Play Acting

My first period reading class--the one with eight students--is so far ahead of my terrible horrible no-good very bad less motivated fourth period class that I am letting them do fun reading.

(Fun reading is any reading that doesn't have a test involved. I bet if we had more time to do fun reading with our kids, they wouldn't be so resistant to the idea of picking up a book on their own).

So the class has been reading an abridged version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." They chose it themselves, although I might have described it as a sort of Springer-like love rectangle, with fairies. Even though the language is still Shakespeare's, our version cuts out a lot of the descriptions and long monologues that can bog down the ADD reader. Plus, there are pictures.

I have a range of readers, from very high to very low, and they have all read aloud, and I've noticed an increase in their fluency, though it's only been a couple of weeks. Even my low readers have started to volunteer for parts.

Today we read the final act, when the players perform in front of the newly-married couples. I had the students actually get up in front of the class (there were three people left in the audience). They really got into it, from Bottom the over-actor to shy Snug, the lion. The audience, such as it was, laughed uproariously and applauded the actors and asked if they could do it all over again.

I've taught this play several times, but I've never had a class enjoy it this much. For that matter, I've never enjoyed it this much.

1 comment:

Lady S said...

I wanted to do that scene with my second graders 2 years ago. I had 5 boys and 2 girls and they would have been great, but we never found the time.

I hate the intro, but that is one of my favorite scenes in Shakespeare.


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