Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 23:37:17 EST
Subject: [ncte-talk] My Shakespeare Flow

OK, I'm finally posting last week's Flow activity for Shakespeare. Like I 
said before, I only created it the night before, so I already know at least 
one major thing I'm going to change for next year. After the two-day 
activity, I had them write their opinions down, giving me suggestions for 
improvement and what stations to keep. Seems like their favorites are the 
Shakespearean Insults and the Internet Globe Theatre stations.

Please, please, please let me know what you think and of ways I can improve 
this. I really enjoyed this, however, it seems as if there could effectively 
be at least two more stations. But that would run it over to a third day, and 
I just don't want to use up that much time with a senior prep class. (I had 
one student write in her evaluation that this was too "elementary" and 
reminded her of "kindergarten." Not enough "critical thinking" she said. 
Hmmm.) How long do you allot for a Flow activity? 

Earlier, we discussed accountability. I had each student take down the 
information and told them each member needed to have basically the same 
answers. This stopped the "let's work separately" problem. We also talked 
about how to variate for the different levels. For my basic class, I had 6 
stations instead of 7, giving them more time. For the soliloquy station, I 
also gave the basic class a parallel text version which made the 
comprehension a lot simpler. I hope you can use this, and please give me your 
input!  (Here are the stations. I will include the handouts in another email.)

Connie  = )

General Directions: You are about to partake in a two-day activity where you 
will learn about Shakespeare and his time period. You will spend 
approximately 15 minutes at each "station." At each station, you will find a 
folder. You will see the directions for that station taped onto the folder. 

- - - - - - - - - - 
Station #1
Shakespearean Insults

In Shakespearean times, people put others down just as we do today. This can 
be compared to our "your mama" slams. Often times, Shakespeare wrote insults 
into his scripts.

Take one of the "Shakespearean Insults" handout and keep with your answer 

Create ten to fifteen insults on your answer sheet. Remember to always start 
with either "Thou . . ." or "Thou art a . . ." Share them with your group.

Most of all, however, have fun, thou loggerheaded flap-mouthed malt-worm.  

(For handout of station 1, I just used what they have on many websites. 
Here's just one website that has it:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Station #2
Shakespeare's Biography

Enclosed you will find a short biography about William Shakespeare. Please 
read it aloud in your group, taking turns reading. Then, answer the questions 
below in complete sentences on your answer sheet working together.

1. Describe Shakespeare's childhood in three or four sentences.

2. How many children did Shakespeare have?

3. Why was part of his life referred to as "The Lost Years"?

4. Where were most popular plays produced?

5. Why did Shakespeare begin writing poems (sonnets)?

6. This biography mentioned a few times about evidence that Shakespeare 
existed. What does this tell you? Why do you think scholars debate this even 
to this day?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Station #3
The Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre was where William Shakespeare and others put on their 
plays, often times to impress the one and only, Queen Elizabeth.

Visit the website "The Original Globe" at

First, click on "General Introduction." Read the page and view as many pages 
as possible. Notice this page leads you to pictures of various areas of the 
new Globe Theatre built in 1994. Try to get a feel for what the theatre 
looked like way back when.

Also, view the poster left at your station, reviewing the different areas of 
the stage.

On your answer sheet, describe what the Globe Theatre looks like. Describe 
the audience and the seating arrangements. Be as detailed as possible. If you 
have extra time, sketch what the exterior looks like.
- - - - - - - -  - - - - - 

Station #4
The Soliloquy

On your answer sheet, write the following definition and play information 

Soliloquy-in drama, this is an extended speech delivered by a character 
usually alone onstage. Innermost thoughts and feelings are directed to the 
audience, as if thinking aloud. 

Elizabethan plays:
1. Much left to the audience's mind. Little costumes, sets, props, etc.
2. Women characters were played by boys
3. Relied on excellent actors (including Shakespeare!)

Compare a soliloquy to our modern-day soap operas. How do we know the 
villains are evil when the other characters do not? It's because of their 
asides made to the audience (or the camera). 

In the folder, you will find an example of a soliloquy taken from _Othello_, 
said by our villain Iago. Remember, this is information Iago is letting only 
the audience in on; the other characters are oblivious to these facts. 

Read the following soliloquy at least two or three times, changing readers 
every four lines or so. Act out the character. This is our villain, so act as 

Once your group is done, write a paragraph reflecting on the experience. 

Most of all, have fun with it!   
- - - - - - - - - -
Station #5
Types of Shakespearean Plays

You may only be familiar with Shakespeare's tragic plays: Romeo and Juliet, 
Julius Caesar, Macbeth, etc. However, he also wrote plays of comedy, history, 
and romance.

Read the article found in the folder. On your answer sheet, answer questions 
1, 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7. 
- - - - - - - 

Station #6
Forum Questions

Occasionally, students wonder why we read Shakespeare's plays at the high 
school level. You may have been wondering this also when you read Romeo and 
Juliet and Julius Caesar.


1. Read the Forum question and response together as a group.
2. Once completed, read the "Do You Agree?" question and discuss as a group.
3. Write a response into your answer sheet.
- - - - - - - - - - - 

Station #7
Shakespeare's Most Famous Quotes

Shakespeare is known for some of the most profound statements in literary 
history. It is argued if it is even humanly possible to write as much as he 
did in one human lifetime.

In this folder, you will find some of Shakespeare's most famous quotes. For 
each quote, explain what it means to your group.