We just finished up our short story unit with a classic "The Great Rat Hunt" (When I Was Your Age, Volume I) by Lawrence Yep. After Thanksgiving we begin our Shakespeare Unit, which is exciting for many reasons. Come on, who says Shakespeare can't be fun? In my classroom, we raise the Globe Theater's imaginary roof and fling insults like macaroni in a food fight. Keep in mind we only read an abridged version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. There are times when I bust out the original gangster and copy pages from it.
Ten Shakespeare Side-Splitters:
1. Shakespearean insults (poisonous bunch-back'd toad!)
2. Discussing Black Death (aka The Plague)
3. Acting out scenes from Bottom and "the actors"
4. Writing a letter from Puck's point of view
5. Elizabethan garb fashion show
6. Guessing which one of the Shakespeare likenesses is accurate
7. Sword fights
8. Making up names and words
9. Writing a letter from Shakespeare's point of view
10. Creating alternative forms of entertainment (like seeing a play!)
Until this year, the sixth grade has performed Midsummer every spring. But in the last ten years or so, our school has doubled in size and we've outgrown the production. It used to be that every sixth grader had to participate. Then we started running out of parts and jobs for everyone. There's only so much you can do with 100 sixth graders, and only so many fairies can be onstage at once. Plus, the actors and five or six teachers were working through lunchtime for two and a half months, just to pull off a decent performance.
What if Shakespeare would've written about gangsters? Now that's entertainment!
P.S. This Zemanta feature has a mind of its own. It's really pissing me off. Hey, blogger brains! Get it right, for Shakespeare sakes!