Shakespeare Activities for ANY Play

Teaching Shakespeare can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, it's the bard! Whoo hoo! Perhaps the best writer in the history of humanity. On the other hand, the potential is definitely there for confused, disengaged, alienated students.

No one wants students to hate Shakespeare! That's why I know you are ever on the lookout for creative strategies to help them connect with the great Will Shakespeare (Besides watching Shakespeare in Love, which I love, don't you?).

In this post, I'm sharing some of my own favorite classroom activities you can use with any Shakespeare plays, and the results of my Shakespearean treasure hunt around the web. Spend five minutes with this post right here, right now, and I'm SURE you'll find at least one great new option for your Shakespeare curriculum.


Episode 031: 3 Engaging Lessons (Murder Mysteries, Ted Talks, SNL Clips)

In today's episode of The Spark Creativity Teacher Podcast, I'm talking to Amanda from Engaging and Effective

I first discovered her blog a few months ago and have been hooked ever since. 

You're going to love the way she weaves pop culture and multimedia into her curriculum to help further her students' learning and build relationships with them. Half the time, I bet they're having too much fun to notice how quickly they are learning! Amanda is definitely the kind of teacher I would want if a crazy time warp took me back to high school. 


One Pagers: The Simplest Way to Success

One-pagers are becoming increasingly popular as a way to help students process what they have read in one powerful activity. Like sketchnotes, they combine visuals with text to make ideas come alive in students’ minds and memories.

But it’s easy for students to struggle with one-pagers if they are not naturally inclined toward art and have not previously been encouraged to represent their ideas this way. They may feel they are being graded unfairly on their artistic abilities.

Some students will hear directions to create a graphic representation of a reading and dive right in. Others will moan and mutter things about "ridiculous art projects." But the popularity of one pagers with teachers lately is undeniable. If students can get over their hang-ups, they really learn a lot from processing what they've read in visual form with a one-pager. 

So how to help the art-haters thrive alongside the artists? How to show everyone that their one-pagers are about critical thinking and interpretation, not just flair pens (though flair pens are a pretty fabulous addition)?


The Innovative Creative Writing Unit You've Been Needing

The great thing about a stand-alone creative writing unit is that you can plug it in anywhere. It develops writing skills, class community, and creativity. I've been thinking about a new one for the last month, and it's finally ready to share here. 

I've written before about Angela Stockman's wonderful book Make Writing, and her innovative methods of turning the English classroom into a maker space. Recently, I finished John Spencer's book Launch, about using design thinking in the classroom. As I began to explore design thinking with little experiments at home with my son, it was easy to combine Stockman's ideas about making with some of Spencer's about launching to an authentic audience. 

What if students created maker pieces, then wrote creatively about them, then launched their work out into the world? 


A Beginner's Guide to Teaching Abroad

Do your thoughts ever drift across the ocean? To some faraway place where everything you see and do will be new? 

My husband's sure do! He LOVED our time teaching abroad so much that he is always talking about going back someday. And I have to admit, I'm pretty tempted myself.

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