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What began as a Google webquest morphed into a Prezi webquest but has quickly

burgeoned into an entire unit on Hamlet. A teacher could use this Prezi and essentially teach an
entire month-long differentiated course with little adaptation or extraneous effort other than a
calendar of due dates.
The webquest exhibits differentiation through content, process, and product, as
prescribed by Chapman and King (2005). For content and process, students are given multiple
media for accessing Hamlet. A script reading and annotation, a film analyis, an embedded
comparative film Prezi analysis, a critical essay, character-inspired songs, a Rorschach inkblot
activity, a film director activity, and speed trivia are among the various strategies that I have
implemented to allow students multiple avenues for engaging with and processing the play.
Embedded choices (Ophelia Youtube videos), multiple modalities (mentioned above), and extra
opportunities (Rorschach meta-connection) are designed to reflect and engage student interest,
needs, and strengths, respectively.
Product differentiation is evident, particularly, through the assessment stage, but also in
almost all areas of the quest. An annotated script, a self-evaluation, and multiple journal entries
are produced before the official assessment stage is even reached. The student self-evaluation is
an attempt to engage students in meta-analysis, connecting them with an understanding of their
own learning style, and, later (in Act V), encouraging them to explicitly explore that style and
choose assessments accordingly. This attempt to involve students in the development of their
own process, as recommended by Tomlinson (2001), is also evidenced in the creation
requirement of the assessment stage, during which students must develop (and get approval for)
their own rubric. This final assessment stage incorporates three requirements: writing,
memorization, and creation. Students may choose from a broad range of options in each
category, again allowing for differentiation with regard to strengths, needs, and interests.
Multiple essay possibilities with a rubric, explicitly attached to school expectations, and multiple
memorization passages with a range of difficulties, allow students to challenge themselves as
necessary while finding a plane of comfort when needed. The creative options include, among
others, the construction of a model of the Globe Theater, costume design, review writing for one
of the film versions, creation of a movie poster, production of a short scene from the play,
painting a picture, writing a song, creating a trivia game, or developing an entirely original idea.
These options clearly address multiple learning styles and could be adapted to group activities.
I dont believe that I have ever been as proud of an academic product. Not only is this
going to be very useful to me in the future, and not only is it highly differentiated, but I have
attempted to make it highly attractive and creative. Each of the steps of the unit is broken into an
act, five to parallel Hamlet, and each act begins with a quote from the play that I connect to the
activity. My favorite piece of the presentation reveals itself in the final slide, when the camera
pans out and reveals that the viewer has been forming part of the constellation of Hercules, a
mythological figure that features heavily as a motif in the play. The link to the Prezi may be
found here: http://prezi.com/dmfnkh8bbz2j/hamlet-webquest/
References
Chapman, C. and King, R. (2005). Differentiated Assessment Strategies: One Tool Doesnt Fit
All. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Tomlinson, C. A. (2001). How to differentiate instruction in mixed-ability
classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.