My students need 40 copies of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" to read aloud in class to get over their fear of this strange language that is almost like English...
If you have grown up to hate Shakespeare, I am so sorry your teacher wasn't a former actor. His plays are really awesome! And my students are about to find this out.
In my California public school, children from 30 different countries converge in one classroom, sort of like a mini United Nations.
Some escaped from war torn countries, natural disasters, and famine. Others are here because their parents found work. The rest are natives who are learning to count their blessings. All are adapting to the diverse cultures, and in the end they find they have more in common than not.
Plays are meant to be read aloud - Shakespeare, especially. But to read Twelfth Night we need a class set, and since our classes will have 40 students, it's 40 copies we need. Since we should be reading this play in January, what better play is there to do? We will start it on Twelfth Night! In middle school, my mission is to turn children on to the Bard; the good, the bad, and the hilarious. I get to instill the joy and wonder of human relationships, fallacies, politics and motivations along with a fabulous vocabulary - including the 16th century swear words (which they'll especially like - parents, too, since it cleans up their little angel's mouths a bit). When you get a child of 13 to love Shakespeare they won't end up as embittered adults who hate him. A whole new literary world opens up, and regular English is suddenly not so difficult. A great teacher did that for me, and I strive to pay it forward.
Once a boy, fresh out of jail, was put in my class on condition of his parole.
We read Macbeth aloud and he learned that he, too, was a poet. He then began using his pen instead of a gun, altering his life forever. He just graduated from Stanford University. Shakespeare is a game changer in the lives of many of my students. From the highly gifted to the English learner, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from reading, and learning to understand, his plays.Read More
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|Twelfth Night (Folger Shakespeare Library Series) William Shakespeare, Paul Werstine (Editor), Barbara A. Mowat (Editor), Paul Werstein (Editor) • Barnes and Noble||$5.12||40||$204.80|
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