Project Based Learning
Driving Question: When is it moral to act in defiance of authority?
Students explore historical and fictional examples of moral action. They focus particularly on the play Hamlet. The project is a formal debate in which each team prepares an argument about the moral responsibility that Hamlet has for certain actions leading to the deaths of other characters. One team chose to debate about whether or not Hamlet is morally responsible for the deaths of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The other debated Hamlet’s responsibility in Ophelia’s death.
As students prepared the debate, they learned the skill of structuring an argument and of using quotations to support their arguments. They also practiced presentation skills. History class covered the historical period in which the play is set and in which it was written. Students performed “The Fifteen Minute Hamlet” in Drama class, and our field experience for the project period was a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see a live performance of the play.