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Elementary Teaching Tips, Continued




Children's Shakespeare Festival

You may be surprised at how quickly elementary students can pick up Shakespeare's language.

 

Memorization comes naturally as students speak their lines over and over to each other. Combining language and action is especially effective. Memorization comes more readily when words are coupled with a glance, a stance, a facial expression, a gesture, or a movement. Be forewarned: children learn their lines and movements with uncanny accuracy and attention to detail. Once they learn their lines, then they learn everybody else’s.


Remember:
Have fun. Your students must see that acting out a Shakespeare scene or whole play is great sport. Keep the sessions lively, and if you must, keep them short. A 5-minute session spent hurling insults in iambic pentameter will be remembered for its liveliness, and you can build on that with longer sessions as the Shakespeare magic begins to take hold. Remember to stop every Shakespeare session while you’re ahead. Leave them laughing and they’ll clamor for more. Years from now, when their lines are no longer remembered with absolute clarity, the children will remember how you made them feel about their experiences with Shakespeare.

  Teacher Talk

Years from now, when their lines are no longer remembered with absolute clarity, the children will remember how you made them feel about their experiences with Shakespeare.

~Harvey Sadis
  Elementary teacher





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