Part 2 of the 12 part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – CREATIVITY Sherlock Holmes once questioned what the point was of filling his brain with useless facts, in this particular case, the Earth revolving around the Sun. As he would rather fill his brain with useful facts. Although I don’t completely agree with his philosophy,…
Over the next several weeks and months I’ll be writing a 12-part series about why drama is so important in schools. I’ll be covering several different aspects of the benefits of why we do drama, what it gives our kids that very few extra-curricular activities can give, as well as ideas and suggestions on to how to make theater…
I ask kids all the time, “Have you ever seen The Lion King? Then you know the story of Hamlet!” Well, on the most part, yes, but not exactly… I came across this great infographic that showcases the differences and similarities and well … slight differences… like, oh, I don’t know, Elton John singing? Anyway, I thought you all would enjoy and possibly use this Hamlion graphic!!!
Ok, let’s start with, I didn’t make this… but, it’s pretty darn cool! (credit to Mya Gosling) Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo. My first thought was, it’s going to be a pretty long game. But, my second thought was to actually make this into a game. Have all the different scenes that relate to the squares put in the “Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo” bag. Pull out the scene and play, review it slightly for a quick learning lesson, and have the kids mark their cards!
If I was a highschool teacher, I would use the Shakespearean Tragedy Bingo as a tool to show kids how there is so much cool stuff to Shakespeare’s plays. How life today, in some parts, is no different than 400 years ago.
When trying to engage kids with Shakespeare, I find the tragedies are the most engaging! Have fun with this one teachers!
In order to celebrate the launch of my 13th book, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book for Kids, I put together a little “Did you know?” page. It’s different things we learned along the path of creating this melodramatic 15 minute play from the original works of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Enjoy!
DID YOU KNOW?
1) Disney’s cartoon version of The Jungle Book didn’t follow Rudyard Kipling’s actual story, it was “inspired” more than “based” on the book
2) The Jungle Book is a collection of 7 short stories and 7 songs
3) Kipling wrote a play version of the The Jungle Book that was never published or produced onstage
4) The monkeys in The Jungle Book are called the Bandar-log. In Hindi, “Bandar” means monkey, and “log” means people. That’s why they are known as the “monkey-people”!
5) Rudyard Kipling was born in India, where the stories of The Jungle Book take place
6) Akela means “lone” or “solitary” in Hindi
7) Cub Scouts adopted the character of Akela (the wolf) as their symbol of leadership
8) The name Mowgli is a made up word that is supposed to mean “frog” in the stories
9) Mowgli is supposed to be pronounced “Mow-gli” with Mow rhyming with cow
10) Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, drew some of the illustrations used in the original magazine publications of The Jungle Book stories
11) Tabaqui, the jackal, is pronounced Tabarky and he made up this name himself
12) There is an actual Kipling Society where you can learn all about Rudyard
13) ‘Shere’ means “Tiger” in some Indian dialects. And Khan is a title; implying Chief of the Tigers
14) ‘Baloo’ is Hindi for “Bear”
15) ‘Bagheera’ is Hindi for, you guessed it, “Panther”
16) ‘Kaa’ is actually pronounced, “Kar”
17) Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is one of The Jungle Book stories
18) ‘Rikki-Tikki-Tavi’ is pronounced, “Rikky-tikki-tar-vi”
19) ‘Nag’ the snake is pronounced, “Narg”
20) Rudyard Kipling wrote a sequel to The Jungle Book called, The Second Jungle Book
21) There is no King Louie in the original book
22) Rudyard is his middle name: Joseph Rudyard Kipling
23) Rudyard Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907
24) The founder of the Boy Scouts personally asked Kipling’s permission to use names and images from The Jungle Book
25) Kipling admitted stealing some of the stories of The Jungle Book from other authors.
That’s right, I said “IN”, the Merchant IN Venice! Read below from one of our guest bloggers about a rare opportunity…
I have always wondered how it would be to see Shakespeare’s characters in the places which the Bard himself thought for them, how it would be to see Lorenzo wooing Jessica outside a Venetian palace or Shylock claiming the “pound of flesh” that Antonio owed him. Now you have the opportunity to walk through the streets (or “calli” in the Venetian dialect) which have inspired Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice.
In the summer of 2016, the Colombari Company and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice will be part of an initiative called “Shylock Project” that aims at bringing the characters of The Merchant of Venice for the first time on a special stage, the Venetian Ghetto, the Jewish quarter in Venice. The Ghetto was the place where Jews were forced to live by the Venetian Republic and 2016 marks the quincentennial of its establishment. (That’s 500 years!) The Ghetto is also the place where we will perform The Merchant of Venice!
Furthermore, many brilliant scholars will be discussing the play in several meetings and seminars! Do not miss the chance to be part of this unique event, visit our website to have more information: www.themerchantinvenice.org
This is something that touches my heart deeply, but poses a bigger question, why don’t live theater and movie theaters do performances and shows for kids with sensory challenges more often? First of all, this post is inspired by Kelly Hunter from the Royal Shakespeare Company, in conjunction with the Ohio State University. A big shout out goes…
Here’s a great idea from @DetroitSamWhite, whom I met in the twitterverse. A great way to introduce kids to Shakespeare and realize the impact that The Bard’s language had on the rest of the world is to play a little game with your kids called, Shake Phrase. As many of you know, all of my books are sprinkled with common Shakespeare phrases that kids will hear throughout life. Well, with Shake Phrase, you write down dozens of these common phrases and words and put them in a box. BUT, the 2nd part is to put another dozen or so of other common phrases, not done by Shakespeare in the same box. Now, Shake Phrase: shake the box and pull a phrase, the kids have to guess if they are from Will or not. As @DetroitSamWhite says, “blows their minds :-)”
Do a few phrases each day and they will quickly “start learning that many of the phrases they hear and use are Shakespeare quotes.”
It’s almost like Catch Phrase for Shakespeare!
Drop me a line and let me know if you have a great classroom activity for engaging kids with the Bard. I always like to share great ideas like Shake Phrase.
As we all know, Shakespeare wrote a lot of words. Many of which he made up on the fly, or simply was the first one to actually write them done. Regardless, he alone added somewhere upwards of 5,000+ words and phrases to the English language. Some of these, we use every day. Here’s a list of 13 words first penned by Shakespeare:
Quote: “Forced in the ruthless, vast, and gloomy woods?” – Titus Andronicus
Quote: “Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable.” – The Merchant of Venice
Quote: “This is a most majestic vision” – The Tempest
Quote: “Believe’t not lightly – though I go alone / Like to a lonely dragon that his fen -Coriolanus
Quote: “For by the sacred radiance of the sun” – King Lear
Quote: “Lives, honors, lands, and all hurry to loss.” – Henry VI Part 1
Quote: “Free me so far in your most generous thoughts / That I have shot mine arrow o’er the house / And hurt my brother.” – Hamlet
Quote: “Chid I for that at frugal Nature’s frame?” – Much Ado About Nothing
Quote: “For I am nothing if not critical” – Othello
Quote: “To courtship and such fair ostents of love” – The Merchant of Venice
Quote: “Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight zany” – Love’s Labour’s Lost
Quote: “Madam, undress you and come now to bed.” – The Taming of the Shrew
Quote:”I’ll rant as well as thou.” – Hamlet
Here is a clever idea that may engage your students in a short lesson plan, as well as open their eyes and minds to what Shakespeare has brought to the table. Create a top ten Shakespeare list. Here are some top ten Shakespeare ideas you can work with:
- Characters (Puck, Hamlet, Othello… Who’s #1?)
- Re-written story lines (i.e. Lion King or West Side Story, etc)
- Speeches (To be, or not to be)
- Quotes (Out, damn spot, out!)
- Phrases (Method to his Madness)
- Words (i.e. Alligator, Minds-eye, Dalmation, etc)
Let me know if you think of more, so I can share with other educators!
Here is a short Top Ten Shakespeare phrases video to kick it off for your class – bet ya didn’t know all these: