In early October, I worked with Mrs. Allen on an exciting plan for her MYP 10 English class. Students were asked to read The Great Gatsby over the summer, and Mrs. Allen was looking for an exciting assessment that would allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of the text on a deeper level. Our brain child was the Gatsby Gala. Modeled from a literacy strategy called The Tea Party, students were asked to assume the role of characters from the novel, or relevant historical figures that were significant to the setting and time period.
On the day of the gala, student mingled with the likes of Coco Chanel, Albert Einstein, and John D. Rockefeller. Each character brought at least three talking points that were related to the story or the time period. While the "acting" may seem a rather simplistic task, the complexity came into play when students were forced to respond to emotionally charged talking points in a manner that reflected their character. It was fun to see students embodying the ideals of another person, demonstrating their knowledge of characterization, historical relevance, and the text.
Perhaps the best part of the gala was student feedback. Most were very positive about their experience and thought it fun. In my opinion, some of the best educational experiences are when students are having so much fun they forget their actually learning something. :)