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. 


  1. listening to the book was much more enjoyable than reading it.

  2. Indeed, listening to the play made it more time efficient, but personally I enjoy reading plays as a class. While it may be less obnoxious to listen to the professionals read, versus students, I feel that we would gain more reading it as a class. Us reading it would allow us to feel as if we were part of the story.