STEP ONE: Brainstorming
When we finished the whole play, I grouped students and told them to brainstorm a list of the puzzle pieces that we had discussed. After their list was complete, they had to decide which of the pieces were the corners and edges; in other words, which elements of the play were the most important ones in understanding Shakespeare’s overall purpose?
STEP TWO: Independent work
Each student chose one element of the play to focus on.
STEP THREE: building the puzzle pieces
The next day, the groups were given more paper. This time, each group got two copies of a smaller page with linked puzzle pieces.
STEP FOUR: Putting the puzzle together
Finally, each group was given chart paper, scissors, markers and glue sticks so they could create their final puzzle. They decided on an overall conclusion, wrote it on the top of the paper, then arranged their puzzle pieces underneath.
They hung their sheets on the walls of the classroom and did a quick presentation to the class about how and why they had reached their conclusion. Students walked around the room to look more closely at what other groups had concluded with their own copy of the sheet with the multiple puzzle pieces.
That night, they were to create an outline for an essay that discusses Shakespeare’s purpose in the play, so I wanted them to have their own sheet to refer to as they worked on it.