4 Easy Ways to Make Shakespeare Fun


Introducing Shakespeare to students can feel intimidating or like a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some simple Shakespeare exercises that are a lot of fun to do!


1. Crack Out The Insults


Hand out copies of a Shakespearean insult toolkit and give students the freedom to hurl the Bard’s insults at each other. You’ll soon have the classroom alive with old English, and what’s better they’ll put heaps of emotion behind the words as they try to insult their friends!


Here's an insult kit to get you started.


It’s easy to get bogged down in the meaning of Shakespearean text, but so much can be said without words.

2. Play With The Context


Challenge your students to perform a short scene from a Shakespearean play in a different situation or style. Here are some ideas:


  • The three witches of Macbeth creating a potion, but in the style of a cooking show

  • The balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet as if sent via 10 second Instagram videos

  • The defeat of Macbeth in the form of a rap battle between Macbeth and Macduff.



3. Try Taking The Words Away


It’s easy to get bogged down in the meaning of Shakespearean text, but so much can be said without words.


  1. Ask students to walk around the classroom imagining they have a piece of string tied to their nose that is pulling them forward or 'leading their walk'.

  2. Ask half the class to stop the activity and watch the other half. Challenge them to identify as many different character traits as possible. Ideas that might come out of this: someone who’s nosey, someone who thinks they are better than everyone else, someone who is inquisitive.

  3. Challenge your students to 'lead their walk' with a range of different body parts before deciding which walk works best for which Shakespearean characters. For example, a witch might lead her walk with her fingers.

  4. Try a scene using these chosen characteristics.

  5. Then try a scene with the complete opposite choice. For example, if you think a witch should lead with her fingers, try a scene where she leads with her toes. Sometimes the opposite works better than the obvious option!


This is a great method for making strong character choices and giving students a creative focus. There's lots of fun to be had here!



4. Macbeth In 15 Seconds


Create groups of 3 or 4 students, and challenge each group to rehearse a two-minute version of the Shakespeare play you have been studying. Be strict on the timing and tell them to include as much as they can. Advise them to make it clear which character(s) each person is playing through either body language or use of voice.


Watch one of the groups perform their 2-minute play. Then, without rehearsal this time, ask the same group to retell the same story in 1 minute and then in just 15 seconds.


Watch each of the other groups show their 2-minute, 1-minute and 15-second versions. Yes, it will be chaos, but it sure will be fun!


Quite often students don’t enjoy Shakespeare because they don’t understand what the characters are saying.

Good To Know...


Quite often students don’t enjoy Shakespeare because they don’t understand what the characters are saying. Check out our top tips for understanding Shakespeare here.


Fancy delving further into the world of Shakespeare? Check out the workshops our British theatre facilitators run in schools.




By Charlie Limm

Creativity and fun

"It is inclusive of all abilities, workshops are packed with creativity and fun and the workshop leaders are always on hand to support the participants. Furthermore founder Abbie is fantastic with the young people and inspires us with every project."

 

- Carolyn Peters

On Stage @ The Fisher Theatre

(Belgium-UK Theatre Exchange Project)

Check out the workshops

Hello Drama

English language drama

workshops for secondary schools

in Belgium and Luxembourg.

Email: info@hellodrama.co.uk

Phone: +44 7807 029 864

Countries: Belgium & Luxembourg

Get Updates
About
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

© 2016 - 2020 Hello Drama |  Terms of Use  |   Privacy Policy   |  Cookie Policy |  Safeguarding Policy