Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.
The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote de La Mancha, often simply referred to as Don Quixote, is an early 17th-century novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Considered by many to be the first modern novel and generally acknowledged as the national novel of Spain, it's a story that's had limitless impact on world literature. The following project ideas are designed to be adaptable for various grade and experience levels.
Don Quixote Project Ideas
Dramatize A Scene
Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group a section of Don Quixote, and ask them to turn it into a one-act play. Students will write scripts, assign parts, rehearse, and ultimately perform their scene for the class. For this performance, consider one of the following options:
- Live actors: Students will assign parts and act out the characters, events and dialogue within their section of Don Quixote. You can let them do this in their street clothes, or if time allows ask them to make basic props and costumes (in the simplest terms, these could be even made out of paper). If you have more time and resources at your disposal, you may ask students to make more elaborate costumes and props.
- Marionettes: Marionettes (marionetas) have been a part of Spanish folk culture for a long time. Using sturdy paper and thin rods or string, you can ask students to make simple marionettes/puppets. Let students see images of traditional Spanish marionettes for references. Students will make basic scenery out of paper as well for a puppet-show performance of their scene of Don Quixote.
Heir of Quixano
This is an individual creative writing project. After having read Don Quixote, students will analyze the novel and briefly write about the ways that Cervantes uses his titular character to satirize Spanish culture and history. Students will then take this idea and apply it to modern times, in a short story called The Heir of Quixano. In this story, students will create a protagonist who has become obsessed with something in the modern popular culture of their society. For example, while Quixano was obsessed with medieval chivalry tales, the heir of Quixano could be obsessed with modern romance novels, vampire fiction, or superhero movies. Students will then craft a narrative in which their protagonist embarks on a quest to live out the ideals of this genre, using this to satirize modern society.
When students are done with their writing, consider expanding this project with one of the following:
- Ask students to draw a cover for their book
- Ask students to come to class dressed as the protagonist of their story and present the narrative to the class
- Have students share and edit their work in peer groups, then compile their narrative into an edited collection of short stories. Each student should write a sample introduction or preface as an editor of the volume.
Impact of Don Quixote
Students will start by conducting a research project about the impact and legacy of Don Quixote on world literature. In particular, they will be looking at the influence of the character of Don Quixote and his foolish quest, and trying to identify where these tropes have reemerged in literature since then. This is an attempt to find other ''quixotic'' characters and plots in literature. Once students have completed the basic research element of the project, they can apply it in one of the following ways:
- Create a timeline that maps out the major appearances of this character type and plot theme throughout literature. Turn this into a poster project for presentation.
- Write a short story in which all of the characters are brought together to engage in one large and ridiculous quest.
- Have students work in groups to identify several characters. Each student in the group will dress up and act as that character. The group will present their research in a sort of living literature timeline skit.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Register to view this lesson
Unlock Your Education
See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com
Become a Study.com member and start learning now.Become a Member
Already a member? Log InBack