The days are slowly passing by and the students are keeping a finger count of the number of days that are left for them to appear for their ICSE 2015 Board Exam. Schools need to complete their portions and teachers are under a real stress on how to help the students meet the target of 90% or above in their respective subjects.
Since I am an English Teacher of High School, my only concern was how to guide the students to revise Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’ which is a part of the English Literature paper and also a part of the new syllabus. There are not many practice papers which are yet to be published and the prescribed workbook is not sufficient to score an average of 90% in that paper. After racking my brains out I thought of experimenting with an innovative way of revising the whole book and to explore how much the students have grasped and picked up from the class lectures.
Hence, here is just an example of a method which I applied in my English Literature Revision class for The Merchant of Venice Syllabus and I am proud to say that it has really worked out amazingly among the students of X STd, who would be appearing for their ICSE Boards this coming March 2015.
I completed my portions in the month of August 2014, which was my actual deadline. Then keeping the class strength in mind I divided the class among five groups and each group was presented with a full Act of Shakespeare’s, The Merchant of Venice’.
They were briefed to prepare extracts from that particular act and ask the other groups, while the other groups would take down the extracts and try to answer them. After the completion of this extract activity that particular group had to do the role play of that particular act keeping in mind that they had to use 75% of Shakespeare’s dialogues from the course book and 25% they can make up their own dialogues. In simple words the students were asked to learn up the Old English dialogue as presented in the play.
The groups were given their dates when they had to revise the particular act and for that act that particular group became the teachers while the members of the other groups were students. Each student among the audience had a revision copy in which all the extracts were taken down. The questions framed by the groups were based on ICSE Pattern and the answers had to be to the point and relevant.
The teacher only interfered and gave her suggestions whenever required, usually when the groups had faulty questions or the questions were not up to the ICSE Standard. Even if the other members of the groups failed to answer the teacher would adopt the technique of prompt and probe method in order to help the students come out with the answers.
Taking the help of this method of revision this batch of 2015 has completed 45 extracts as the V Act is still going on. This has not only helped the students to skim and scan through the text thoroughly but has also given them the idea of what kind of questions might be coming for the ICSE 2015. It has also helped them to know and understand how much information needs to be added in their answers which has to have the focus of the question in mind.
Finally, as the revision of Section A (The Merchant of Venice) of the Literature in English Paper is almost completed the teacher can move on to give a bit of more practice on the questions given in the workbook. This might be of extra help.
And after that gets over and just before they go for their study leave the classic of The Merchant of Venice is shown to the students so that they remember and recall whatever they have revised in the two years.
Hope this activity helps in fetching the students the deserved marks that they intend to achieve in their English Literature ICSE Board Exam 2015.