Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream – Day 3


Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 1

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 2

Shakespeare Biographical Work (10 mins)

Read out-loud  Act I, scene 3:  John Shakespeare Takes his Son to His First Play from the following Shakespeare book:

shakespeare for kids

Midsummer Night’s Dream Act III, Scene I-III (80 mins)

Yesterday we had forgone the audio and just watched the video, but we all found we got a bit confused as to what exactly was going on.  Today everyone asked to listen and read Act III before we watched it and we all found it helped enormously with our understanding.  We listened to the following BBC3 production found on YouTube, paying particular attention to the sound effects:

We listened from 43 minutes and 12 seconds to 1 hour, 16 minutes and 10 seconds which took us to the end of Act III scene III.

We all then watched all of Act III filmed on location at the Globe theater (about 35 minutes) whilst nibbling on fruit:

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Reader’s Theater (30 mins) 

simply shakespeare

As another means of drilling the story deep into the children we carried out a reader’s theater performance of Act III.  This particular rewrite leaves a lot out but focuses on key scenes.  The scenes do not correspond with the actual scenes in the play.  To cover Act III from the actual play we needed to read scene seven to scene ten from the book above:

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I think the children enjoy the readers’ theater the most out of our morning activities:

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SO much laughing goes on during this time….

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And everyone throws themselves in to every part:

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I honestly feel blessed to be a part of so much hilarity:

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A huge amount of fun is had during each readers’ theater!

Human Slide Show (60 mins)

Straight after readers’ theater the guys throw themselves into dressing up for our human slide show.  There were lots to get through today, but all five children can’t help but have lots of fun in the process.  I honestly can’t express just how much laughing we have done this week.  At times I am unable to hold the camera still enough to take pictures:

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Most of it is laughing at B13 as he entertains us with his costume choices.  Here he is dressing as Puck:

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And Hermia:

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And then, bless him, trying his very hardest to put on tights over both his socks and his tracksuit bottoms to play Demetrius:

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I’m not sure I have ever laughed so hard in all my life, and I spent most of my time at school in one big fit of hysterics!

Here are our slides from Act III (see Monday’s post if you would like more information about what a human slide show is):

  • Puck uses magic to replace Bottom’s head with a donkey’s head:

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  • Titania awakes and expresses her deep love for Bottom, but he does not take her seriously:

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  • Demetrius tries again to court Hermia, but Hermia accuses Demetrius of murdering Lysander:

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  • Oberon puts the flower’s juice on Demetrius’ eyelids:

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  • Lysander (I think B was playing both Demetrius and Lysander!) follows Helena, professing his love for Helena:

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  • Demetrius awakes and professes his love for Helena:

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  • Hermia arrives and asks Lysander why he left her.  Lysander claims to hate Hermia now:

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Each child is in charge of particular slides so characters change depending on who the person in charge want them to play.

Oh, and B13 wondered how anyone can stand to wear tights.  Although we did point out that most people removed both their socks and their trousers before wear tights.  Just sayin’

Break for lunch and a bike ride (or picnic at the park)

Character Study with Character interviews (30 mins)

Well known presenter Fay Mouse was back in her show ‘Who are they, really?’:

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 Today she interviewed Oberon:

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and Puck:

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Performing Shakespeare (30 mins)

  • Learning about Elizabethan Theater

I used this lesson which required no work from me at all!  Today we learnt:

  1. Plays were acted to take into account ‘female sensibilities’ so as not to scare the ladies or disgust them too much;
  2. Candle lanterns were used for lighting or else they used the natural lighting of the day or night the play was acted on;
  3. Actors were used to represent scenery such as the wall mentioned in the play;
  4. In the 16th century, actors learned their lines from “sides” – papers that contained their lines only, and perhaps a cue or two.
  • Oxymoron in performance

We learnt a bit about oxymoron on Monday.  Today we would be looking at it again to see how it might affect the performance of Shakespeare.  Oxymoron doesn’t always refer to opposite words placed together such as in the example we found earlier on today:  lamentable comedy.  Oxymoron can also refer to a pair of opposite words found within a line of verse.  An example of this would be Lysander declaring to Hermia in Act III:

that I do hate thee and love Helena

Shakespeare often places words with opposite meanings close together.  He uses this form of rhetoric to hint at an emphasis to be placed on the oxymoronic pair of words.  This is done regardless of the normal iambic stresses (which we would be learning about tomorrow).  For example:

that I do HATE thee AND love HELenA (normal iambic)

that I do HATE thee AND LOVE HELenA (additional emphasis on love)

This helps the reader slow down and emphasise the point to Hermia that it is Helena who is now loved by Lysander.

Project Based Learning (60 mins)

The children continued with their project Based Learning.

And last but not least….

Daily Exit Ticket

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Each day the children will be given some exit questions which I will write onto some scrap book paper (an exit ticket).  This was the question I posed today:

  1. What has surprised you most about this experience

This exit tickets will be collected each day and I will be using them, along with photos, to create a Summer Shakespeare Club Scrap Book:


Here is Day Three: Midsummer Night’s Dream of our scrap book memories:


Continuing with Day Four tomorrow…..



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