While plays by authors such as Ibsen and Shakespeare are often taught in schools, challenging gifted youth to read plays that are less well known benefits them by extending their academic reach. The Fantasticks is the longest running musical in history, yet most students are unfamiliar with it. An examination of the play affords students the opportunity to explore it in both a scholarly and artistic way, and it builds their cultural awareness.
Students should carefully review the rubrics prior to completing the assignments.
Assignment One: Read the history of the play. Create a 10-question scavenger hunt quiz based on the information in the history. A scavenger hunt quiz is one in which you phrase the questions as you would clues in a scavenger hunt. For example, "Can you find four other plays the writers created together?" Then write an open-ended question over it. You do not need to write an answer for the open-ended question, but you should provide an answer key for the scavenger hunt questions.
Assignment Two: Read the synopsis of the play. Write your own synopsis in 10-15 lines that have a clear rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme may be ABAB or AABBCC or any other scheme you choose.
Assignment Three: Read about the controversial language in the play and respond to the questions below using complete sentences.
After reading the play, answer the following questions in full, complete responses.
Write a two-page essay (double-spaced) that responds to one of the following prompts:
This series of lessons was designed to meet the needs of gifted children for extension beyond the standard curriculum with the greatest ease of use for the educator. The lessons may be given to the students for individual self-guided work, or they may be taught in a classroom or a home-school setting. Assessment strategies and rubrics are included at the end of each section. The rubrics often include a column for "scholar points," which are invitations for students to extend their efforts beyond that which is required, incorporating creativity or higher level technical skills.