Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

Shakespeare Re-Animated

No, we’ve covered the Zombie contingent for now, though I’m sure we’ll return to it at some point!

Shakespeare’s work has been colorfully animated many times: The upcoming Gnomeo, the light-hearted Sealed with a Kiss, the epic The Lion King, and – especially – with original language (cut to 25 minutes per play) with Shakespeare: The Animated Tales. The language lends itself to animation because the artwork literally paints the picture that the words create in the reader/animator’s head.

You and your students can be animators, too!


The video above was created by students from Paint Branch HS with the help of Leila Cabib, who led a week-long animation workshop. On her website she features a short documentary about how her students create their animations.

Animating a scene or a quote (given context) gives students the chance to really think about what the words say to them, and the means to show their interpretation creatively. This can be accomplished with programs like Photostory 3 (Windows), Final Cut Pro (Mac), or even getting the process as far as simply Storyboarding with programs like Pixton and Comic Life.  Information about many of these programs (and many more!) can be found on Mike’s Resources page.

If you (or your students) are interested in animation, a wonderful resource recommended by Leila is the National Film Board of Canada’s “Focus on Animation” Web site. There’s a lot of hands-on activities for younger students, and a plethora of information about the craft of animating and its illustrious history.

Are you already using programs like these in your classrooms? If so, do you have any examples you’d like to share? If not, do you see yourself doing any of this with your students?


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