Thursday, January 17, 2008

Renaissance Dance among ninth-graders

There are some days where I really earn my money as a teacher.

Today's lesson leads into Romeo and Juliet act 1, scene 5, the masquerade party. My source, that Shakespeare Set Free book, helps me walk the kids through a rudimentary Renaissance dance. It is basically a simplified square dance. I put on an old tune of Renaissance music that I found on the web at and then walk them through it.

It's funny at times. Talkers will close down when you ask them to use that talking up in front of the class to help with the lesson. Fidgety kids will slump down in their seats rather than get up. But I tell ya, they can never say the class is boring.

Today then, was one of those days where, like a symphony conductor, I have to help move around eight+ kids acting out the scene, plus keep those still seated following along and listening. It's fun when it gets a bit out of control and they are laughing at the scene, the situation, or each other, but my part is to keep that enthusiasm channeled into learning Shakespeare.

It's hard but well worth it. A couple of the students already know their entire Shakespeare speech. Many know a good deal of it. It's great, and when I hear them saying Shakespearean lines, I know it's worth it.

No comments: