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Qcr520 lesson teaching shakespeare

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  • 1. QCR520 Approaches - Teaching Shakespeare -
  • 2. Activity 1 • One-minute defence – On your own, write a defence of introducing Shakespeare in the classroom (or not!?) • You have about 5 minutes to list down your arguments (for or against introducing Shakespeare into a Secondary classroom) • You have 1 minute to defend your stand.
  • 3. Problems students encounter • The language of Shakespeare • The complicated plots of the plays especially the comedies or history plays • The lack of stage directions • The use of Acts, scenes and lines • The use of blank verse • The complication of the historical setting of the plays
  • 4. Some Suggestions • The language – With most classes, you will probably need to provide them with a modern translation to begin with – As a start, you may want to skim scenes which may not make much sense to the students. – Provide them with a glossary of terms pertinent to the play they are studying
  • 5. Some Suggestions • We can get students to come out to the front and do the actions and facial expressions while another student reads the words. • The role of FILM – One way to teach Shakespeare is to read an Act and then show that section of the film with students reading along with their texts. – After showing an original traditional version of Shakespeare show a modern version – the recent BBC series or modernist versions.
  • 6. Some Suggestions • Read a scene in class and then have them write a modern language expansion of the scene. – For instance, when Lady Macbeth is going mad, write a scene where the servants, including her nurse, are speaking about her at the lunch table. Then the scene with the nurse and the doctor.
  • 7. How much Background do the students need? • Not too much! – Perhaps you could write a journal entry or a short narrative about someone living in Shakespeare’s time and their experience of going to the theatre. – Use illustrations from the internet google image search • to show what London looked like – what people wore. – Use short excerpts from Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth etc. to show what life was like. – Introduce them to the MAN…
  • 8. How to interest them? • Use the sensational parts of Shakespeare to get students interested – the witches in Macbeth – the ghost in Hamlet – the storm in The Tempest, the murders and blood. • With Romeo and Juliet students are really interested in Juliet’s age and her preparedness to be put in a tomb with dead bodies.
  • 9. How to interest them? • Students really enjoy – the witches’ scene in Macbeth. – scene of Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth. – the nurse’s scene with Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. – conflict – swordsmanship – choreography of scenes.
  • 10. How to Interest them? • Use the skills of the class – dancers/ singers/musicians/artists/ history lovers /film makers/ actors etc. – Get students to use visuals to approach the texts. – Comic strips – Posters – Illustrations for retellings – Class room decorations – Film making – Collages
  • 11. How to Interest Them? • WRITING – Lower Sec: It is better for them to do modern retellings of the scenes or stories. For example – set Macbeth in a school, or a football team, set Romeo and Juliet in two rival fashion houses. • Students like writing in the forms they are familiar with in their own popular culture – Get students to sms message between Romeo and Juliet. – Have students write the conversation in a chatroom. – Get students on line making a blog for Romeo or Juliet – with pictures.
  • 12. How to Interest Them? • Get students to take a scene and select the music for the scene, download it and share it with class. • Get students to take a scene and put in modern stage directions. • Get students to storyboard a scene and how they would film it. • Give each group a scene to record with music and sound effects
  • 13. How to Interest Them? • Get students to invite other classes to enjoy an Elizabethan feast with some music and a performance of a couple of scenes. – Use the talents of different members of class to provide this. – Students should be working on invitations, posters, props, music, menus, food. Students can be assessed on their contribution to the event. This kind of thing is a way to get students training in events management.
  • 14. Reading Scenes • Instead of reading the whole thing at once set groups of students the task of reading and acting the scene and then giving a plain English translation. • Students MUST always know that they are reading and acting a play – they must understand the features of drama. • Get students to perform and read scenes with different emphasis. For example the witches could be drunk – Macbeth could be a bit sleazy – hitting on the witches.
  • 15. Resources on Net • There are plenty out there…but you may want to check these three out: – http://www.teach-shakespeare.com/ – http://shakespeare.palomar.edu/educational.htm#Intro – http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/educators/ – http://www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid=618
  • 16. Activity 2 • Introducing Macbeth – Witches – Pictures in the mind – Rhythm – Role play