Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Activity’

Folger Library Exterior: Bas relief: Julius Caesar

by Gina Voskov

One of the courses I teach at my school is 6th grade Humanities, and next up in our year’s curriculum plan is learning about Ancient Greece and Rome. I’m excited about getting the kids up and out of their seats for this class, and the best way I can do that is by getting them to interact with Shakespeare.

For this unit, I’ll be giving them some Julius Caesar, the Cinna the Poet scene in particular. This scene never fails to get all kids speaking, thinking, and moving. It’s also just about the easiest scene in the books with respect to language–there’s none of that stuff that turns so many kids away–the thee‘s and thine‘s and whatnot. I love giving this scene to groups of kids at the start of the year because it’s a great way to build community. But now that we are 3/4ths of the way through the year, I’m going to open our unit with performance. This scene will definitely have them asking questions about history, which is what we teachers hope for, right? (more…)

Read Full Post »

A while back I wrote Shakespeare in Other Words citing the reasons teachers should avoid using “No Fear” or “Made Easy” or any other parallel text edition in their classroom. Needless to say, it generated over 40 comments, including some from an author of “The Shakespeare Novels.”

But now I realize that simply dismissing those books wasn’t enough. What should teachers do, who not only find it difficult to teach the real stuff, but who may struggle with the language themselves? So here are a few suggestions:

  1. Since students can access the No Fear versions online for free, why not suggest or even encourage them to read them at home. And then read and teach the real text in class.
  2. Start with “baby steps.”
  3. Begin with a 15 Minute Play. There are eight of them on the Folger site.
  4. Pull out 30 juicy lines from the play you’ll be studying, put each line on a 3×5 note card, and give one to each student. Then they find a partner, come up with a scene using only the words on the cards, and perform the scene for the class.
  5. Instead of Made Easy texts, create a Made Shorter text. Using the Folger Digital Texts, copy a scene, paste it into a Word file, and edit it to a version that your students can handle.
  6. If you want to teach Iambic Pentameter, watch the video called Living Iambic Pentameter, but DO NOT SHOW IT TO YOUR CLASS. Instead, do your own version in class. No kid wants to watch other kids having fun.

Those are just a few ways to get past the fear and teach Shakespeare for Real. Post your comments below with other suggestions.

Read Full Post »


This summer my nieces and nephews have been to dance, cheerleading , basketball, science, and EVEN computer animation camps!  They play acting too, singing/dancing playing pretend, etc (my nephew played the son in The Winter’s Tale at school through Shakespeare Steps Out!).

BUT AS A FAMILY spending a Saturday morning during the summer at the library was not something she thought would go over well until I told her about our family series, Shake Up Your Saturdays!

The girls anticipate learning an Elizabethan dance, the boys look forward to their First Folio scavenger hunt, and my sister is enthusiastic AND encouraged. It’s free! :)

Join us this Saturday, August 6, for a Folger family program on Shakespeare and the First Folio. It’s from 10am – 11am and geared towards kids ages 6 – 12. To reserve your spot, call 202.675.0395 or e-mail educate@folger.edu.

Read Full Post »

Opening next week at the Folger is an exhibit about Extra-Illustration – the art of adding illustrations (and materials) to a book to make it a personal item for one’s reading experience.  The works of William Shakespeare were some of the most popular books to be illustrated in this way, next to the Bible and encyclopedias, rising to popularity after an historian named James Granger encouraged his readers to add pictures into his text to illustrate historical figures.

 “Grangerizing” books became popular because it gave people points of reference for their personal reading experiences. They would add in everything from doodles in the margins to full-page watercolors over text, from playbills of productions they’d seen to artists’ renderings of famous actors, and everything else they could think of. Their own personal tastes and styles became part of the book they were reading, and allowed them to express the way they saw the plays in their minds.

 Today, I’m going to borrow a page out of Mike LoMonico’s e-book to offer this modern “grangerizing” activity: Hypertext

 For example, take Sonnet 130 (because I am listening to Alan Rickman read it on the album When Love Speaks). Choosing words that stick out, create hyperlinks to pictures which illustrate these words by using a simple image search.

 My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;

Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;

If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;

If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.

I have seen roses damasked, red and white,

But no such roses see I in her cheeks;

And in some perfumes is there more delight

Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.

I love to hear her speak, yet well I know

That music hath a far more pleasing sound;

I grant I never saw a goddess go;

My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.

     And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare

     As any she belied with false compare.

 With this activity, you’ll have a chance to see what individuals choose to represent words in the text – you can find a million pictures of “eyes” but one has to stick out to you in order to choose it. And how do you picture a “pleasing sound” or “delight”?  Try e-Grangerizing, or having students illustrate their own chosen passages with original drawings, magazine cutouts, or other media.

Read Full Post »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,129 other followers