Family Reunion Readers Theater

Readers Theater is always a fun time, and even more so with my melodramatic stories which are short and funny. But, they are even funnier with a family reunion. As we all know who the hams are in our families, don’t we?

This past holiday season, when our family came together for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas, we did a readers theater three different times (it’s officially a family tradition now!)  What a BLAST! My son made sure he was the director, and he gave out 3-4 books that we all shared. Then he made impromptu costumes that we all put on and read our parts (or multiple parts in some cases). I never thought about using my books for a large team building get-together. However, doing readers theater at a family reunion is fantastic for building new and cherished reunion

What a wonderful way to hang out and make great new memories with the family!  We performed Jungle Book for Kids two different times at Thanksgiving, and then did Treasure Island for Kids at Christmas (one would think we would do A Christmas Carol for Kids, but nooooo). This was great for all our ages, from 6 to 96!

Next year we have already planned to do Macbeth (the nieces want to be witches!) and Julius Caesar (can’t wait to kill of Uncle Louie!) What fun to do a family readers theater during our family reunion.

Another rendition a friend of mine is doing at their family reunion, since they have over 50 family members, is a family competition. They are going to break them up into random teams, and then all perform.  Best performance gets to eat first! When m
y plays are only 15 minutes, it’ goes by quick and with much laughter!

I hope you enjoy the same!

Family Reunion Readers Theater was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books


Shakespeare’s Top 10 Dirty Jokes

I work hard to make sure kids find him funny with my Shakespeare for Kids books.  But what’s equally clear to me, teens generally consider Shakespeare boring or “Why is my teacher wasting my life reading this #$%@”  As I have seen on Twitter many times.  But hey, if it’s not presented right, it comes…

Shakespeare’s Top 10 Dirty Jokes was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

#ShakesTag the Online Game of Shakespeare

Well today is the day of the week that most people practice religion of one type or another. For some people it’s the church, others football, and to others, reading is religion. Stepping into a slightly tighter niche than that, Shakespeare. And some of these people who love the Bard, get together on Sunday for a friendly game of #ShakesTag.#ShakesTag

What is #ShakesTag, you may ask? Well, it’s a game created by two ladies: Dr. Wells and Lara Schiffbauer. But every week they play to some type of theme, post together a short Shakespeare tweet, related to said theme, then tag it with #ShakesTag. And off goes the game!

It’s surprising, how many people are playing, and it’s fun to get tagged by someone, because it means you’re “in the gang”.

But teachers, this is where I think you can engage your kids in learning some of Shakespeare’s famous lines with your class. Or, more importantly, that is language means more than just words written on a piece of paper. During one of your classroom sessions, start a #ShakesTag game with your kids on Twitter. See how many references to “love” or insults, or humor, or some other term that would surprise and engage your kids.

Let me know how it goes. And if you have any stories of teaching kids with Shakespeare, I would love to hear and share them. Let me know!


#shakestag rules

#ShakesTag the Online Game of Shakespeare was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Celebrity Impersonations of Hamlet’s To be or not to be Speech

I recently came across a great video through Twitter that is pretty impressive.  Jim Meskimen is a professional impersonator and he spun together a great 2 minute video that’s both engaging and original.  He was able to perform the famous, To be or not to be monologue from Hamlet with about 25 different famous celebrity impersonations.  You can follow Jim on Twitter at: @jimrossmeskimen

You can see the video here:

YouTube Preview Image

And Jim has another Shakespeare from celebrity impersonations below.  This one has been seen almost 1 million times!  Not too shabby!

YouTube Preview Image

Celebrity Impersonations of Hamlet’s To be or not to be Speech was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Yo! Shakespeare! The Mini Page Archive

Ok, I had to share this as soon as I heard of it, The Mini Page Archive.  A publication for kids that ran from 1969 – 2007, and it’s all archived and searchable.  It’s a periodical for kids around all sorts of different subjects.  Lucky for us, there are 2 issues focused around Shakespeare: Yo! Shakespeare! –…

Yo! Shakespeare! The Mini Page Archive was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

Hilarious Macbeth Summary Video

I tripped over this Macbeth summary video on YouTube, it’s pretty funny, and if you have high-schoolers, it’s a perfect quick summary that’ll fit right into their teenage attitude!  Enjoy!


YouTube Preview Image

Hilarious Macbeth Summary Video was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books

The Lulu App: Engaging Teens and Rating #ShakespeareMen

I recently came across a post about an app called Lulu.  Now, mind you this is not an app for kids or Shakespeare for kids, yet, I’m thinking of this as much more for getting teenagers engaged with Shakespeare.  While reading the article about Lulu and Shakespeare’s male characters, which I thought was pretty funny (mind you, it’s not much of an “article” as it is a list of statements about Shakespeare’s male characters) it got me lulu-logothinking about being in high school again. (Actually, I hated high school and the simple thought of high school actually made me want to punch a wall, but, I will save that thought for my shrink…)  So, knowing this thought, I figured that Lulu might be a great avenue to engage teens with Shakespeare.  It’s got the perfect mix: Twitter, technology, smartphones, boys and girls, sex, and Shakespeare.  Yes, I said Shakespeare (hell, if any of you know Shakespeare at all, it’s all about boys, girls, and sex… why teenagers don’t like him for these very reasons, I don’t quite understand…yet, I tangent again…).  So, if we want to get these hormone crazed young adults hooked into something exciting, let them do a project with Lulu and Shakespeare…. which leads me to the article I came across.

The original article is here by Caitlin Kelly.  You really need to read it yourself to get the full enjoyment out of it. (again, it’s not much of a “read” as it is a bunch of one liners, but the teens, well, they’ll get it).  A description from the NY Times article about Lulu:

On Lulu, women can rate men in categories.… The hashtags are used to calculate a score generated by Lulu, ranging from 1 to 10.

Well, Caitlin goes on to show a few hashtags about some of Shakespeare’s more prominent males: Romeo, Hamlet, Macbeth, and a few more.  Below is a list of hashtags and men.  See if you can connect them to the correct male…







Now that was fun… but, onto the potential lesson plan…if you haven’t already thought of it yourself.  Have your kids go on the Lulu app and start putting in the different Shakespeare male characters and see what they start getting back.  It will enlighten them on what a diverse array of characters Shakespeare created in a language that they understand. (I mean, who says “craycray” anyway if your over 17 years of age, right?)

So, now let’s get to Twitter.  I’m on twitter all the time, mainly to meet other people who teach Shakespeare and want to get kids more involved with him.   So, one of the keywords I search for is “teach Shakespeare”, makes sense, right?  By doing that, I see ALOT of teens tweeting about how Shakespeare has ruined their life or wasted their time, or how Eminem should be taught instead of Shakespeare because that’s “someone I can actually understand and relate to”.  And I’m leaving out all of the colorful f-bombs that these kids drop on the Bard for the sake that this is a family blog!  But, the point is, the kids use this forum to vent about Shakespeare, so, let’s turn the tables and have the kids use twitter to brag about him…At this point, have them tweet a description of a male character to all their friends, classmates, teachers, whatever… (I’m also assuming, by this time in their life, they are well into using twitter anyway and are probably sitting in your class right now doing just that very thing!)

The point is, we have tied in teens, tweets, and education about Shakespeare’s male characters in one fell swoop… should be fun!  I would love to hear if someone actually engages this idea in a class and how it goes.  If you do, have them tweet me their messages: @Shakespeare4kid

Till the next time…


The Lulu App: Engaging Teens and Rating #ShakespeareMen was originally published on Shakespeare for Kids Books