Shakespeare in 5th Grade? - ProTeacher Community





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Shakespeare in 5th Grade?
Old 02-27-2010, 05:36 AM
 
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Our Harcourt basal has an upcoming story about Shakespeare...as is a basal, the story is very "on the surface". I would like to expand this basal selection with a week or 2 unit on Shakespeare. Any ideas from what you all have found that works would be appreciated. Most of my readers are on level...none really above level.

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depends
Old 02-27-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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I've had 7th graders read Shakespeare; my experience is that, barring an adapted text - which defeats the purpose, in my opinion - it is a VERY slow process with 12 year olds, so 10 year olds would probably struggle more. We used A Midsummer Night's Dream (honors classes) and some excerpts from Hamlet. Our text had - I think it was Much Ado About Nothing - cut up into sections that alternated between modern English and Shakespeare's original. It was so cumbersome, I used it exactly once. Reading all of it in the original would have been easier.

First you need to find out which, if any, of the plays are already being used in upper grades. Our ninth grade teachers would have had our heads on a platter if we taught Romeo and Juliet; ditto the 10th for The Tempest and Julius Caesar.

Taming of the Shrew might work all right and A MND as I mentioned. The subject matter in Shakespeare for even 7th is only marginally acceptable in some of his work, and totally unacceptable for others IMO. Be very familiar with the play and its subtleties.

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Old 02-27-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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I agree with PP. I think it is hard to use the original text, so an adapted version probably will be a better choice. You might be able to find Reader's Theater or choose some of the (appropriate) sonnets and do a poetry unit?
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Old 02-28-2010, 12:15 PM
 
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There is a wonderful series of books called Shakespeare Can be Fun! They have a ton of titles to choose from and are wonderful for teaching Shakespeare to younger students.
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focus on the historical aspects
Old 03-02-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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What about approaching it from a more historical aspect, so that when the kids are more prepared to dig into Shakespeare in the upper grades they have a better understanding of the context? I love introducing my kiddos to Elizabethan England, especially because it ties so well into our study of colonial and revolutionary America. They also love learning that so many of the terms and words we use now were made up by Shakespeare!


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