2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Shakespearean Literature Circles: Analyzing Hamlet Collaboratively
Mary K. Benedick♦
Rebecca Dierking, Dr. Barbara Price, and Dr. Joseph Benevento, Faculty Mentors

In the high school English classroom, even the strongest students are often challenged when analyzing a Shakespearean play, as they consider the Bard's complex language a barrier. This frustration typically results in too much literary direction from the teacher and too little student interpretation. However, according to recent research as well as the principles of best practice pedagogy, learning should be both student-centered and cooperative. Literature circles, which are commonly used in middle school classrooms, give students the chance to learn with and from each other. In this case study, I research how the literature circle model impacts the way students analyze Shakespeare's Hamlet. After observing each group read and discuss the play together, evaluating three drafts of analytical writing from each student, and reading student responses to survey questions about the literature circles, I began to see some evidence that indicated students were able to analyze the text more closely due to the support within their circles.

Keywords: Shakespeare, Cooperative Learning, Literature Circles

Topic(s):English, Secondary MAE Research

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -2
Location: VH 1224
Time: 1:15

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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