Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream – Day 4


Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 1

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 2

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 3

Shakespeare Biographical Work (10 mins)

Read out-loud Act I, scene 4:  Shakespeare Attends School from the following Shakespeare book:

shakespeare for kids

Midsummer Night’s Dream Act IV, Scene I-II (50 mins)

Read and Listen to Act IV (about 25 mins)

We listened to the following BBC3 production found on YouTube, paying particular attention to the sound effects:

We listened from 1 hour, 16 minutes and 10 seconds to I hour 34 minutes and 10 seconds which took us to the end of Act IV scene II.  As well as listening, each child read from the original version of the play as they listened.

Watch a Stage Production of Act IV, Scenes I-V (25 mins)

We all then watched all of Act IV filmed on location at the Globe theater whilst nibbling on home made muffins:

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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 IV.  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 IV from the actual play we needed to read scene eleven to scene twelve from the book above.  This takes us to the end of the play in this book which means they do not cover Act V:

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We were all looking a bit tired today, but never the less everyone threw themselves into the whole readers’ theater, with as much vim and vigour as possible:

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There were lots of scenes with Titania being madly in love with Bottom, which the children needed to portray.  They were not impressed by the requirement to stroke each other and hold hands.  We heard a lot of ‘ewwws’ and ‘yucks’ and of course even more of the obligatory giggling:

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T laughed so hard he backed himself up against the huge adventure box and promptly fell in:

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The second to last photo above shows B’s expression when he learnt he had to hold C’s hands.  In the end they wrapped their own hand in their own t-shirt and held hands through the material!  Teens are so much fun to work with!

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After the whole hand holding C had to go a wash her hands she was so grossed out!

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I’m looking forward to seeing how they manage with Romeo and Juliette next week (cackle, cackle)

And more laughing…

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Human Slide Show (60 mins)

B had written on one of his exit cards that the Human slide show was one of his favourite things to do, and if you could see the speed with he is drawn to the nearest skirt or dress…  Here he is goofing around with Oberon’s mask over which he placed his glasses as well as bottoms ass mask.  The top right picture he is looking at the sheer enormity of the sleeves and declaring that a whole other one of him could fit down them!

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I thought I’d capture B and L dressing up as Hermia and Helena.  It’s a good look, no?

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And a photo of the two friends together, in which B looks more like a girl than L does:

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L was also a bit grossed out when she had to stroke Bottom’s face and declare her love for him (Bottom was played by her brother).  She was not impressed!

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T has surprised himself by how much he has enjoyed the acting, although I think this is in large part because B has thrown himself in so whole heartedly.  He has particularly enjoyed playing Oberon.  This is one of my favourite photos from this week, of him as Oberon:

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

  • Titania declares her love for Bottom:

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  • Oberon reverses the curse placed on Titania so that when she awakes she is no longer in love with Bottom:

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  • Titania is repulsed by Bottom, a human with an ass’ head:

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  • The correct boys are in love with the correct girls:

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  • Explaining to Theseus the new state of affairs:

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  • Demetrius marries Helena and Lysander marries Hermia:

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  • And a final collage of the happy couples:

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We would be stringing up all the human slide show photos for our presentation.

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

Performing Shakespeare

  • The Role of the Foley Artist (30 mins)

Using a lesson we found here about using sound to enhance the text when performing Shakespeare.  This morning during our listening time to the audio version of the play, I had asked the children to listen out for the side effects which were used.  When we watched the play being acted at the Globe, I asked them to do the same.  I really wanted this lesson to be something they could learn from and apply practically to their final performance.

  • Emphasising Final Syllable (30 mins)

We had already learnt how important Iambic pentameter was to Shakespeare’s writing and how it helped the actor memorise and say the lines with ease due to the natural rhythm it produces.  I reminded the children of the iamb meter:

da DAH, da DAH, da DAH, da DAH, da DAH

As can be seen, each line in iambic pentameter ends in a strong sounding syllable.  The argument  or statement made in a line of Shakespeare verse can be strengthened by emphasising that final syllable.  The children took it in turns to practice saying a variety of lines whilst at the same time kicking a cardboard box as they say the final syllable:

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Project Based Learning (60 mins)

The children continued with their project Based Learning.

Tomorrow I will be posting about our last day in Midsummer Night’s Dream.



    1. Yes, if they learn nothing at all, we will have created lots of happy memories. But I’m kind of hoping they will have learnt lots as well!

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