"Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well-nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education." ~ Charlotte Mason

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Shakespeare - The Tempest

We began the Tempest this past Monday, in preparation for a taped production of the Stratford Play. We talked about who Shakespeare was using a Lap book Gates had made when she had taken a couple of classes on Shakespeare: the man, his life, his time, his plays - a general overview. I'm using Tales from Shakespeare (Lamb), to work through the play with them. They are enjoying the story so much. The first day I had them do some sketching about the characters, we were initially introduced to. I was secretly laughing at them because when they were trying to figure out what Caliban looked like there was some lengthy discussion about it followed up by demonstrations on how exactly he would have walked as he was described as "a strange misshapen thing, far less human in form than an ape". *grin* Even Grace got in on it, drawing a picture of Caliban, proudly informing us whom she had drawn a picture of!

We've been taking it in little bits so they understand the story and not just hear it. Today we formed the characters out of play dough and they dramatised the storm at sea that brought Ferdinand to the island. They enjoy doing that sort of thing as they are all fairly dramatic children (they get that from their Dad! lol I confess I was reluctant to introduce Shakespearean play to the kids but I decided to forge ahead with it! The opportunity to see a play (although not a live production) has helped me to move ahead with it. The kids excitement about it is quite contagious. I find I am enjoying just as much.

The study of this play won't be done the way I would have liked for it to be done but it's a good start and we can also revisit it in more depth later on in their school years. They will understand it enough so that when they watch the taped production they can watch it with an understanding of the characters and the plot. I think it's really neat that they are anticipating the production to see if the characters match what they have in their minds eye. And of course as a friend reminded me - it is a play and is meant to be watched! :)

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