I found it important to not teach the same texts, year after year, as students catch on to what you're teaching from older siblings, word-of-mouth, etc. It's good to vary your content, while still teaching the standards, so your new students can have something to look forward to.
If you taught Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back and The Jedi Doth Return in previous years, these pages are for you! I'm offering Readers Theater Reading Role Sheets for Ian Doescher's iambic pentameter interpretations of the Star Wars prequels. This is the first book in the prequel trilogy, and I offer similar resources for the other two books.
First, I highly recommend students use the book as the script and that you have a version of the movie ready for students to watch (iTunes, DVD, Disney +, whatever works for you and your classroom).
If you haven't taught this unit with one of Doescher's books before, you should introduce iambic pentameter first. Use the supporting lesson materials, including the Two-Line Start Cards, from my previous post: Using Star Wars to introduce iambic pentameter.
Introducing Iambic Pentameter with The Phantom of Menace
In-Class Lesson Procedures:
- Buy class copies of the book. This sounds like a no-brainer, but each student needs to have a book in their hands to follow along. You also need to have the movie to watch, either through iTunes or however you buy movies for your classroom.
- Start by printing the Two Line Start Cards and laminating them, one set for each pair.
- Cut them up and put them in baskets on pairs of desks.
- Allow students to pair up or assign partners.
- If your class has already done the Two Line Start Cards for my lesson using Ian Doescher's Verily a New Hope, they'll know what to do.
- If your class is digital, aka online via video, this is perfect for having students read outloud.
- Students watch Akala's TedX talk about the links between HipHop and the Bard. Have a copy of the Sonnet #18 ready for them to read and follow, as well as the lyrics to Akala's two other songs at the end. Then crank up the volume! The kids love them.
- Then students practice reading the Two Line Start Cards to each other.
- Students use a dry erase marker (or on screen pen) to write in the breaks between syllables and show the accent in the pairs. TW circulate in the room (check student responses on screen), checking to make sure students are placing the syllable breaks and accents in the correct places and that students "get" the poetry form.
- When they're familiar with the form, students begin reading the book and watching the movie.
- TW keep track of which students read which parts using my Reading Role Sheets.
Your students will marvel at how closely Doescher follows the movie script!