Readers Theater is always a fun time, and even more so with my melodramatic stories which are short and funny. But, they are even funnier with a family reunion. As we all know who the hams are in our families, don’t we?
This past holiday season, when our family came together for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, we did a readers theater three different times (it’s officially a family tradition now!) What a BLAST! My son made sure he was the director, and he gave out 3-4 books that we all shared. Then he made impromptu costumes that we all … Continue reading →
Ok, let’s start with, I didn’t make this… but, it’s pretty darn cool! (credit to Mya Gosling) Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo. My first thought was, it’s going to be a pretty long game. But, my second thought was to actually make this into a game. Have all the different scenes that relate to the squares put in the “Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo” bag. Pull out the scene and play, review it slightly for a quick learning lesson, and have the kids mark their cards!
In order to celebrate the launch of my 13th book, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Kids, I put together a little “Did you know?” page. It’s different things we learned along the path of creating this melodramatic 15 minute play from the original works of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Enjoy!
DID YOU KNOW? 1) Disney’s cartoon version of The Jungle Book didn’t follow Rudyard Kipling’s actual story, it was “inspired” more than “based” on the book
In my most recent direction of my Hamlet for Kids there came the moment when the young actor comes on stage and says the line, “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him. When I was a kid, he was the jester, the funniest guy I knew.” And the play moves on… but, this one kid, as he was going through rehearsing in many different ways, stumbled on saying it as “Yo, Rick” and his first improv was around, “Who is this Rick guy?” But, he settled for going with the break dancer avenue, as he put it, “the best breakdancer I ever knew…” Well, see … Continue reading →
I recently coached a parent who was running an after-school program, and she asked me how I do the “death auditions” for my plays. It made me realize that I haven’t done a simple quick layout of my first day for a while, so, here it is:
1) I do a 5-8 minute, melodramatic solo performance of what ever play I’m doing. I typically pull a few kids out, and have them die during the solo performance, they love it… I’ll always say something when they stand up after dying, “hey, dead people … Continue reading →
That’s right, I said “IN”, the Merchant IN Venice! Read below from one of our guest bloggers about a rare opportunity…
I have always wondered how it would be to see Shakespeare’s characters in the places which the Bard himself thought for them, how it would be to see Lorenzo wooing Jessica outside a Venetian palace or Shylock claiming the “pound of flesh” that Antonio owed him. Now you have the opportunity to walk through the streets (or “calli” in the Venetian dialect) which have inspired Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.
I just finished a five-week afterschool program doing Hamlet for Kids the melodramatic version. So, I thought I would list a few pointers to make this particular class more fun and melodramatic for you and your kids.
First of all, the funniest part of the entire play is the last scene, everybody dies onstage, every kid LOVES to die on stage melodramatically! Focus on having fun and getting this scene dialed in. It allows your play to end on a successful note as well as it is the funniest part of the … Continue reading →
Money is not easy to come by for teachers. But, filling out a simple form for some classroom cash, is!!! This link was sent to me, from the Kids in Need Foundation, and I want to pass it on to all the teachers – so please share!
So, if you happen to be into Shakespeare and also just happen to want a group of my books signed for your kids and you HAPPEN to get one of these grants… I’m not going to stop you from … Continue reading →
Ok, this is a short little post about a great little document that I found. Full credit to Cam Magee, and he summarizes this best: Everybody dies. And THAT is why tragedies are funnier than comedies, when performed by kids melodramatically! From the data I have collected (watching kids perform) ALL kids LOVE to die on stage! Especially, if it’s melodramatic… if they can get a laugh from the audience, the kids are all into it. That’s part of the secret of my books, they’re fun to perform! Nothing like the end of Hamlet where there are several dead bodies … Continue reading →
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/Mom
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – Teacher
Even though Hamlet is a tragedy, for us it was more like a tragedy + comedy=tramedy!! Parents loved it. I will definitely do the play again with my new 3rd grade class next year.
-3rd grade Teacher
The only difficulty I’m having with Brendan’s versions, is that the students can’t get enough and I am having difficulty getting them to do other things. It’s actually a problem that I wish upon all teachers.
-cnaken – Teacher
I recently received my copy of Brendan Kelso’s Shakespeare’s Macbeth for Kids, and I can’t wait to use it in my classroom (6th/7th language arts).
-Mary E. Moore – Teacher
I highly recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a fun and interactive way of learning or teaching Shakespeare! Love, love, loved it!
-Cora – Teacher
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
Kelso’s ability to mix the modern language with some of the original lines helps to create a play that is engaging to watch.
-Amy – Teacher
I read “Julius Caesar” first with my 8 year-old son and he loved it. After all it had ghosts and sword swinging… so what’s not for a boy to love.
-Pam T – Mom
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator