Digital Mysteries: Macbeth's Influences
By Reflective Thinking
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This is a unique app in allowing pairs to work simultaneously on one iPad with a task designed to encourage discussion around the main question ‘What are the key influences on the behaviour of Macbeth?’
Users are given digital, illustrated slips of information designed to help students ‘unpack’ and analyse the events leading up to Macbeth’s decision to become a multiple murderer. They must read these slips, organise them into groups and then sequence them to represent how they came to an answer. Additional sub-questions are also provided which teachers can choose to focus on if required.
As students carry out the task together, there are constant discussion triggers. This further adds to their understanding of the topic as a whole. Retention of information is also a strong point of this app as pupils must look at the same content from two different perspectives – grouping it then taking it out of groups to lay in an overall sequence.
Following solving the ‘mystery’, an automatic PDF report with screenshots and information of the session can be shared or printed. Students can also go through the Reflection Stage in which they playback the process and reflect on their ideas. This can be done alone, with their group, with their teacher or even as a class. It is an excellent way to help develop higher level thinking skills, while at the same time, learning information crucial to exams.
This resource is intended to enable students to understand and discuss this popular choice for GCSE assessment, and has three difficulty levels which enables teachers to match the task to different abilities. On ‘easy’, there are 12 slips, with more coming in at each level: medium (18) and hard (24).
It is suggested that lower abilities could benefit from guidance so they can identify the evidence to support their conclusions about Macbeth’s motivation. More able students can discuss Macbeth’s character, but it is hoped that this exercise will help them to evaluate the importance of each factor, and the ways that Macbeth’s actions and statements reflect the evolution of his character and relationships over the course of the play.
Who is this app for?
Those age 14-16 (KS4). By having three difficulty levels, it supports differentiation in class and can be suited to varying abilities/levels of knowledge. As the difficulty level goes up, more slips are added which develop the students’ understanding of certain aspects in the play.
What is different about Digital Mysteries?
• Truly collaborative: It is unique in that more than one student can interact with it at once
• Retention: Working with information slips from two different perspectives (grouping, then fitting them into a sequence) ensures students remember more
• Higher-level thinking: The multiple discussion points, combined with the task’s open-ended nature, leads to students developing these skills
• Engagement: Mysteries split bulks of information into short snippets which makes it more digestible, plus working with peers leads to higher engagement levels
What does a mystery consist of?
• Illustrated slips of information: Including facts on the topic alongside story-based snippets about a particular character and their experiences
• Open question: To maximise the potential of discussion and expression of ideas, the task is usually open ended
• Extras: Most tasks come with personalised hints for those who need them. E.g. suggestions for grouping or sequencing their slips
• Description: This gives teachers the information they need to plan their session including the curriculum point each task links to, the advised age range and possible learning outcomes
How can I try other mysteries?
At the bottom of the app details tab, tap ‘Developer Apps’ to view our current range.
What's New in Version 3.3
Fixed bug where in some cases screenshots would not save in session reports.
- Category: Education
- Updated: 23 April 2015
- Version: 3.3
- Size: 16.4 MB
- Language: English
- Developer: Modular Software Ltd
- © 2015 Reflective Thinking
Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.