1. GENERAL HEADING: Writing Prompts
2. TITLE OF EXERCISE: "Graffiti Exercise"
3. GOALS: To provide a safe space in which students can debate the opinions
of a play.
4. NUMBER OF STUDENTS: Groups of 10 or larger.
5. EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES: Prepare sheets of paper, each with a different
quotation from the play which clearly articulates a provocative opinion
or position of a character. There should be enough for two-thirds of the
class. Students need pens, pencils, and should sit in a circle.
6. CLASS TIME NEEDED: 10 minutes writing; 20 - 30 minutes discussion.
7. STEP-BY-STEP DESCRIPTION: Each piece of paper represents a bathroom door,
and students are invited to respond anonymously in the form of graffiti
to the words that they see already on the door. Students must be instructed
to write quickly, spontaneously, and anonymously, and then to pass the sheet
of paper to the next student available. Graffiti-style jokes and flippancy
are to be encouraged! Continue passing sheets until each student has had
the chance to contribute to several, and each quotation has been followed
by 8 - 12 responses. Then read the sequences aloud, and discuss the difference
of opinions represented.
8. POINTS FOR OBSERVATION, DISCUSSION:
· Dialectic of the play: extreme positions, and more moderate ones;
· Judging the characters and thoughts by contemporary values;
· Rhetorical shape of the play and its characters.
9. SOURCE/REFERENCE: Julia Matthews, Wesleyan College.
10. ADDITIONAL READING: N.A.
11. VARIATIONS: Invite students to outline or write essays based on the
flow of opinions.