Why Shakespeare Tragedies are funnier than Comedies

Tragedies simplified

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

Classroom Insult-a-thon

shakespeare insult video

Classroom Insult-a-thon

(Don’t forget, April 23rd is National Insult Like Shakespeare Day!)

It’s simple and fun and works like this:

  • Everyone writes up 3-4 different insults using the Shakespeare Insult Generator
  • They spend about 5-10 minutes practicing their insults, working on generating the appropriate delivery with angst!
  • Split the class into 2 groups that line up against each other
  • FIRST ROUND of insults: one student from each group steps forward and they insult each other with one of their insults.
  • The teacher, or some voting panel, votes for the best insult.  Loser … Continue reading
  • Shakespeare’s Top 10 Dirty Jokes

    dirty bard

    I work hard to make sure kids find him funny with my Shakespeare for Kids books.  But what’s equally clear to me, teens generally consider Shakespeare boring or “Why is my teacher wasting my life reading this #$%@”  As I have seen on Twitter many times.  But hey, if it’s not presented right, it comes across that there are a lot of big words, most of the language we don’t really understand, and don’t even mention iambic pentameter, what the heck is that?

    That being said they don’t realize how funny and ironic he really is. And … Continue reading

    Shakespeare and the show Friends – great English Class Video

    Although Shakespeare used a lot of words we may not understand, and a lot of words people and kids will think are “big”, what’s clear is he was an artist with language.  Now, not many of us are ever going to be 1/8th as good with language as he was, but we will at least be articulate with a decent sized vocabulary.   Shakespeare’s language is a way of showing the world what artistic language can truly be like and what we can aspire to.  That being said, if we go the opposite way, and don’t embrace language at all, well, you can … Continue reading

    Shakespeare in Ender’s Game

    shakespeare in enders game

    So I love to read, and I love a good sci-fi, and one of the best sci-fi series that I’ve read is the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card. Recently, I reread Ender in Exile, which is the next book after Ender’s Game. The relevant piece about this, and why I am bringing it up to you, is that there is a Shakespeare activity build right  into this one. In this book, the actual colony that Ender goes out to, the … Continue reading

    Shakespeare and Music

    Shakespeare music and food

    Shakespeare music bandHave some kids in class that are musically inclined?  Give them a great challenge, have them create a Shakespeare song.  Perhaps this is to one of their favorite characters (ohh, what would a Puck song sound like… I’m thinking Nirvana…) or their favorite play (I can hear a nice Halloween melody running for Titus…) or anything associated with The Bard at all.

    I was inspired for this by watching … Continue reading

    Shakespeare Word Challenge

    Shakespeare word challenge

    Thanks to mentalfloss.com, for helping us see another list of 20 words we wouldn’t be able to iterate today without the help of The Bard. Words such as assassination, bedazzled, cold–blooded, fashionable, scuffle, swagger, and more… It’s amazing what this guy brought to the table.

    So, because of this, I thought of the Shakespeare Word Challenge for your kids: In your classroom, challenge your kids to come up with 10 words or phrases that Shakespeare created or first penned and then have them use them in a sentence. What this will do is help them realize that his “language” is not … Continue reading

    #ShakesTag the Online Game of Shakespeare

    #ShakesTag

    Well today is the day of the week that most people practice religion of one type or another. For some people it’s the church, others football, and to others, reading is religion. Stepping into a slightly tighter niche than that, Shakespeare. And some of these people who love the Bard, get together on Sunday for a friendly game of #ShakesTag.#ShakesTag

    What is #ShakesTag, … Continue reading

    Shakespeare and Science

    Shakespeare and Science

    So I ran across this great article and it really got me thinking about science during Shakespeare’s time.

    Shakespeare and ScienceHow 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 … Continue reading

    STAGEiT! Shakespeare – Grades 5-8 – Book Review

    STAGEiT Shakespeare

    This is a book review of STAGEiT! Shakespeare.  The author of STAGEiT! Shakespeare is Floyd Rumohr, and he was gracious enough to send me a few copies so I could review them and give some away to my followers.  I have 3 copies of STAGEiT! Shakespeare Grades 5-8 to give away, read on to learn how to be entered for this giveaway!

    First of all, I’m all about making Shakespeare much more accessible to the kids, as you all know from the Shakespeare for Kids books that I write.

    So, when I got a chance to … Continue reading