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  • Dramatizing short storiesSimona Zilberwasser, Etti Dar, Michal Livny, Carol Shotts

    F ro m t h e F i e l d

    PreparationThe purpose of the project was to deal with two shortstories in a different way. The stories were part of theOral Bagrut exam (4- and 5-points) for eleventh graders.First we taught the stories in class, concentrating ontheme and vocabulary. Instead of a traditionalexamination, we decided to assign a project, whichwould enable pupils to deal with the material creativelyand to practice oral skills. We first explained to thepupils what the project was about and handed out thefollowing form:

    Dear pupils,This project is compulsory and its evaluation will bepart of your grade for the second semester.

    Instructions1. Form groups of four to seven members. All pupils

    must sign up for the project.

    2. Choose one of the following short stories:The Storyteller / Hector Munro (Saki)All the Years of Her Life / Morley Callaghan

    3. Within the group:a. Decide whether you want to turn the story into

    1. a short play (on stage or on video)2. a short film (on video)

    b. Write the script, including stage directions(setting, sound/light/special effects) and submitit to your English teacher. It is the whole groupsresponsibility to submit the script. Make sureto keep a copy for each group member.

    c. Start rehearsing your performances.

    4. The project completion date will be announcedsoon. On that day, short films will be shown andstage plays will be performed in the auditorium.

    5. Fill in the Registration Form and give it to yourEnglish teacher by next week.

    English Teachers Journal June 2002 77

    Registration Form

    Your groups name:

    Who are the members? (name, class)

    The story we chose is:

    We want to produce (circle your choice):

    1. a short play on stage.

    2. a filmed short play (on video).

    3. a short cinema film (on video).

    4. other:


    Approved by : Date:

    Writing the scriptPupils sat in their groups to decide what form of theperformance they wanted to produce and to transformthe stories into scripts. We taught the pupils how towrite a script according to the following model:

    Characters (inthe originalstory) andpupils names(according tothe part theyplay in theperformance)

    Actual wordsspokenIn the spirit of thestory, using actualvocabulary fromthe story


  • F ro m t h e F i e l d

    78 English Teachers Journal June 2002

    Pupils were also guided by a rubric which later servedas an assessment tool (Appendix A).

    We assessed the submitted scripts on the basis of ourrubrics and returned them to the pupils with commentsregarding the performance stage of the project.

    PerformancePupils were then given an assessment rubric to use asa guide to their performance (Appendix B).

    ReflectionsThe project was meaningful because it: was an interesting, creative way to teach and

    evaluate literature. enabled alternative assessment. was an interdisciplinary project involving music,

    drama, scriptwriting, camera work, directing andacting.

    involved team work and coordination. gave pupils an opportunity to understand and

    practice authentic material from a different culture. was experiential and enjoyable.

    Pupils were satisfied with the final outcome and enjoyedthe performances, which the teachers evaluated togetheras a team. We found the rubrics helpful, although somechanges and additions to the criteria are necessary.The project was especially meaningful because itinvolved team work on the part of the teachers weplanned it together, we encouraged one another andwe met many times to write the rubrics, and evaluatethe final products.

    Simona Zilberwasser, Etti Dar, Michal Livny and Carol Shotts are allveteran English teachers who share their extensive knowledge andexperience and collaborate in planning and preparing materials. Inaddition, Simona is a teachers counselor for at-risk learners; Ettiteaches Communications Studies; Michal is currently EnglishCoordinator for the upper division at Ort Hashomron and Carol isthe former English Coordinator and currently teaches both EFL andnative speaker classes.

  • F ro m t h e F i e l d

    English Teachers Journal June 2002 79


    Presentation T h e s c r i p t i s t y p e d a n daesthetically presented accordingto the script page.

    14 pts.

    The script is typed and neatlypresented, but only partiallyfollows the instructions on thescript page. 8 pts.

    The script is unsatisfactorilypresented. It does not followinstructions on the scriptpage. 4 pts.

    Content a) The script consists of equalroles for every member of thegroup. 12 pts.

    Some members have bigger rolesthan others.

    8 pts.

    Some members have minorroles.

    4 pts.

    b) The script reflects the spirit ofthe story; the exact sequenceof events, descriptions ofcharacters, dialogues andsetting. 12 pts.

    The script inadequately reflectsthe story; major events andcharacters are missing, charactersare distorted.

    8 pts.

    The script inaccuratelyreflects the story; too manyparts were altered.

    4 pts.

    Written stagedirections

    The stage directions accuratelyreflect the descriptions in the story.

    12 pts.

    T h e s t a g e d i r e c t i o n sinsuff ic ien t ly re f lec t thedescriptions in the story.

    8 pts.

    T h e s t a g e d i r e c t i o n smin ima l ly r e f l ec t t hedescriptions in the story.

    4 pts.

    Good to Excellent Average to Good PoorCriteria


    The show Follows the script closely18 pts.

    Follows the script partially12 pts.

    Follows the scriptinadequately 6 pts.

    Use of languagea) Fluency

    Spoken naturally6 pts.

    Spoken unnaturally4 pts.

    Read2 pts.

    Grammatically correct6 pts.

    Some grammatical mistakes4 pts.

    Many grammatical mistakes2 pts.

    Team work Well coordinated team effort14 pts.

    Partial coordination and teameffort 10 pts.

    Unsatisfactory coordinationand team effortt 5 pts.

    Good to Excellent Average to Good PoorCriteria

    b) Accuracy

    Use of vocabulary as in thestory 6 pts.

    Vocabulary partially from thestory 4 pts.

    Vocabulary not from the story2 pts.

    c) Vocabulary

    APPENDIX AAssessment of script 50%

    APPENDIX BAssessment of performance 50%