The Shakespeare Prank

Puck symbolizes a Shakespeare Prank

Ahh, Puck! My absolute favorite of all Shakespeare’s characters.  I associate the most with him and his mischievous ways, and that is why I probably like him so.  But, he is also the perfect character to kick off a post about Shakespeare Pranks.

Okay, this isn’t an actual Shakespeare prank, not yet, anyway.  I am big into the creative process of a prank or a practical joke. I have history of doing practical jokes on people. I’ve always considered a practical joke simply a canvas for creativity. This past week I completed a practical joke on a fellow coworker who resisted … Continue reading

Shake Phrase in a Box – Classroom Activity

Shake Phrase

Here’s a great idea from @DetroitSamWhite, whom I met in the twitterverse.  A great way to introduce kids to Shakespeare and realize the impact that The Bard’s language had on the rest of the world is to play a little game with your kids called, Shake Phrase.  As many of you know, all of my books are sprinkled with common Shakespeare phrases that kids will hear throughout life.  Well, with Shake Phrase, you write down dozens of these common phrases and words and put them in a box.  BUT, the 2nd part is to put another … Continue reading

“You are Quoting Shakespeare if…” Lesson Idea

You are quoting Shakespeare

You are quoting ShakespeareIf you ever said the phrase, “It’s greek to me”, you are quoting Shakespeare.  If you have ever stated, “In my mind’s eye”, you are quoting Shakespeare.  If you have ever heard the phrase, “Dead as a doornail”, or “foregone conclusion”, or “it is high time”, yep, you got it, you are quoting Shakespeare.  As you know with my … Continue reading

Yo! Shakespeare! The Mini Page Archive

mini page archive

Ok, I had to share this as soon as I heard of it, The Mini Page Archive.  A publication for kids that ran from 1969 – 2007, and it’s all archived and searchable.  It’s a periodical for kids around all sorts of different subjects.  Lucky for us, there are 2 issues focused around Shakespeare:

Each issue is about 4-6 pages and all the short articles are all about Shakespeare.  Whether they are classroom activities, synopses, or even connect-the-dots, it’s … Continue reading

Shakespeare Insult Duels

insult like shakespeare day

shakespeare insult duelsOk, I started the first ever “Insult Like Shakespeare Day” this past April 23rd and, although it never got picked up by Yahoo! or any major press (hint, hint guys!), it was still pretty popular and I got some GREAT feedback … Continue reading

How old is Shakespeare? Fun activities to engage your kids.

So this is the 450th birthday of Shakespeare, and what are you doing to engage your children on this momentous day?

Shakespeare's birthdaySome people turn 50 as a milestone, this guy’s turning 450, wow!  Ok, so he doesn’t look as good as someone who is turning 50, but hey, we are still talking about him!

So, to get ready, here are a few fun activities to get in the … Continue reading

Macbeth for Kids, performed in a REAL Castle! Lesson Idea!

This Shakespeare for kids lesson idea is all about taking it to the streets….or dare I say, castle.  That’s what one teacher did with our Macbeth for Kids play!!!  Mrs. Monaghan, of York, England was the genius who dreamed this one up.  Ok, it helps that she actually has a castle in her back yard, literally, it’s like a few hundred yards away or something like that!  I mean, in England, they are all over the place, right?!  But, in that same spirt, you may not have a castle in your backyard, but you do have something … Continue reading

3rd grader’s version of HAMlet! (Don’t miss the fryin’ pan!) – a lesson idea!

You read that right… 3rd grader interprets HAMlet… and let me emphasize the “Ham” part of that!  I work with the homeschool classroom at my son’s school.  The teacher in there approached me the other day with a story created by one of her students.  As the homeschool teacher put it, “her version of Hamlet Sparknotes!”  It left me speechless.  After reading my Hamlet for Kids book, she thought it would be fun to write Hamlet, the Pig Version. Well, after reading her little book, I felt like a proud parent. Hamlet, the Pig Version…wow, I mean, I … Continue reading

Lesson Idea: The Top Ten Shakespeare List

Here is a clever idea that may engage your students in a short lesson plan, as well as open their eyes and minds to what Shakespeare has brought to the table.  Create a top ten Shakespeare list.  Here are some top ten Shakespeare ideas you can work with:

  • Characters (Puck, Hamlet, Othello… Who’s #1?)
  • Re-written story lines (i.e. Lion King or West Side Story, etc)
  • Speeches (To be, or not to be)
  • Quotes (Out, damn spot, out!)
  • Phrases (Method to his Madness)
  • Words (i.e. Alligator, Minds-eye, Dalmation, etc)

Let me know if you think of more, so I … Continue reading

Ides of March

CaesarWe want kids to love Shakespeare because the stories are timeless, the language is brilliant and the sword fights are to DIE for (cue moans).

Let’s not forget, however, that many of the plays are based on actual historical events.  March is a perfect time to break out a copy of Julius Caesar and to run around the house yelling, “Beware the Ides of March!”

                  Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2

Caesar:  … Continue reading