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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: Shakespeare Forever!

Shakespeare Forever!

HOW IT WORKS
Shakespeare Forever! is a four-week author study of William Shakespeare, in which students study his life and three plays: Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet. This program focuses on specific reading strategies during these four weeks. Students learn to find word meaning in context by listening to lines from Shakespeare and writing in their own words what he means. For example, one student elaborated with the quote “The course of true love is very bumpy.” Students also sequence the play’s events by creating storyboards and illustrating the events in order. The students love pretending to be Shakespeare’s characters and writing letters to other characters in his plays. This activity elicits incredibly expressive language, and is an excellent way to discuss the use of figurative language in literature. 

THE STUDENTS
Nineteen students with various academic levels participated in this program, and met daily in a second-grade inclusion classroom. One classroom computer was employed and students only needed to know how to use the mouse. This program can easily be adapted to students in a general-education second- or third-grade inclusion class by incorporating many hands-on activities, including dramatic play, rhythmic lessons, and graphic organizers. Children who read below grade level can participate in guided reading with the teacher, while independent readers work in small peer groups or on their own. 

THE STAFF
Molly Buck began teaching elementary school in February of 2001. She implemented this program for the first time this year in her second- grade inclusion classroom at P.S. 142 in District 1. 

WHAT YOU NEED
All that is necessary for Shakespeare Forever! to be successful is a classroom with at least one computer with PowerPoint software, a space for sharing books and writing, the Shakespeare plays and books, and writing journals. It is also highly recommended that the students be exposed to the presentation of a Shakespearean drama. The participating class read Macbeth in the fall and then went to Belvedere Castle in Central Park to see Shakespeare’s Haunted House, a theatrical program that involves a number of Shakespeare’s characters and Shakespeare himself. This program is performed every year specifically for children. 

OVERALL VALUE
Instilling recognition and appreciation for William Shakespeare and his classic works in a child will enrich his or her understanding of literature in the present and in the future. The themes that Shakespeare’s plays touch upon are universal, so that they appeal to children as well as to adults. This approach to Shakespeare will make students confident and engaged about leading literate lives both in and out of school. Shakespeare has motivated the participating students to become better readers and more creative writers. Their eyes light up at the simple mention of Shakespeare, and they are more engaged in listening to, reading, and writing about his plays and characters than about any other author they have studied before or since. Shakespeare Forever!

 

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Language Arts
Social Studies
Technology

GRADES
Grade 2-
3

MORE INFORMATION

Molly S. Buck
The Amalia Castro
School
P.S. 142
100 Attorney Street
New York, NY 10002
mollysbuck@yahoo.com
Principal
Zulma E. Candelario  

IMPACT II 
Catalog 2002-2003

 

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