I decided to make an infographic project! They had to compare (or contrast), William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar to Tina Fey's Mean Girls. There are other movies you can do this to (21 is one I've seen many teachers do), but I like Mean Girls because the high schoolers can really relate to it. Plus, I teach a lot of exchange students from other countries. Since my school is private, I appreciate the ability to point out that no, not every public high school in America is like their pop portrayal.
Mean Girls, has a lot in common with Julius Caesar. Just look at the themes! However, since the movie and play have vastly different settings, and audiences, it isn't just a modern adaptation (like Ten Things I Hate About You and Taming of the Shrew). In your infographic, create an analysis of the play vs. movie where you argue the basic story of Julius Caesar was changed specifically because one one thing. Please support your ideas with at least 6 pieces of textual evidence (three from the movie, and three from the play).
I got students started by telling them they could think about which characters were alike, and then why they are different.
Many students also want to say Gretchen is like Caesar (mainly because of her monologue where she suggests Brutus is just as cute as Caesar. Give freedom here! Whatever makes the most sense to them, is what they should support.
They could also look at the setting
Students High School vs Politicians and Soldiers in Rome
60BC vs 2004
A small town near Chicago, Illinois vs The Roman Empire
And anything else they found interesting! Heck if they wanted to I'd be happy if they wrote about fashion, or diction.
- In the movie Mean Girls Regina's ambition destroys the dreams of others, but in the play of Julius Caesar his ambition destroys his life.
- The play Julius Caesar, written by William Shakespeare, talks about a character name Caesar whose ambition was potential, whereas the movie Mean Girls, written by Tina Fey, talks about Regina whose ambition was destroying social life of others.
- The differences in the stories comes from the difference in themes. Julius Caesar is a serious play with honor and a historically backed betrayal of one of the great Roman rulers. On the other hand, Mean Girls talks about betrayal at a smaller scale and relationships with other classmates.
- In the movie Mean Girls written by Tina Fey, and The Tragedy of Julius Caesar written by William Shakespeare, their main themes is individuality. Whereas Cady cares only about the good of herself, Brutus cares about the good of his country.
This was a great way to get them practicing essay writing skills, without making them write essays. They needed to find support (quotes), interpret the quotes, and analyze them to support their argument.
It was challenging, but they really enjoyed it!
This could have been done entirely as a homework assignment, but we spent two days working on it in the computer labs my school has on campus.
The three sites I suggested to my students were:
They were all free sites and I thought they all worked just fine. My students seemed to prefer piktochart. I would suggest you find the one that you like the most since you'll be the one answering their questions.
That's it! Has anyone else used infographics with their students? I am looking forward to including them in my speech class!