Multiliteracies in ELA Classrooms

Media Project #1: “The Lottery” — A Dramatic Performance

July 13th, 2013 · 1 Comment

Here’s the link to our performance information – enjoy!

The Lottery Dramatic Performance


—– Adam, Irene, Katarina, Natalia and Natasha 🙂

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1 response so far ↓

  • TMD // Jul 17th 2013 at 7:41 am

    Dear Adam, Irene, Katarina, Natalia and Natasha,

    I am responding to Media I Project, the materials for which you posted on Saturday. Let me first say that the presentation itself was very powerful. The selection of the background image and music, the costumes, the atmosphere you created through tone of voice in the delivery of lines — all combined to create a sinister, threatening mood that captured the sense of this story very well. Your project was very well done and evidenced a great deal of thought and effort.

    One student commented that the tone was not comparable to that in the story. It is true, in the prose version there is lightheartedness at the outset that shifts to horror as the nature of the “lottery” becomes clear to readers. I think this is a necessary feature of the tale told in narrative form. The way in which the complicity of readers is conveyed is through that change in tone: readers begin in innocence and then realize what they are “witnessing.” By then it is too late to stop. Jackson achieves a scenario that, for readers, raises the matter of the legal doctrine ignorantia legs neminem excusat — ignorance is no defence. What is the implication of witnessing such an act and doing nothing to stop it? It’s a powerful narrative ploy, and the story is highly relevant in contemplating contemporary scenarios such as embedded journalism.

    Your group did an outstanding job of achieving a similar dilemma for the LLED 368 class members by physically involving them in the drama as unwitting (in some cases) executioners. The adaptation was highly suitable for the modality you chose for performance, and you have effectively demonstrated that “fidelity” is not necessarily a sign of good adaptation: artists must work with the affordances and constraints of the selected medium. What is possible in prose is not necessarily possible in, for example, film or drama. You observe, “This adaptation of the Lottery was aimed at impressing a real-life sentiment of the story’s theme upon ELA students. That is, the students will be able to understand the psychological phenomenon of group behaviour and its potential devastating effects on society from first-hand experience.” There is no question that you achieved your desired end.

    Your written materials are excellent. I agree with your statements respecting possible challenges; however, the power of such an activity if it is successful is worth a risk. Evidently one needs to gauge the receptiveness of one’s class before attempting the activity.

    In terms of your rubric, do you feel there would be merit to adding a component to gauge creative process? As well, you may wish to define certain terms in the rubric for students (mood/tone), and perhaps soften language such as “failed to understand” in all of the “needs improvement” column. An inadequate product may be the result of many breakdowns, only one of which is a failure to understand.

    Again, this was an outstanding presentation. I look forward to seeing the sequel!

    Best regards,


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