Third Grade Is Once Again Enchanted by Shakespeare
In the now annual cross-divisional unit on Shakespeare, the third grade spent six weeks this fall exploring the intricacies of one of Shakespeare's more complex comedies, A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Students examined Shakespeare's life, Elizabethan times and the play itself from a literary perspective. Rachel Marlowe and Darla Max, thespians extraordinaire from the Drama Department, provided opportunities to dramatically interpret the characters, their motivations, and the sounds that perhaps would be heard in the enchanted forest in an onstage production. Lois Burdett's version, co-authored with her second graders, provided a comprehendible foundation of the comedy.
From there, several other editions of the comedy were investigated, including graphic novel renderings and two completely different scripted skits. Shakespeare's language was emphasized throughout this unit along with specific famous quotes from the play. Students learned that Shakespeare himself was responsible for far more than just penning prodigious literary devises; he created more than 2000 new words that we still use today including, "dickens," "alligator," "eyeball," "football," and "love letter."