Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

New Year, Same Class, New Ideas?

Happy New Year!

SSO student interpretation of the "Queen Mab" speech from Romeo and Juliet

As we tear into a new Gregorian calendar, we celebrate new beginnings, fresh starts, and new goals. But we returned to our offices and classrooms today to continue a school-year already in progress. How can we infuse our lesson plans with the same fresh fervor as we intend to apply to our new workout routines?

What if they worked together?

I’ve trumpeted audio-plays before, as assistants to students reading new Shakespearean texts for the first time, but they’re also great to listen to during a workout. Engaged listening takes your mind off of any physical stress, and it can’t be much easier to count reps than with iambic pentameter – 2 lines equals a set!

In the same way, students could engage with the text aurally either by listening to and miming a scene along with an audio play to get at what’s happening in the play, by recording their own audio play for the class (complete with sound effects?), or even by simply listening to a passage and drawing the imagery that comes through – as we do with the Shakespeare Steps Out classes.

Just one idea, anyhow. How are you approaching a new calendar year with your class?

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