I am often asked by teachers, when I present to their classes, to give their kids my top two or three tips they should focus on while they rehearse. Although there are so many tips that one could give, it always comes down to the following three for me:
1) PROJECT YOUR VOICE – One of the biggest challenges I find for kids is their ability to project their voices. Some get it confused with yelling. But really, basic projection comes from the diaphragm. Projecting your voice goes for both a larger setting as well as smaller settings. … Continue reading →
Ok, this is a REALLY FUN improv drama game that your kids will LOVE! It’s called, SHATNER! (At least the adults of the kids will surely love it!) 🙂 (I did not think of this game, and due credit goes to where I heard of it from; the Facebook group, Homeschool Snark.)
This is a short post about an activity you can do with your kids as you get ready for the show. As many of us directors know, there are an endless number of things you can do to prepare for the performance. IN NO WAY, am I suggesting that you need to do a lot of things to have a successful performance. ( I typically … Continue reading →
First of all, this was not my idea! But, it’s a brilliant way to engage your kids with Shakespeare, especially high schoolers! All credit goes to Larry Reiff (@Mrreiff) – as he says, “All the world’s an e-stage”! Love it!
Now, onto the great idea… Shakespeare analyzed via memes. I know this is not traditional, but hey, we are about engaging our kids with the wonderful language and stories of Shakespeare any way possible, and this is PERFECT!
So simply, he has the kids analyze a scene and then find photos and memes that go with specific phrases. See examples below. … Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Backyard Shakespeare. What is that, you may ask. Well, it’s a very ingenious and creative way to engage homeschooled kids with Shakespeare, education, language arts, drama, and most importantly, fun!
I recently had the privilege to teach a group of 7 kids Playing With Plays The Tempest for Kids and we had a BLAST! Best part, we did it in the backyard of a house of one of the homeschooling families. Their deck was a natural stage. So, a few costumes, a few scripts, a few rehearsals, and BAM! We’ve got a fun, melodramatic Shakespeare play performing in … Continue reading →
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
Anyone who teaches young people can really use this book!
-R. Canfield – Teacher/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
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
These plays are hilarious and fun!
– M. N. Oliver – Mom
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
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