Classics can also be "cool". How to turn "Pan Tadeusz" (Mister Thaddeus) into Mickiewicz 2.0

Photo: Still from the film " Mr. Thaddeus" Photo: arch. TVP

"It happened sometimes that someone boasted that he or she had passed matriculation by writing about Winnie the Pooh or Shrek," laments Joanna Kwiatkowska, a teacher from the Koło Circle, who hopes that the new, more difficult Polish language exam will encourage young people to read books.

As she says, there are reads, bestsellers and masterpieces. And teachers of Polish literature do everything to encourage students to read the latter. Why don't young people want to reach for the pearls of Polish literature? And how can this reluctance be overcome?

Participants of the competition for primary and secondary school students "Designers of Education", organised by the publishing house "Nowa Era", are looking for the answers. In the recently concluded edition, the main prize was awarded to five applied projects, which included setting up a photographic darkroom or creating anti-stress objects. But among the 75 grants awarded at the first stage, there were many original cultural projects promoting reading. And in works referring to literature, which made it to the final stage, special recognition was given to Adam Mickiewicz, the national poet, who wrote a great poem in the now incomprehensible thirteen-verse.

"Dziady" ("Forefathers' Eve") and Lego bricks

"We are a group of creative students who are not afraid of new challenges," wrote the participants from the Queen Jadwiga Primary School No. 1 in Oświęcim in their application to the competition. They wanted to prove that the classics can also be "cool. As part of their extracurricular activities, they created a time-lapse film (that is a film in which a sequence of photographs is shown at an accelerated pace), which is an adaptation of the second part of " Forefathers' Eve" by Adam Mickiewicz.

"At our school we run a 'Creative Mind' club. The subject of time-lapse film enjoys great interest during the classes. Students from eighth grade take part in them, hence the idea to make such a film at the end of our several years' cycle of meetings," says Angelika Michniak, a Polish language teacher and coordinator of the project " Frame by frame: "Forefathers' Eve Part II by Adam Mickiewicz".

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By Łukasz Lubański and translated by Tomasz Krzyżanowski