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Macbeth for Year 1?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by emma44, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    some were, some weren't, they have a variety of origins and purposes, including warning, education, entertainment, etc. Its not a discrete catagory
  2. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    well, true enough, but many of us have extensive experience beyond our current working age range/area,... and I have certainly taught English at this level... a lot.... and most recently less than four months ago...

    and in any case, no one is bound by their current or previous roles from having an opinion or ideas about a different stage, or subject area
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. vannie

    vannie Star commenter

    Specifically Macbeth?
  4. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    In the context of this discussion it wasn't accurate to claim fairy tales were always intended for children. They weren't. The Grimm versions were (appropriately) grim. The plots of many of them are very dark.

    They became adapted as moral narratives from around the 19th century.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. emma44

    emma44 New commenter

    Haha this thread is hilarious! Some people really don't like it when others disagree with them! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I will use a version of MacBeth with my Year 1s if I want. If it doesn't go well then that's fine. Better to have tried something different than stick with The Gruffalo forever! Some people obviously are a bit stuck in their ways and that's fine for them but not for me. Teachers have enough problems without other teachers dragging them down. So next time someone asks for advice, maybe some people should try to be a bit nicer and a bit less patronising! :)
    stupot101 likes this.
  6. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Fair enough, but I know if I had a year 1 child/grandchild who was reading Macbeth I think I'd want to be forewarned so I could tackle any problems it might throw up myself.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Was there a point in asking the question in the first place?

    Given you were only 'considering Macbeth after Christmas' at the start, I am amazed that the responses have led to such an emphatic decision to do so, no matter what.

    Are you going to use one of the story versions, or the original?
  8. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    You are mistaken - fairy tales were not originally intended for children; they were oral folk tales, with moral messages, passed from adult to adult (Red Riding Hood warns young women of losing their virginity to unworthy men). They were sanitised by Perrault and the Grimm brothers.

    As far as Macbeth goes, you could sanatise it - greedy man tricked by witches into killing king in order to become king himself - it is a bit modern fairy tale-like really when you boil it down. Skip all the murders and Lady M's suicide; King Duncan's murder does not take place on stage anyway. The idea of witches may be scary for Y1 students though, and there is a high body count, including that of a child. But I suppose the witches could be presented as being beautiful tricksters, rather than scary old hags, and you could look at their scenes and spell (nice bit of rhyming poetry there).

    As for being 'adult' and 'highly political', we teach Macbeth at GCSE and they cope with it in spite of this.
  9. dunnocks

    dunnocks Star commenter

    well, I would hope they could cope with adult themes and politics by GCSE! the thread is about 5 year olds
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  10. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Love it! Did you purposefully Google the most racially focused summary. Brilliant stuff. Not that year 1 children can't deal with race relations anyway.

    It's a story of betrayal, castles, royalty, ambition.

    A bit like Snow White or Cinderella.
  11. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Yep, I already addressed that.

    I was addressing your other argument too.

    Two for the price of one.

    Good response though.
    Lara mfl 05 and emma44 like this.
  12. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    You might like to check if you have any fundamentalist Christian parents of your kids or Jehovah's witnesses as they will almost certainly be wanting to withdraw their children from the class.
    I agree with the posters who did not feel, as I do, that Macbeth isn't suitable for that age of child. If the OP hadn't wished for others' opinions...then they should not have been sought.
    Tbh in the role of a parent I got pretty fed up with the occasional "hip/cool" teacher who made a complete hash of "educating" my kids. Though 6 years apart in age and not coinciding at secondary school they both really valued the old history teacher who held his classes in complete awe as he broke every rule in the God awful text book according to O we have these days.
  13. emma44

    emma44 New commenter

    Hilarious! Your post makes no sense! I'm pleased you're not teaching my children!
  14. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    But surely these same parents would also have a problem with the secondary curriculum, so I don't think it's a solution for them to simply withdraw their child from class because the teacher wants to teach a text they don't agree with. Also, the OP is not going to get out a true text version of the play and just start reading it, she/he will presumably get advice from colleagues on the matter, and she/he does know the children and parents, so I'm sure they'll approach it in a creative and non-violent way.

    Shakespeare is mandatory at KS3 and 4 (Macbeth being a GCSE text), and the other texts that the exam boards cover also deal with difficult and dark issues (A Christmas Carol, Jekyll and Hyde, An Inspector Calls, Lord of the Flies...).

    In fact, as my colleagues and I were discussing recently, we don't seem to teach any nice, happy books at school!
    emma44 likes this.
  15. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    So... you have never had experience of some parents' wishes not to have their children exposed to Macbeth, witches etc. It is not uncommon for parents to wish to have their children withdrawn from classes if the play is being taught.
    Am sorry you didn't understand my post. You don't seem capable of understanding that not all teaching has to be "hip/cool/all singing, all dancing". I would also like to add that I wouldn't have wanted my kids to have some "doctored" version of Shakespeare which I have to say I do not see the point of doing at all. I would far rather they were taught the play when of an appropriate age, by an academic English specialist, and taught it in the language and form it was written in and not a "Leonardo Decaprio" DVD shown to "teach them Shakespeare".
    bonxie and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  16. thinkypublishing

    thinkypublishing Occasional commenter

    The performance of Macbeth that my son took part in while in year 6 was watched by all year groups in the school including Reception.

    I think the arguments about the plot line being too complex have some validity, however even if the youngest children don't particularly follow the plot and yet have a very positive experience and enjoy it, it can equally be argued that further on when they're better able to consider the plots they'll more readily take an interest if their memory of Shakespeare is an enjoyable one.
  17. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    At KS4 you are dealing with 15/16 age range and not Year 1. Year 1!!!!!

    I don't see that much has changed from when I did my GCE Eng Lit...... we studied "Lord of the Flies" etc.
    I have to say I do know of cases of parents with religious views opposed to teaching texts such as Macbeth. I wondered whether the OP had considered that - difficult enough to cope with having to withdraw secondary aged pupils, though there could well be a parallel set studying a different text, maybe not so easy to accommodate at primary level. I am glad you think the OP will take advice from colleagues as to possible problems/strategies for teaching Year 1.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  18. Spiritwalkerness

    Spiritwalkerness Star commenter

    Would love to see what the OP's 'Home Corner and Role Play' will include
  19. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    Yes, but my point is that if a parent objects to a text on religious grounds in Y1 they will surely still be unhappy by Y7, and again in Y10/11. I don't think that withdrawing children from class is a solution.
    Lara mfl 05 and Milgod like this.
  20. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    Why don't we just tell the religious views parents to get into the 21st century?

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