Exploring Shakespeare

This morning we’re trying out another provider we haven’t visited before — The Indiana Repertory Theatre. They’ve been doing distance learning for quite a while and I could tell from the beginning that this would be a good program. St. Joseph High School English students are participating in the program, Exploring Shakespeare. The presenter and teacher interacted quite a bit via email and phone before the program to tailor it to the teacher’s curriculum.

The program began with great conversation and interaction to set the students at ease. Then the presenter read a monologue “boringly” as if she was reading homework. Students had a hard time figuring it out. Then she read it again with expression and a prop. Students quickly figured it out.

The program included students trying different scenes in Shakespearan English and modern English. This helped students understand the emotion behind the Shakespeare scenes.

Discussion included comedy vs. tragedy, plot devices, writing style differences between comedy and tragedy.

Another exercise included a “Red Rover” argument exercise where students read sassy lines between Petruccio and Kate from the Taming of the Shrew. The students really got into the program.

Discussion also included how and why Shakespeare used verse and iambic pentameter.

This was a great program. I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a high school program where students are getting up and moving around. Nice interaction between the provider and students and also between students during the program. Definitely worth it for Shakespeare classes!

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