Today we performed Act I (Midsummer) in class, up front near the smelly white board, which is amazingly magnetic. How does that work? Maybe I should ask the science teacher. The same class that had the Smirks, Giggles, Snorts, and Chortles (yesterday afternoon) turned over a new piece of parchment paper today.
During the first reading, which was done from their seats, they read with clarity, something close to fluency and correct annunciation, and only chortled once or twice. This proves my theory that morning classes are a dewdrop compared to afternoon ones. After lunch strikes, consider your climb uphill until the final minute of school hits. This goes back to my other theory: that school should begin mega-early and end shortly after lunch, say around 1:30 or so. You can read a post about my utopian school, which includes various opinions from my untrained, methodological mind, here.
After the stationary reading, I thought for sure that things would fall apart during the performing of it. But, as usual, the unexpected happened, and I was wrong. The class was brilliant, other than one student (who played Peter Quince) talking directly into her book. After the surprisingly good rendition of Act I, the class worked on some vocabulary words, all found in the same act. They had to use context clues, not dictionaries, and match each word with its definition. Of course, some they already knew, but most they didn't.
You get the idea. I'm not a huge fan of overkilling vocabulary, so this is about the only list I give them during this unit. The rest of the words I define for them along the way, or I ask for someone else to guess what the word means.
The afternoon class was short, thanks to a fire drill. To begin I showed a short clip from BBC's version of Midsummer: The first scene revealing the workman, who are rehearsing a play, "The Most Lamentable Comedy and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisby." Say that five times without stumbling. Bet you can't. After the movie clip, they worked on the same vocabulary, and then, without warning, the fire alarm filched our hearing abilities.
What!? What did you say?