Friday, December 17, 2010

How shall we beguile this lazy time if not with some delight?

Shakespeare.  The mere mention of this esteemed writer brings chills or cheers to a potential reader.  In my case, it was mostly chills as my students were faced with reading A Midsummer Night's Dream.  But I changed my approach this year and I think it went fairly well.  In years past I'd spent about 3-4 weeks reading through the text with student voices, stopping occasionally for lessons about subtext, meter, language, and the like.  But this year I decided, in the interest of time and student attention spans, to listen to a full cast recording of the play complete with sound effects and decent mood music.  Wow, what a difference!  Rather than trudging through the thick plot and antiquated langauge, we blasted through the book in 7 days!  Now, I have a feeling that very few of my kids actually read every single word along with the audio recording, but I think they got a better gist of the story than if we'd read it ourselves.  Admittedly, it was easier on my ears too!  So, with a two-week break ahead of us, we can come back and spend some quality time on those lessons so I'm sure the students can really appreciate the story and the language.