1. GENERAL HEADING: Exploring the Text
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Detective Story"
3. GOALS: To develop students' attention to the factual details of a scene, and to involve their senses in their response to the scene.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Any number, but preferably more than five.
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: None
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: Ten to fifteen minutes, depending upon the length and complexity of the scene.
7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION:
Roles are assigned, and students read through a given scene (e.g., Macbeth 1.1).
All the other students act as detectives, seeking the facts revealed in the scene (e.g., bad weather, intent to reunite, an upcoming battle, etc.).
After the facts have been gathered, read the scene again, perhaps with the students now supplying sound effects (foot stamping for thunder, finger tapping for rain, wind sighing, cat meowing, etc.).
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION: The facts of a scene are often missed by students, and their sense of "what is happening" in a scene is then weak. Good exercise in close reading, and involves the class as a whole.
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Audrey Stanley, Co-Director of the Institute, UC-Santa Cruz
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: As an alternative, the students might raise their hands
whenever a fact emerges during the scene (reference: Edward Rocklin). This
exercise is similar to "The Research Team."