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Our Mary, Queen of Scots Interdisciplinary Learning project continues, and I’m worried. Worried because they’re all getting on brilliantly and no-one’s asking for help. Something must be wrong somewhere … surely?

The class are engrossed in writing tweets in the persona of Mary herself – although some have asked to add in replies from other people, like John Knox, Elizabeth I, Lord Darnley and the Earl of Bothwell. And because it’s tweeting, we’ve allowed less formal language and encouraged hashtags, lots and lots of hashtags.

Rather a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.

Our Mary, Queen of Scots IDL classes work in rotation over three subjects: Art, Modern Languages and Social Subjects. Each class has an introductory lesson, four periods with each class, with a trip to Stirling Castle early in the term and the chance to pull it all together into a collage at the end of term.

We split Mary’s life into ten time periods, split the class into ten groups, and asked each pair to focus their research into just that one time period. I’d already pulled together a load of load of video clips to along with the books – of which there aren’t that many actually – and added them onto the school website along with the other links.

The result is that they learn a fair bit about one short period of Mary’s life, but since they want to share all the tweets with each other, they’re actually peer teaching the rest of her life too. And in order to make the tweets make sense, they have to mention a particular event, and add Mary’s reaction, all in 140 characters. The character limit allows the class to accomplish a lot in a short space of time.

A couple of my favourites:

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Once most of the tweets are complete I explain how to make their work look like a real Twitter page with images and text wrapping but with more of a 16th century feel using their choice of fonts.

And at this stage my services are required again. Nice to be needed 🙂

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