As the year winds down and we move in to summer, I know many of you will spend time building and enhancing your curriculum. Here are 5 ideas for teaching Shakespeare that you might consider implementing next year. The summer will give you time to seek out and read some of these books.
1. Take a page from Gary Soto’s book and have students write an original poem based on one line from a play.
2. Have students connect the play to a modern text by taking a quote and tying it to a modern film/show where the situation is similar, and then explain the similarity.
3. Ask students to imagine a modern scenario where the same situation could feasibly occur, much like Margaret Atwood’s Hagseed, based on the Tempest, or Vinegar Girl, by Anne Tyler, based on The Taming of the Shrew.
4. Have students annotate a scene (or a portion of a scene) in terms of direction: blocking, lighting, set, costuming, inflection.
5. Ask students to rewrite a portion of a monologue/soliloquy but change or modernize the topic. The act of rewriting can be a powerful way to understand blank verse and iambic pentameter.