Mrs. Herzog's English 12 and Honors English 12 classes just finished a series of group presentations about their summer reading book, The Awakening, Kate Chopin's classic novel of social mores, independence, and the restrictions of Victorian society. Each group was assigned to address one of four questions, ranging from how the book speaks to the roles of women at the end of the 19th century to the role of New Orleans local color and setting in the novel.
"One way to help their individual understanding of the work come alive, so to speak, is for the students to work together to create an audio/visual presentation on one aspect of the work," said Mrs. Herzog. Groups gave a 5-7 minute slide presentation outlining their positions, and prepared a video overviewing the issue as a whole.
The seniors' presentations were not only comprehensive but also interesting. As each presentation finished, students gained a better understanding of how the novel addressed the roles of women and conventions of literature at the end of the 19th century, how culture and setting played an important role with respect to the development of its significant characters, and how Kate Chopin's personal life contributed to the circumstances surrounding the plot.
"The students seemed to enjoy working on the collaborative project," said Mrs. Herzog, "and they also gained a better appreciation of this intriguing novel."
Dawson Patton and Natalie Zapp present some of their group's reactions to The Awakening.