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Shakespeare teaching ideas

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 write melodramatic Shakespeare, but she really “hammed” it up! (OK, I couldn’t pass on that line…) . Who would have thunk?!?! She understood the basic story-line, put in funny quips and annotations where appropriate, and added AWESOME cartoon drawings!!!  This is the Sparknotes version of Hamlet Sparksnote! I especially love the ending where all the pigs are frying with bacon in a pan! See all the pictures and pages below… Enjoy!!!

That being said, wouldn’t it be a great Shakespeare lesson idea to have the students create their own version of the story, their own version of Hamlet Sparknotes? Like the pig version, could we do a Shrek version? Or a vampire version? Or unicorn? Or the Ninja version?!?!? I couldn’t imagine doing a Lion King version…oh wait, Disney already did that one!!!

And on the same vein as Lion King, you can stretch the lesson plan for the students to figure out what other stories have been remade from Shakespeare’s original tales.

Let me know how it goes!

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By brendan kelso

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.

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