Saturday, April 23, 2005

William Shakespeare's birthday

On April 23, 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon. I despair when I hear high school students groaning about having to study his plays and it frustrates me when they start their learning experience by reading the plays instead of seeing them performed. They usually only see the play at the end of the unit as a culminating experience. That may work in a novel study but these are plays and they were written to be experienced as a performance!

Enjoyment and study of Shakespeare's works are a lifelong project.

Author Bruce Coville is doing his part by publishing beautiful picture book editions of the plays. Junior high and high school libraries would do well to include these gorgeous books in their collections. Romeo and Juliet has a gorgeous and romantic illustration that folds out vertically and shows the balcony scene. Juliet is at the top of the page and Romeo is looking up at her.

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