From Cinse Bonino, Director of the Center for Instructional Practice
(This list can be found on clearspace at: https://share.champlain.edu/clearspace/docs/DOC-6291 Feel free to add to it!)
Concepts to explore in the following classes:
* How are the two families represented in the play similar to each other as distinct community groups?
* How do they differ?
* How are the combined community (of friends & lovers) formed by the two families compare to each of the families.
* Who is the leader in each family community? Why is he or she in this role?
* Who is the leader of the combined community?
* What community “rules” or behavior expectations seem to exist?
* How does information or lack of information affect individuals and the community?
* Where does Mercy fit into this micro community structure? What is her role?
* What aspects of community might the bees represent?
* How does Felix’s mother argue for what she wants?
* Does she use the same “voice” and type of argument with all of the characters?
* How does Felix argue for what he wants?
* How is his argument different than his mother’s?
* How do George’s rhetorical strategies compare to those of Felix and his mother?
* Mercy shows her “character” to us through what she does and doesn’t say; which reveals more about her? Why?
* How might you present a particular argument to each of these characters?
* Does everyone have an equal voice in what happens in this group?
* Is there an unspoken “election” of a particular person as leader?
* What are the “goods” that each person strives to acquire? What must they “spend” in order to obtain those goods?
* How is information or the lack thereof used as power in this social group?
The Secular & the Sacred
* In what ways could the bees be seen as sacred to Felix’s father?
* Does secular approval or “official” recognition of something we hold sacred affect how sacred it seems to us?
* What is sacred to Felix?
* What seems to be the guiding principle in each character’s life?
Global Studies: Human Rights
* Should a woman be required, morally or by law, to inform a man if she bears his child?
* Should a child have the right to know who his father is?
* Is it acceptable to lie to someone about a major life event in their parent (or other loved one’s life) in order to “spare” them pain?
Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, Broadcasting, Brand and Account Management
* How can you use various characteristics of bees to sell non-bee related products?
* How would you market this play to different audiences?
* Flowers are often named after people – what kinds of names for flowers might you create for particular celebrity, political, or historical figures?
* Use the words “Humble Boy” as a brand – what is it for? How does it look?
* What PSA could you write based on a concept within this play?
Electronic Media Writing & Publishing
* How might you script this play as an audio only production?
* Imagine that this story is a movie – how would you “show” what happened on the stage?
* What PSA could you write based on a concept within this play?
Media and Society, Film/Film History, Video Storytelling, & Audio Production
* How have father/son and mother/son relationships been used in film scripts?
* How might you make use of a “missing” or deceased parent in a script? What is gained by having one parent be absent from the interactions of the other characters?
* How have films handled the possible connections that exist between survivors and their deceased loved ones? How do they “show” them to the audience?
* What type of direction would you give to each actor to help them better portray their character?
* How could you create a video of this play telling the story from a different point of view – the remaining queen bee for example?
Human Communication & Small Group Communication
* How does Felix’s mother treat each of the other characters? How do you think each of them would describe how she views them?
* Felix has reverted to stuttering; is he able to communicate successfully anyway? Why or why not?
* Does Felix’s communication style differ when he speaks with different characters?
* What are the power dynamics within each family group?
* What are the power dynamics when the families get together?
* Do the characters have any common goals or views?
* Mercy seems unaware of much that is going on around her; how does this affect her ability to communicate with the others?
Game Design, Game Development, & Art & Animation
* If each of these characters were part of a bee hive which type of bee would they be?
* What are the obstacles that Felix has to traverse in order to reach his destination? What is his destination or goal; what are key points along the way?
* How could you use art to tell this story without using text?
* How would you navigate through this same storyline differently as each of the characters?
* What animal could be used to represent each character?
* Brainstorm various games based on bees, based on flowers, based on gardens…
Drawing, Art History, Sculpture
* How have bees been used in art? What do bees represent in art in different cultures?
* How many ways could you incorporate a honeycomb pattern into art?
* If “Humble Boy” were the title of a painting or a sculpture, what would it look like? What would it represent?
* How can you use art to portray humbleness?
* If you were to draw each character in an exaggerated manner, what would you focus on for each?
Graphic Design, Typography
* What font would you use to portray humility?
* How might you design a flower seed pack or perennial label to represent each character?
* Create a garden diagram that portrays the importance of and interactions among characters.
* Why does Felix’s mother keep secrets from him?
* What might be causing Felix to stutter?
* Why does Felix’s mother feel an attraction to George?
* Felix’s mother has/had a complicated relationship with his father – how would you describe their relationship based on the evidence at hand?
* Why does Mercy seem so willing to “support” Felix’s mother? Is this a healthy relationship?
* How self-aware does George appear to be?
* How might you use attributes of a bee hive to help students learn about: dance & movement, communication, community, working collaboratively, safety, sounds, the letter Z, the letter B, designs, shapes, homes, flight, food, and folk medicine?
* How might you design an integrated cross subject instructional plan to maximize a visit to a beekeeper?
Writing, Creative Writing, Creative Non-Fiction, Journalism, & Interactive Storytelling
* How might an author tell this story from each of the different character’s perspective?
* How might this story be used as part of an anthology? What would the overarching topic be?
* What non-fiction topics can be found within this play?
* What choice points could you embed in this story to make it interactive? What would be some of the possible consequences or outcomes of those choices?
* How would you write a newspaper report of Felix’s dad’s death that included a character sketch of the man?
* Is there only one” true” version of what happened in a given situation?
* How can a writer honor the truth when relating an event that actually took place?
* How would each of the characters describe Felix’s dad differently? How might a good reported combine those stories to create a “truthful” whole?
* Write a poem about the bees, about being Humble Boy, about naming a flower or a star for someone you admire (or detest)…
* Write a children’s story about a beekeeper and his relationship to his bees and his son or daughter.
* Should women be required morally or by law to let a man know when she bears his child?
* How was the attraction that Felix and George’s daughter felt the same or different than that between George and Felix’s mom?
* Is it possible for two people who have been sexually involved to ever be “just friends” after they break up?
* Why do you think Felix’s mom chose to have a relationship with George? Was the relationship about sex?
* Why does George’s daughter offer herself sexually to Felix?
* How do the sex lives of bees compare to those of humans? Are there any similarities?