“Love All!” Playing a game of Question Tennis to investigate and identify themes in Shakespeare
Who? Key stage 3 & 4
Which play? Any.
This lesson would work with any play. Students explore a key question relating to the play they are studying through playing a game of question tennis. This is an excellent oracy lesson which encourages students to identify key themes in the play and consolidate their knowledge through the completion of a digital task. In our example, students considered alternative reasons for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths.
Suggested tasks: Question tennis
Firstly, how to play question tennis?
Question tennis helps to generate lots of questions on a topic or a stimulus like a quote or statement about a character in your chosen play. Students work in pairs. Partner A starts with their question, then partner B goes, then back to A and so on, like a rally in a game of tennis. If one person hesitates for too long or can’t think of what to say on their turn, their partner wins the point. The idea isn’t to answer any of the questions, but rather to generate as many questions as possible and in doing so collect interesting ideas to take forward into the rest of the lesson.
Ask students a key question about the play they are studying and explain that they are going to play a game of question tennis. Working in pairs and using your question as a starting point, they are going to ask as many questions connected to it as possible. You may need to model this briefly.
Students play and then round up scores and make a note of their best questions.
Show Spark explainer video.
Students will then produce a Spark video choosing icons to illustrate a selection of their questions.
Once students have completed their work, watch their presentations as a class and initiate discussion of what the icons symbolise...hopefully it will become clear that the key themes of the play are emerging.
This can form the basis of a neat introduction to your next lesson! Any of the presentations could form the basis of further discussion work.
Digital Literacy Skills:
- Collaboration and Creativity
- Problem Solving and Decision Making
- Visual Presentation
Example project: https://vimeo.com/346189517
Demo Video: how to do this project