Sherlock Holmes once questioned what the point was of filling his brain with useless facts, in this particular case, the Earth revolving around the Sun. As he would rather fill his brain with useful facts. Although I don’t completely agree with his philosophy, he does bring a point to light. That is, why do we learn as much as we do? Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s so we can take previous ideas, connect them, and create new ideas. The keyword here is: CREATE. Everything we do, who we are, … Continue reading →
Over the next several weeks and months I’ll be writing a 12-part series about why drama is so important in schools. I’ll be covering several different aspects of the benefits of why we do drama, what it gives our kids that very few extra-curricular activities can give, as well as ideas and suggestions on to how to make theater a robust and staple program within your school.
I’ll be writing about the following areas of “Why Drama?”:
I ask kids all the time, “Have you ever seen The Lion King? Then you know the story of Hamlet!” Well, on the most part, yes, but not exactly… I came across this great infographic that showcases the differences and similarities and well … slight differences… like, oh, I don’t know, Elton John singing? Anyway, I thought you all would enjoy and possibly use this Hamlion graphic!!!
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
So, I’ve done dozens of afterschool / homeschool Shakespeare for Kids programs. As well as I’ve seen my plays performed all around the world. And one thing is VERY clear – these kids are creative! I want to pass on one piece of information that’s critical to anyone directing one of my plays: Let the kids harness their creativity, it will AMAZE you! Earlier today, at a rehearsal, I had one of my kids playing Hamlet say his line a about Yorick as “Yo-rick, who was this guy, a rapper?” It was impromptu, but hilarious!
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.
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 →
So I just went to the movie theater with my kid to see the movie, The Book of Life. I really enjoyed the movie, and the music that goes along with it. But, what caught my surprise was the Shakespeare reference that was in it. This is a nice subtle way to get kids to reference Shakespeare. There is a little bit of Romeo and Juliet in the storyline especially when the hero dies. I’m not going to spoil the story for you, but … Continue reading →
So I ran across this great article and it really got me thinking about science during Shakespeare’s time.
How much science was around (well, it was all around, but how much was discovered by the 1600s?) and how was Shakespeare influenced by science? Well, I’ll tell you this, I’m an engineer and my wife is a science teacher, and yet, I can’t tell you much about science and Shakespeare… BUT, there is a guy who can, or at least give you an idea about science used in Shakespeare’s time and the … Continue reading →
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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/Mom
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
I heard it around the school for several weeks afterwards!
-sscragg – 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
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
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 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