Teachers could use this tool as a complete resource for studying "The Waste Land." In a 1-to-1 environment with a copy of the app for every user, students could work independently, reading and viewing the dramatization. A teacher could supplement class or small-group reading with resources from the app if they have the only copy. Students could read the text outside of the app and then teachers could show the Perspectives videos or the dramatic reenactment to the whole class, or the class could read along while listening to the poem read aloud by different readers.Continue reading Show less
The simple start screen presents seven options: Poem, Perspectives, Notes, Performance, Readings, Manuscript, and Gallery. Students can start in any of those sections or jump right into the poem and navigate to notes, readings, and the manuscript from there. The text is also searchable. For the audio readings, students can choose from seven different recordings, including two different versions by T.S. Eliot himself. The dramatic performance is presented as a one-woman-show starring Fiona Shaw and can be viewed chapter by chapter or all at once. It can also be paused. As students read the poem, they can read annotations about the content and context, as well as make their own notes that are automatically saved. Other features to support students' exploration of the poem include the original manuscript with handwritten marginal notes from the author, his wife, and Ezra Pound, as well as a gallery of images related to Eliot, the poem, and works that influenced it.
The Waste Land is a rich resource filled with supporting materials for teaching and analyzing the poem. No assessment components are included, so teachers will need to produce that on their own. The production quality is outstanding, and with several ways to interact with the text -- video, audio, annotated text, and commentary -- students will develop a stronger understanding of the work.
Each component stands out and would make a stellar app on its own. The dramatic presentation is amazing. The audio options are impressive. The commentaries are fascinating. And that original manuscript, filled with notes and revisions, is a masterpiece! Teachers could incorporate that into a writers' workshop, too, showing students the nitty-gritty reality of writing and revising in the days before word processors.
Key Standards Supported
Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)
Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.
Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).
Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)
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