Archive for the ‘Shakespeare’ Category

Amazing Globe Theatre model!

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Amazing Globe Theatre model!

Amazing Globe Theatre model!

The fantastic Globe Theatre model above was created by the Yuasa family during a past Shakespeare Workshop. Such attention to detail! We’re blown away by the creativity of our Brave Writer families!

Susanne Barrett, instructor of the class, writes:

Also, another student in this class did his project very creatively…by building the interiors of the Globe on Minecraft!

My boys took a shortcut when they did their model several years ago…they brought me a heap of smoldering ashes from the fireplace and reminded me that the Globe burned down in 1613. [ha!]

We love Shakespeare here at Brave Writer! In fact, our Literary Analysis: Shakespeare (Twelfth Night) Class started Monday.  It runs for 4 weeks (May 18 – June 12, 2015) and is geared toward high school students. From the description page:

May is Shakespeare Month here at Brave Writer, and we continue to follow our tradition of offering the study of a different aspect of Shakespeare’s work each spring. In the past, we have studied Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Soliloquies as well as the plays Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, and Romeo & Juliet. This spring we will be delving into the world of the Shakespearean romantic comedy with an up-close-and-personal study of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Students who have previously taken our Literary Analysis courses of Shakespeare’s plays will find much new and interesting in this course centered on the hilarious romantic love triangle among Duke Orsino, Lady Olivia, and Viola (who is disguised as Orsino’s page, Cesario). Throw in a shipwreck, look-alike twins, a madcap trick on Olivia’s stodgy butler, and memorable characters, and we’ll have tons of fun this spring!

The Literary Analysis for Twelfth Night class is almost full, but Susanne says we could squeeze in one or two more. The first week is a look at Shakespeare’s life, times, and language, so it’s easy to catch up.

But, hurry! Register today.

Images © Yuasa family (used with permission)

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“He was not of an age, but for all time!”

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Shakespeare

Happy Birthday, Will Shakespeare!

by Brave Writer instructor, Susanne Barrett

To mark William Shakespeare’s 451st birthday, (he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and children at that time were usually baptized three days after birth) and the 399th anniversary of his death, celebration is going on in the United States as well as in Stratford-upon-Avon.

When I was in a Shakespeare class in high school, we had a HUGE birthday party for Shakespeare with British food and drink (rather like a high tea). A month beforehand, we had each drawn the name of a fellow student for which we were to make a handmade gift. I remember hemming handkerchiefs in pink embroidery thread with the initials “M.A.” for one student, and I still have the floral wreath strung with ribbons (meant to be worn on the head) hanging on my bedroom wall…although I don’t remember which young man made it for me (or more likely, his mother made it on his behalf, LOL).

So let’s celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday in our home!

Here are three ideas:

Character Party Game

Write the names of famous Shakespeare characters on 3X5 cards with a Sharpie (pick characters that the kids know) and without letting the person see, tape a card to each person’s back. Then each person asks “yes-no” type questions of other players to try to determine which character’s name is on his/her back. When someone guesses their character, tape a different character to his/her back. Several rounds may be played, depending on the number of players. (Sample questions: Am I male or female? Is my father dead? Is a play named after me?)

Quills and Quotes

Make quills from feathers (either dip feathers into ink or insert the innards of a ball point pen into the bottom of a feather and wrap with florist tape if needed; see this link: Instructables) and copy some favorite Shakespeare quotations or insults onto parchment (or regular) paper.

Trivia Games

Sporcle’s Shakespeare Trivia Home Page has games such as “Shakespeare vs. Batman Quotes,” “Shakespeare Threats & Insults,” and “Complete the Shakespeare Quote.” (Note: these quizzes are hard–I missed quite a few!)

And find more ideas here!

So, Happy 451st Birthday, William Shakespeare, from your friends at Brave Writer!!!

“So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.”

~Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare

Susanne Barrett has homeschooled her four children since 1997. She has a  B.A. in Literature and a Master of Arts in English. Her stories, poetry, and essays have been published in various venues. She is a well-loved, highly gifted Senior Teacher, Staff Writer, and Curriculum Developer with Brave Writer and is currently leading our popular Shakespeare Family Workshop.

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Literary Analysis: Romeo & Juliet

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

At the Cell of Friar Laurence by Arthur RackhamLooking for a great way to end your homeschooling year?

Susanne Barrett (MA in English and former university instructor) will be teaching Literary Analysis: Romeo & Juliet starting Monday, May 19 through Friday, June 13!

In this course (intended for high school students), Susanne will lead the class by reviewing:

  • The pertinent facts about Shakespeare and his times
  • The Elizabethan theater scene
  • The background and sources of Romeo and Juliet

Then the class will read and discuss Romeo and Juliet act by act and scene by scene.

Exploring:

  • The elements of plot
  • Characters
  • Motifs and themes
  • Use of language
  • Symbolism

The class with close with a formal essay on one of several possible topics.

Check it out!

Painting “At the Cell of Friar Laurence” by Arthur Rackham

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Bard Day!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

449px-William_Shakespeare_1609We’re celebrating Shakespeare’s 450th birthday by offering the Boomerang based on Gary Blackwood’s book, Shakespeare’s Scribe:

Half price today through Friday: $4.95!

In Blackwood’s novel, we follow Widge, an actor in Shakespeare’s troupe. After the Globe Theatre is shut down due to the Black Plague, the company sets off to tour England, where Widge’s unique shorthand makes him a valuable member…until someone threatens to reveal a past secret.

The book is a sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer, but stands well on its own.

Also! Brave Writer instructor, Susanne Barrett, posted ways to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday in the Shakespeare Family Workshop.

Here are her ideas:

• Have a Talk Like Shakespeare Day (or even just an hour, if that’s all you can handle).

• Perhaps gather around the table with scones and jam and some Earl Grey tea and read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud (you can find Shakespeare sonnet apps for your smart phone or check out this site).

• Read some of Shakespeare’s famous monologues aloud dramatically, perhaps even in costume. Here’s a list of some of the best single-person speeches, one list for men and one for women. Try performing them for family members and/or friends or at a co-op!

• Perform a Shakespeare scene as a puppet show or act out a scene in costume; either memorize parts or make copies of the scene for all the actors. Here are some scenes and scripts for kids from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

• Watch your favorite Shakespeare play on film (mine is Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing). Check your local library or Netflix for some excellent titles, and the International Movie DataBase includes some helpful parents guides with advisory content for you along with ratings and information on most film versions.

• For older kids, check out Michael Woods’ in-depth documentary In Search of Shakespeare which first aired on PBS in 2004. Both the DVD and the companion book should be readily available through most public libraries.

• Better yet, see a live Shakespeare play as soon as possible. Check out college/university performances near you as they’re usually much less expensive than professional productions.

So, celebrate one of the greatest playwrights of all time and take advantage of this special Boomerang offer!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Image above: The Flower portrait of William Shakespeare, c. 1820-40 (via Wikipedia).

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Happy Birthday, Shakespeare!

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Shakespeare-Party-Chandos portrait-edited by Baraboo Public Library

449 years ago, The Bard of All Bards was born!

To celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday, Brave Writer is offering the Boomerang based on Gary Blackwood’s book, Shakespeare’s Scribe:

Half price for one day only: $4.95! OFFER HAS EXPIRED

In Blackwood’s novel, we follow Widge, an actor in Shakespeare’s troupe. After the Globe Theatre is shut down due to the Black Plague, the company sets off to tour England, where Widge’s unique shorthand makes him a valuable member…until someone threatens to reveal a past secret.

The book is a sequel to The Shakespeare Stealer, but stands well on its own.

Oh, also! Brave Writer instructor, Susanne Barrett, posted ways to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday in the Shakespeare Family Workshop she’s leading right now.

Here are her ideas:

• Have a Talk Like Shakespeare Day (or even just an hour, if that’s all you can handle).

• Perhaps gather around the table with scones and jam and some Earl Grey tea and read some of Shakespeare’s sonnets aloud (you can find Shakespeare sonnet apps for your smart phone or check out this site).

• Read some of Shakespeare’s famous monologues aloud dramatically, perhaps even in costume. Here’s a list of some of the best single-person speeches, one list for men and one for women.  Try performing them for family members and/or friends or at a co-op!

• Perform a Shakespeare scene as a puppet show or act out a scene in costume; either memorize parts or make copies of the scene for all the actors. Here are some scenes and scripts for kids from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

• Watch your favorite Shakespeare play on film (mine is Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing). Check your local library or Netflix for some excellent titles, and the International Movie DataBase includes some helpful parents guides with advisory content for you along with ratings and information on most film versions.

• For older kids, check out Michael Woods’ in-depth documentary In Search of Shakespeare which first aired on PBS in 2004. Both the DVD and the companion book should be readily available through most public libraries.

• Better yet, see a live Shakespeare play as soon as possible. Check out college/university performances near you as they’re usually much less expensive than professional productions.

So, celebrate one of the greatest playwrights of all time and take advantage of this special Boomerang offer!

The Boomerang is a monthly digital downloadable product that features copywork and dictation passages from a specific read aloud novel. It is the indispensable tool for Brave Writer parents who want to teach language arts in a natural, literature-bathed context.

Image is from the Baraboo Public Library