"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

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Club: Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing


Our monthly book club met today to discuss Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing!  Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy about love, a plot to destroy love, a plot to trick a couple into love, betrayal, loyalty and the truth coming to light.  For more on the play, here is a great summary.

 I had wanted to end this study with a Shakespeare production of Much Ado About Nothing but as it happened they saw the production first.  This actually worked out very well.  The play was in Stratford. The kids LOVED the production and it sparked a great deal of enthusiasm to study the play once we got home.  The production was incredible and the acting superb!  It peeked an interest in theater for my children along with a wonderful introduction to Shakespeare.  

For the study of our play we began by talking about who Shakespeare was, where he lived and the time he lived in.  There are some nice books that help with this but I did not have them on hand so I used the good old internet to help us out.  But if you are looking for books:  Usborne Internet-Linked World of Shakespeare along with Shakespeare for Kids are good ones, We also discussed various aspects of the theater of that time period along with Shakespeare's contributions to theater and acting.  I felt like this set the stage well enough for them before we actually read through the play.

To delve in to the play I began with Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare to introduce the kids to the basic plot of the play. I would have also used Illustrated Stories From Shakespeare but that book did not have the Play Much Ado About Nothing.  We did have on hand Much Ado About Nothing from the Shakespeare Can Be Fun Series, so we read through that as well.  We then followed that up with reading through the actual Shakespeare play.  The kids really enjoyed each part of the process and came away more then willing to see more Shakespeare and study more of his plays. :)


I have been running a Junior book club for a number of months now.  It is proving to be a most enjoyable experience for all of us!  The kids are happy to participate and share their insights about the works we are reading.  Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing was no exception.  

We began by talking about Shakespeare, his works, his time period and the theater.  The kids were more then happy to share thoughts, impressions and what they learned at home about the life and times of Shakespeare.  I read through some of the Usborne Internet Linked World of Shakespeare with them.  The picture in that book are amazing, so we took in some of those as well.

Then we talked about the play.  They were eager to answer questions about what they liked about the play, what scenes were their favorite and why, what they learned etc.  They shared what they did at home to help the play come alive: watching a production of it, listening to a version on audio, acting it out with play mobile,  reading through it, and acting out various parts were among those shared.  It was exciting to hear how they made the play come alive as they studied it!

For our book club the activity was sketching a comic strip of their favorite scenes.  Not only did they participate in the sketching but there was some wonderful conversation among them as they talked about the scenes they were recreating.  We just used pencils and plain paper!  That was all that was needed to get them going.  It was a great book club. :)

Working on his Comic Sketch
Forming out her page for the individual scenes.
Look at all these kiddos! :)

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