How Would You Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday?

Regular readers (all 2.5 of you!) know that I am very slowly putting together a unit study on the history of the English language. I promise to keep great records and make everything available as we complete it.

I can tell you that I am using the History of English book that accompanied the PBS series as the backbone of our study. I enjoyed Bill Bryson’s Mother Tongue, but there was a lot of swearing (for an 8yo), and it did not have as much of a historical focus as I would have liked. It was organized along themes like spelling, pronunciation, and swear words rather than organized by the cultures that contributed to English, e.g., Celts, Normans, Africans, etc. Our interest is in highlighting the cultural and historical factors of language development, so the PBS guide is a good fit. We will probably use about the first 1/2 of it.

We plan to spend one week on Shakespeare’s contributions to English. As I’ve mapped this out, that week coincides with Shakespeare’s birthday — very serendipitous!

As it happens, Shakespeare’s birthday falls on a rather significant date in our family. With the stars thus aligned, we are going to have a Shakespeare’s Birthday party with some of our homeschool friends. The primary age range is 9-10, though we’ll have a few younger and possibly older.

I have planned (for the kids) to do a scene from Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is why I’m starting to plan now. I want the other kids to have a chance to get familiar with the play, so we can base our games mostly around that.

Anyone have any other great activities, games, crafts, or food ideas to share? Tankards of ale for the adults, obviously . . .



Filed under Curriculum, Gifted Ed, Schoolday Doings

3 responses to “How Would You Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday?

  1. Well it all sounds good. There are a lot of interesting little Shakespeare items for sale now at places like Barnes and Noble. If you are doing Midsummer maybe you could make fairy outfits and if there are boys they could make swords.

    You could read funny Shakespeare quotes – like maybe those magnetic poetry kits, and have the kids put different random words together to make funny sentences.

    Or do a matching game where you match up a Shakespearean word (a more obscure one) with it’s modern translation.

  2. adsoofmelk

    You could show the movie. I love the Michelle Pfeiffer version of Midsummer. There is brief nudity with the fairies, so pre-screen. Another activity if you’re talking about younger kids, is Pin the Tail on the Bottom. 😉

  3. Pingback: shakespeare s birthday

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