Teaching Shakespeare to High School Students

A Shakespeare Festival for a high school can be a richly rewarding and enjoyable cultural experience for junior high or high school students. You can involve many students in this event and teach them much more than they intend to learn. An event like this requires a good bit of preparation, so allow yourself plenty of time.

After you have prepared your shortened version of your Shakespeare play, (see yesterday’s blog entry) you must select your cast and crew. In addition to actors, you will need someone for the curtains, someone to organize and run props, someone to control sound effects/music/microphones etc., a publicity crew, photographer, and a historian. You will also need some students to distribute playbills, set up chairs, serve refreshments (if offered) and work on costumes and the set. Depending upon how many students you involve, some will likely be multitasking. You, the teacher, certainly will be!

A Shakespare production or festival can be a wonderful experience for secondary gifted students. It is a perfect opportunity for them to utilize their creativity, and believe me, they can and will surprise you.