My students need copies of The Tempest to read, analyze, and take scenes and monologues from throughout the year. These copies will help them make sense of the Elizabethan language that is so difficult for them.
My students are enthusiastic and ready to get on stage the first day they come to class. They come from mostly working class and immigrant families that struggle to make ends meet. The district itself is one of the least-funded in the region, which makes it difficult to get the supplies we need in the classroom. Students range in age from 9th to 12th grade, and therefore get a rare opportunity in drama class to meet kids from other grade levels and establish a community within the school. These students are high energy and love to "play" on stage, manipulating their voices and bodies in order to inhabit characters.
Many students have never read or seen a play before, but they love getting up on their feet to actually experience what it feels like to take risks and perform for others.
Many times my class is the first taste of the performing arts these kids have. My mission is to get students to love and appreciate all forms of theater, and most of all, to be a living, breathing part of it.
This classroom set of Shakespeare's The Tempest will be more than a reading assignment, it will be the script that we use in drama class to learn about Elizabethan theater, the power of language, the power of the stage, and most importantly, the power of imagination.
These books will give students an important opportunity to actually have fun making sense of a difficult text and bringing it to life.
After we close-read the text for understanding, students will choose scenes and monologues to stage and perform. This experience with Shakespeare will help them for years to come from English to history to an appreciation for the power of language.
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