roles, but one group may want to focus on Melinda, while another may want to focus on rape itself, etc.)
4. Run your "direction" by the teacher and have it approved by the end of the "planning" class period.
5. Access, read, and analyze the websites associated with your role. (Note: not all websites will necessarily deal with your group's focus, so choose carefully).
6. Use the information on the sites to create an outline in line with the direction your group decided to take. You should use summaries, flowcharts, or outlines to present the information that you found to your group. (Note: GoogleDocs is a great source to use for collaboration and editing of information.)
7. Work together as a group to put together your 10-15 minute discussion/presentation.
8. Begin work on your creative writing piece. You can choose any of the three options listed above for your piece. Feel free to draw from online and classroom resources to give your paper more substance, but above all: BE CREATIVE!!
9. Papers should be handed in the first day of presentations/discussions.
- Your paper should be 5-7 pages in length (Times New Roman, size 12 font, 1 inch borders, double spaced).
- Include a cover page (in addition to the 5-7 pages) stating the prompt to which you are responding, your paper's title, your name, and the date.
The Roles are as Follows:
Role 1 - Director
The Director is responsible for analyzing the movie, with respect to the book, and discussing the effects of media on viewers.
- Movie vs. book EXAMPLES:
-- How is the movie different from the book and WHY is that important?
-- How is the movie similar to the book and WHY isthat important?
-- How does watching the movie affect a viewer differently than reading the book?
-- Which do you think has a stronger impact on the audience? Why?
-- Did watching the movie change your opinion of the book?
Discuss at least two topics (either from the list above, or from others that you have checked with me).
The trailer for Speak, the 2004 movie, on YouTube.
The Internet Movie Database's overview of the movie.
A review of Speak, the novel, on a website designed for adolescents.
A review and summary page of Speak
The following are from YouTube, Parts I-IX of Speak (for further viewings):
Role 2 - Psychologist
- The Psychologist will be focusing on Melinda, the rape, and how it affects both her and those around her.
- Possible subjects to focus on:
-- Rape statistics
-- Effects of rape (on both the individual and the culture at large)
-- Rape as taboo (Why was Melinda AFRAID to tell people what happened?)
-- Resources for victims of rape
-- Art Therapy / role of the art teacher
-- Adolescent depression (causes, effects, resources)
WebMD's page on rape and date rape (includes a brief description of rape, and a short guideline for victims).
A website by the National Institutes of Health - provides many external links to subcategories with a scientific foci possibly not discussed in the above pages.
Role 3 - Literary Analyst
- The Literary Analyst will be focusing on the literary approach of their choice and how it manifests itself in Speak.
- Possible approaches (feel free to branch out from the examples I list):
--- How Andy thinks he has a "right" to have sex with Melinda
--- Andy's control over Melinda
--- Melinda's fear of openness and her feelings of submission
--- The reaction of other women to Melinda (i.e. suspicious, accusatory, supportive)
-- Literary "Flair"
--- How is language and syntax used in the novel?
--- Do you consider this well written? Why or why not?
--- What is the TONE of the narrator?
-- Below I have listed several websites with summaries of various critical approaches, in case you need a review.
Wikipedia's main page on literary theory, with many links to the various kinds of theories.
Wikipedia's summary of New Criticism
Wikipedia's summary of Formalism
Wikipedia's summary of Marxism
Wikipedia's summary of Feminist Theory
An overview of Psychoanalytic Theory
Role 4 - Discussion Facilitator / Artist
- The Discussion Facilitator/Artist is responsible for helping establish the "plan" for the group discussion. Take into account all participants' perspectives, and help define a focus that satisfies all involved.
- He/She must announce at the start of the class discussion an overview of the particular sensitive subject matter that will be involved.
- During the planning process, inform me of the specific sensitive information that your group will be incorporating, so that I can request the support of a guidance counselor, if necessary.
- The presentation must include a list of resources, so that others can know exactly which resources were used for particular approaches.
- He/She is in charge of the discussion, but is NOT the ONLY person involved. While he/she should plan the discussion, ALL members of the group are responsible for contributing to the discussion during the class period.
- The day before your group is scheduled to present, let me know exactly what resources you will need available (i.e. a projection monitor for a PowerPoint presentation, a TV/DVD player combination, speakers, etc.)
- As the Artist, he/she is responsible for creating the visuals for use during the discussion.
-- If there are relevant/pertinent graphs or other informational visuals, be sure to make them visually appealing.
-- If you are using PowerPoint (useful for incorporating clips of the movie, if desired), save in a 97-2003 format.
-- If you ARE discussing specific clips in the movie, use the YouTube links listed below to help cue the clip.
-- Be CREATIVE! (If you don't find your visuals interesting, no one else will!!)
A blog by a survivor of sexual assault, with many posts to help new victims cope. Also, there is a comprehensive listing of external websites, also for helping victims cope.
A website for rape and sexual abuse survivors; you may want to direct your classmates to this website, if your group's direction is related to survivors and coping strategies.
Another website for rape and sexual abuse survivors.
The following are from YouTube, Parts I-IX of Speak (for further viewings):
Both the Written and Class Discussion / Presentation portions of the grade will be assessed INDIVIDUALLY. However, your collaborative efforts will be reflected in your Discussion / Presentation grade.
Creative Writing Piece Rubric (40% of total grade):
Spelling and Punctuation
There are no spelling or punctuation errors in the final draft.
There are 1-2 spelling or punctuation errors in the final draft.
There are 3-4 spelling and/or punctuation errors in the final draft.
The final draft has more than 4 spelling and punctuation errors.
|The piece contains descriptive details, which all contribute to a new story with a distinct voice of the narrator, different from that in the initial book or film.|
The piece contains many descriptive elements, all of which help create a "new story," but the author fails to establish a clear voice/personality in the narrator.
The story contains description of the setting/characters, but fails to create a "new" perspective or addition.
There is little evidence of creativity in the story. There is little or no interpretive "jumps" from the novel or film. This piece will strongly resemble the initial movie/film in tone.
All of the written requirements (5-7 pages, TNR font, size 12 font, margins, and due date) were followed.
One of the written standards (page #, TNR font, size 12 font, or margins) was not followed. If the due date was not met, the student can receive no higher than a 2 in this category.
Two of the written requirements were not followed, OR the paper was turned in late. This is the highest a student can score if the paper is turned in late.
Three or more of the written requirements were not followed.
Cover page includes all necessary information. Also, the title of the story is creative, sparks interest, and is related to the story and perspective.
Cover page includes all necessary information. The story's title is related to the topic, but lacks creative appeal to the audience.
Cover page includes the story's title, but lacks one of the other page requirements.
The cover page is missing the story's title OR two of the other requirements OR the title is entirely unrelated to the story OR there is no cover page.
Class Discussion / Presentation Rubric (60% of total grade):
in Own Group Presentation
Facial expressions and body language indicate a strong interest and enthusiasm about the topic, and generates a strong response in the class.
Facial expressions and body language consistently express a strong interest in the subject matter, but fails to generate high enthusiasm in the class.
Facial expressions and body language are inconsistent; at times, the presenter will appear unenthusiastic about the discussion.
Facial expressions or body language exhibits a lack of interest in the subject matter and/or presentation.
For artists: Visuals are engaging, visually pleasing, and help lead the discussion. The visuals are formatted to work within the context of the group.
For all others:
Student is capable of responding to questions of the class. Also, the student has specific data/information written down, so that he/she can give correct data (if relevant to discussion). The student also responds actively and well-informed to own group members.
For artists: Visuals are visually pleasing, they help inform the discussion, but are not designed to fit within the flow of the presentation.
For all others:
Student is capable of responding to the class questions, but does not have a list of specific information, so data is presented as a generalization, possibly without proper acknowledgment.
For artists: Visuals do not contribute information or encourage interest in the presentation, but have correct information. Visuals also must fit within the context of the group's "vision."
For all others:
The student is capable of answering some class questions, but depends on other group members for more specific knowledge (even within his/her own "role"), showing a lack of information rehearsal.
For artists: Visuals are not incorporated OR relevant to the discussion.
For all others:
The student is unable to answer questions from the classroom (that relate to his/her role), and will use broad generalizations when participating in the discussion.
Interaction with Other Presentations
Listens intently. Does not make distracting noises or movements. Participates actively and productively in the discussion led by the presenting group.
Listens intently, does not create distractions, but does NOT contribute thoughtfully to others' presentations.
Does not appear to be paying attention to the group presenting, but is respectfully quiet during the presentation and discussion.
Uninvolved during the class discussion; also, the lack of attention is exhibited in a way that is distracting to others during the presentation and discussion.
Relevance and Organization
The information and questions in the presentation are representative of a clear direction and organization. If the class starts to get "off topic," the presenters redirect the conversation.
The information and questions in the presentation are representative of a clear direction and organization. If the class starts to get "off topic," the presenters fail to reestablish the discussion.
Most but not all of the information and/or questions from the group establish a clear direction for the class discussion. There is a distinguishable organization to the discussion.
The information and/or questions presented by the group did not correspond with one another OR the discussion seemed haphazardly arranged.
The presentation and discussion are evident of a clear, developed understanding of the classroom material, incorporating relevant outside information for a more detailed discussion.
The presentation and discussion exhibit a good knowledge of the material, but fail to establish a specific perspective of the material.
The presentation and discussion show at least a moderate understanding of the classroom material, but fail to incorporate outside information.
Does not seem to understand the classroom or outside material well. No specific and/or informed discussion of the material.
Collaboration Within Group
Individual participates within the group actively but collaboratively. Individual neither dominates the discussion nor fails to contribute. The end product includes information from all participants.
Individual collaborates well with peers, but does not actively contribute to the development of ideas. This student will do what is asked of him/her, but will not seek to do extra work.
Individual will contribute only what is specifically designated to him/her by another group member OR tries to dominate the group, asserting his/her own ideas above all others.
Individual is unengaged, will contribute less than what is required of his/her "role," and/or attempts to subvert the group's project.
In completing "Speak Up," you have analyzed a novel and film from multiple perspectives. You incorporated information from the internet and classroom resources to research through your assigned role. You then used your creative faculties to develop a unique writing piece, which also involves the internalization of all four group "roles." Literature in general can be approached in a variety of ways (such a comparison with a movie, literary analysis, subject matter background, and historical context).
Next time you read a book, will you read it from the perspective of a character? Will you consider how literary critics may approach it?
Which character of Speak do you most resemble? Which would you most like to resemble?
Most importantly ...
Have you found YOUR voice?
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. USA: Penguin Group, 1999.
Speak. Dir. Jessica Sharzer. Showtime Networks Inc. 2004.
Websites Used in the WebQuest: