The Art of teaching Shakespeare

Start with the basics

Mention Shakespeare in a classroom and get ready for students to groan or tell you how much they hate the Bard and how he is completely irrelevant. It is difficult for teachers to engage students in something that is not only daunting for students but can be daunting for the teacher as well. Today’s blog post is less a blog and more of a collaborative sharing of resources. I pride myself on the fact that I can get any child to love Shakespeare through passion and my extensive knowledge.

I have attached to this blog a lesson I used with a high ability year 8 class. It is a very basic introduction to Shakespeare but one that the kids thoroughly enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Thanks to the RSC, Elliot Shrimplton and Patsy Rotenburg for aiding in my quest to get young people to appreciate the Bard.

Actors understand Iambic Pentameter as the heartbeat of a character. Each line should signify 10 hearts beats. But sometimes this is not the case, like in this monologue. The second line has 11 beats. That is because there is an added beat in the word Juliet. What the actors know is that in that line Romeo’s heart has skipped a beat at the mention of Juliet. It tells us how he feels for Juliet and it tells the actor how fast his own heartbeat must be going to match Romeo’s.

This is a re-blog post originally posted by Ryan Whitworth and published with kind permission.

The original post can be found here. See more posts here.

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About UKEdChat Editorial 3187 Articles
The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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