Honestly, I’ve no idea, but the girls at my school are wondering.
This term we’re studying Romeo and Juliet in Yr 9 English. We’ve been sharing our thoughts about the play on our shared Ning and have watched the 1968 Franco Zeffirelli version of the play in class to help with our understanding. There’s no doubt tackling Shakespeare’s language is difficult when you first confront it; we have to be mindful that it is a play meant to be performed, not read.
An observation we’ve made (and I have to admit I was the first to raise it with my class!) is the uncanny resemblance Zac Efron has to Leonard Whiting who plays Romeo in the 1968 film.
I’ve been out to dinner tonight and took a look at the Ning when I got home to see if there was any activity I needed to follow up. What I discovered was a forum post that’s been added by the students, Leonard Whiting (Romeo) vs Zac Efron. They’ve posed this question for consideration;
Were these two separated at birth? (Or father and son?)
and added attachments with pictures of Leonard and Zac. So far seven students have replied. My favourite is this;
Totally, Leonard could be Zac’s Father…
and do you think that Romeo and Juliet and High School musical are related?
Now, some might say this isn’t the kind of discussion topic noteworthy of inclusion. I couldn’t disagree more. For a start, it was a discussion initiated by the students around something that has sprung from what we are doing at school. This isn’t the first time this has happened. The students are adding their own forum topics quite regularly. What it is, is a demonstration of the community that has formed around this Ning. The students are using it as a focus point for discussion; they are relaxed in the space and feel at ease sharing their opinions.
I love it. It’s confirmed for me once again why a participatory learning culture is important; we are human beings who need to interact, we don’t need to work in isolation and many of us don’t want to. Why should our classrooms operate as islands when we can form archipelagoes?