A massive welcome back to our BELL’s Blog readers. In this edition we take a step back in time to visit the life of Shakespeare. We then take a look back to our very first Theatre Camp that we launched this summer. Drama in the classroom is a big focus of our TIE shows, CLIL weeks and summer camps – read on to find out why!
THEATRE IN THE CLASSROOM
Introducing drama in the classroom will not only help your students improve their English, but will also develop their confidence, teamwork, personal development and social skills. Drama activities help students to improve their understanding of the English language. Activities target all learners, making them accessible for all ages.
As we all know, learning English, or any foreign language, has an academic focus and is a very difficult and challenging process. But, incorporating drama into the classroom enables all students, academic or not, to develop, learn and improve!
We can incorporate drama in the classroom with all of our students; from Childhood to Media. Whether the focus is on learning new vocabulary, practicing pronunciation, or taking part in role play activities, it is all beneficial for learning a new language.
Now, enough of the small talk … we are focusing on the legend himself! His work has had a massive influence on theatre development and the English language…
It is of course – William Shakespeare!
Born in April 1564, Shakespeare was a playwright, actor, director and producer, but he is also remembered for being a master of words . He has contributed almost 2000 words to the English language. He developed his own extraordinary branch of English which has shaped the language we use today. He also used some very unique insults throughout his plays. Here are a couple for you. USE INSULTS AT YOUR OWN RISK!
“Away, you three-inch fool!” The Taming of the Shrew
You small useless thing. Often used to insult to man’s manhood!
“Thou art a boil, a plague sore” King Lear
You are very ugly. Something that looks like a disease from the plague.
“Your brain is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage” As You Like It
You’re stupid, thick, there is nothing going on in your brain.
“Her face is not worth sunburning.” Henry V
She’s an extremely unattractive individual.
Since we are so nice here at BELL, we are going to give you some of our favourite drama games. Have a go at leading them with your students!
Make a picture
Place students in small groups of 3-5. Give your students a suggestion of what picture you would like them to create, for example playing at the park, a birthday party, animals in the jungle etc. From the suggestion, the groups must form a picture. Encourage the students to work together to create the picture and ask the students what they are doing in the picture, encouraging them to speak .
It’s me … your grandma
Have them stand in line and as tutor stand as far away as possible (best played outdoors). Start talking to your students one by one eg “Hello, Nico”. Then ‘Nico’ will carry on “Hello Grandma”. “I can’t hear you, Nico! Can you please repeat.” You can also ask your students other questions: “What are you looking for, what’s your favourite colour?” The emphasis on this game is to have the students speak loudly and clearly as if they are talking to their Grandma, helping them understand how loudly they need to speak on a stage.
BELL Shakespeare Camp – Cascina
One of our star actors, Joel Rosenblatt, traveled to Cascina to facilitate a one-week Shakespeare camp for high school students aged 14-19. They studied Shakespeare in depth by delving into multiple plays, including Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Macbeth and Hamlet .
A Typical Day at Camp
- Conversation practice
- CLIL lessons
- Shakespeare’s plays
- Shakespeare’s language
- Drama and Acting
- The Voice and Pronunciation
Every day the students were working on their performance of Romeo and Juliet. The use of theatre allowed students to investigate the English language on a new platform, through games, drama, conversation and play. The undoubtable success of this Shakespeare themed camp can be credited to its fully immersive nature and how it improved the confidence of the students for speaking in English.
Some words from our star actor – JOEL!
“In the beginning of the week, the students were very shy and lacking in confidence to speak in English. However, by the end of the week, after lots of play, laughter and fun, even the most shy kids were performing in English, freely and confidently. One of the best parts of the camp was seeing how proud the kids’ parents were for putting on such a fantastic Shakespeare performance.”
A big shout out to our Camp Director, Tamara, for organising the camp. The first BELL theatre camp, and also with the late teens age group! If you are interested in organising at Theatre Camp next summer, get in touch!
On a final note, this week we say goodbye to Joel as he moves onto his next adventure. Joel started as one of our TIE actors last year, before playing a crucial part in coordinating our summer camps. He has taken on responsibility for recruiting our new actors, and finished his time with us as a CLIL teacher in Albino. Everyone here at BELL wishes Joel all the best for his future!
“And whether we shall meet again, I know not. Therefore our everlasting farewell take. Forever and forever farewell. If we do meet again, why, we shall smile”.