Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

16. The Search For Identity

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
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- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Author Activities

David Mamet - Teaching Tips

Back Back to David Mamet Activities
  • One of the best ways to get your students interested in drama is to have them act out scenes for the class. You can choose the scenes or allow the students to pick their own. Remind them to pay close attention to both their vocal performances and their body language. To reinforce the play's themes, ask them to follow up their dramatic performances with analyses (including close readings) of the scenes that they acted out.

  • Mamet has written many screenplays and many of his plays have been made into films. Choose a scene or two from one of these plays, and ask your students to analyze the characters' language. You might ask them to come up with a list of characteristics of Mamet's work that they can compare to Glengarry Glen Ross after they read the play. Also, after the students read Glengarry Glen Ross, you could show a scene from the movie and ask them to compare the reading experience to the viewing experience. What does the film bring to or take from the play?

  • Many students have a hard time engaging with literature if they don't "like" any of the characters, and Mamet is famous for creating generally unsympathetic characters. Encourage students to find ideas in the text to which they can relate. Or, ask them if Mamet's representations seem "realistic." Do the students know people like this? Or, do the students know people who talk like this?

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