Brendan is the main creative source and author behind Playing With Plays and the infamous Shakespeare for Kids series. You can typically find him inventing by day, playing with his family by night, and writing by very late night.
I was talking with a mom earlier this morning, and she said something very interesting. She said that her daughter loves my drama classes, and talks about me frequently when it comes to drama. Although I’m glad I inspire the kids, it’s not the point of this story. What is interesting is she followed up with a different comment, one that puts the previous … Continue reading →
Confidence in children can be shattered so quickly and many times we don’t even know why. But, what we do know is that confidence can be built. Confidence can have an incredibly strong foundation for the future of a child, if nurtured correctly.
Working together is so important in life, yet we don’t teach this skill anywhere in school. Sure, many kids get some of this piece from sports, but not every kid plays sports. Hence the reason we need more team building activities throughout our schools.
I have directed Shakespeare’s Tempest for Kids at least 6 different times, and the costumes and kids always change. But, one thing is consistent, the THUNDER TUBE! I use this great drum thunder tube by REMO to make all the thunder sounds during the play.
I recently had the privilege to watch a video of a school group in New Jersey perform my Treasure Island for Kids, and of course, it was AWESOME! That being said, one thing I kept noticing…. they were saying “Rum” incorrectly… but wait! No, they weren’t, they were saying “Gum”!
When re-writing classics tales like I do, I do my best to stick to the original plotline as much as possible. However, there are several times where that’s not possible. Sometimes with the length of the story or around specific content covered in the stories. And Treasure Island is … Continue reading →
A theater group in India has put together a performance of The Tempest, done completely in mime. Designed specifically for grade school kids, in the fear that Shakespeare is leaving schools, this performance relies entirely on actions. No words, which makes the story telling that much more challenging. Read more about this impressive performance here in the New Indian Express.
As a classroom exercise, have your kids mime a short part of one of Shakespeare’s plays. You really need to be expressive and understand the language in order to deliver a mimed performance effectively. This will be great fun!
This is a great article about a teacher using a very ingenious way to get her kids to learn how to analyze and read into something using context clues, even when they don’t know what they are looking at. It’s a very clever and creative way to approach this skill set for use when analyzing Shakespeare’s text, but more importantly, a great life skill she is teaching them as well. Big props to this wonderful high school educator.
By using the NY Times weekly WGOITP post (What’s Going On In This Picture), she was able to get her kids engaged in critical … Continue reading →
OUR COUNTDOWN OF THE MOST DESPICABLE VILLAINS IN SHAKESPEARE’S PLAYS IS GETTING TO THE SHARP, POINTY END.
HERE, WE REVEAL NUMBERS FOUR, THREE AND TWO.
The following posts are by a guest author, Andy McLean, and for Bell Shakespeare in Australia. But, they are so good, that I have to post and share their great work!
4. TYBALT (Romeo And Juliet) Compared to some of the other villains on our list, Tybalt might not be considered the worst of the worst. He’s certainly a hateful little punk but he only leaves one dead body in his wake. So why does … Continue reading →
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
Students can perform the play in language familiar to them while incorporating Shakespeare’s most famous lines.
-dbklover – Homeschool Educator
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
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
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
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