For Goodness’ Sake, Take Time to Study Shakespeare Part 2

Previously posted on April 9, 2016

To prepare us for our Shakespeare unit, we began with learning as much as we could about his life in general. In addition to that, it really helps to have some sort of idea on the major lessons in ones homeschool calendar so you can somehow adjust the activities before, during and after the unit so you can prepare and supplement, we with the other lessons that happen in “class”. I knew months ahead that we were doing Shakespeare early this year so already had the following:

My son read his life story last quarter for his Reading.

It was also so timely that theater group, Rude Mechanicals Theater Company, through good friend and our children’s piano teacher, Ms. Joonee Garcia invited us to the preview of their presentation of “Twelfth Night”. Thank you, Joonee!! If you’re interested to gather a sizable group to watch Shakespeare, contact this theater company, leave a comment on their webpage.

We were able to view several scenes.
Though the English script was challenging to follow, we got it!

We got confused, there were a bit of disguises, there was love and a whole of things going on, and yes, this theater did in 1980s fashion, yes complete with 80s music! So, when we went back to our books and research, we learned about the plot of this play.

Prior to beginning the unit, I saw these two for Php 75.00 in Book Sale SM Southmall.

Don’t expect much for 75.00 pesos. I could imagine how difficult it is to make a Shakespeare play into a reader for children. Together with King Lear, there were areas for grade improvement in grammar and writing! But they served their purpose, the children read each of the stories and got the plot and the elements of Shakespeare’s literary work.

Usually, the teacher reads the assigned chapters or pages in the readers in advance. A list of new words are identified, and students can be asked to find the definition and use these words in sentences. Spelling tests can be done. Open ended reading comprehension questions can be laid out.  Answers can be oral or written. When certain parts of the story relate to real life or current events, you may decide to pause and discuss.

I mentioned several links in the previous <a href=””>blogpost on Shakespeare</a> to extend your Language Lessons. Our lessons and activities on puns, homophones and homonyms were really fun!

For Language, we focused on this compilation of famous lines and phrases from Shakespeare. Isn’t he brilliant?  The kids chose lines and analyzed each of them.

We further extended this to Filipino wherein we studied common Filipino idioms or phrases. Knowing ahead that we will be doing Shakespeare, I made some early preparation by tweaking our Language and Filipino to focus on descriptive words or adjectives, poetry, narrating a story, elements of a story, We had daily poetry reading for good exposure and eventually the students created their own poems. There are countless resources online that equip teachers on how to teach poetry. Just google it, “How to teach poetry to elementary/ middle school/ high school?” students. Check this one out.

Soon, everyone was in this Shakespeare mood, even in fashion! Our favorite Hippo earned a “ruff” throughout our lessons. This came from those round cake placemats!

Just to add a bit of fun, we added a bit of Elizabethan (ruff) fashion to our favorite Hippo’s get up! A dear friend also lent us some valuable resources!

Speaking of fashion, Raya wanted to research and create a “booklet” on Elizabethan fashion. So, she researched and got her paints and pens and produced this!

This was the title page of Raya’s booklet that opened up like a spreadsheet.

She even got me to try and for one session became the teacher to her Mama student. I wanted to learn how to create an Elizabethan gown. My lack of knowledge and drawing skills compared to my teacher daughter showed in my artwork! But I so loved the experience and even hearing my now daughter saying, “You’re good Mama, You can do it. Draw more!” was priceless. What an encouraging teacher she was! (And she really did remind me days after that and until today to drop everything and create). Sharing with you my own version of Elizabethan gown:

We also learned a whole lot about the entertainment and culture during the lifetime of Shakespeare. The events surrounding the building and rebuilding of The Globe Theater was very interesting. The bustling activities and drama (oh see, a pun, right there!) and everyday events that revolved around this theater was simply too good not to further learn about.

Check this short documentary about the Globe Theater. If you’d like to see inside the reconstructed Globe Theater Today in present day England.

Raya, my level 6 student was learning about Circles in Math. Do you somehow know where this is all going to lead to…. well, how else can we best teach parts of a circle, apply the importance of learning about area and circumference of a circle? Why not…….  ok, this has been long! Let me make this a suspenseful series in Shakespeare fashion!  Part 3 of this series will eventually take you to a step-by-step process on how we put the Study of Math (Circles) and Shakespeare together! Time to gather all your recyclable and coloring material. Time to stretch those finger muscles and yes, let your creatively run wild! We shall be building soon!

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1

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