The Play’s the Thing! Making Shakespeare Fun

Photo of the first page of A Midsummer Night's...
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I teach Shakespeare to 6th graders and they love it!  A few weeks ago I gave my kids a bunch of chess pieces (you can use whatever you can find), a pad of mini sticky notes and a synopsis for one of Shakespeare‘s plays (found many places from the Folger Library to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes).  I instructed the students to get in their small groups and find a way to use the chess pieces (with stickies for character labels) to tell the stories of their plays.  It was hilarious, exciting and fun.  Watching the kids manipulate the pieces to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet or A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so much fun.  I wandered from group to group admiring how every single student was fully engaged in correctly relating the plot using their “dolls”.  They internalized the stories and had so much fun they actually complained when class ended.  I think middle school and high school kids deserve a chance to get on the floor and play with their toys.  What say you?  I also created a rap containing all of Shakespeare’s plays in order of performance. Check it out under the title “Bard Rap”.  Good luck with your students.  I am excited for them and for you!


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