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Shakespeare for KS3 Boys

Discussion in 'English' started by pianopete, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    It appears I may soon have to teach a Shakespeare Unit to a Year 9 Boys Class (middle-low ability). I can teach any play except Romeo & Juliet. Any ideas on what would be good for an all boys class. The focus of the unit is Speaking and Listening - mainly Drama and Group Discussion/Interaction.

    I thought a history play might work well - or something with a lot of male parts. I know I am gender stereotyping and perhaps the boys will happily camp it up as female characters but would appreciate any advice as my Shakespeare repertoire is lacking and I'd like to extend it.

    Many Thanks and apologies if my paragraphs have yet again disappeared! X
  2. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

  3. y9840125

    y9840125 Occasional commenter

  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

  5. I've had a lot of success with R3rd in Year 7.... the resources on Herts were a great help
    Macbeth goes down well with lower ability groups in Year I've found and the girls love Much Ado (me less so!)

  6. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Thanks for the advice guys! Will investigate Richard III as I would ideally like to try something new. History is not my strong point, however. How much history have people who have taught this play included?
  7. TESEnglish

    TESEnglish Occasional commenter

  8. I suggest Julius Caesar - backstabbing, murder, fighting for power. I've taught this previously to my KS3 boys and they get right into it. My favourite task - setting up Tableaux scenes from different Acts. A great way to integrate some Drama into your lessons as well - especially for those who may not want to read lines aloud. Take photos of each scene and have the boys make a display explaining the significance of each scene. Hope this helps.
  9. thequillguy

    thequillguy New commenter

    I'm sure people with more experience than me may disagree, but I find that starting from their experiences, and applying to scenes from the play, may result in more engagement. If they find the language archaic, you can at least apply what they have already discussed about ambition, revenge etc. into the language.

    As Trevor Wright said in his brilliant book, the plays themselves were differentiated. It is unlikely that all audiences would understand every reference, so they shouldn't worry too much if they don't! I would also allude to the bawdiness of his works in the general, the fact that forces in other European countries view him a low-culture (he is filthy at times) and that you would be breaking the law (and would technically be arrested) if you didn't teach Shakespeare. They'll know he's special, but I think the general populace need you to show them why that is!
  10. manc

    manc New commenter

    Agree with Julius Caesar - no-brainer for all boys. Get hold of Marlon Brando film - cast of thousands!!!
  11. midnight_angel

    midnight_angel Senior commenter

    "Taming of the Shrew" boys always love how a man manages to 'tame' the wild girl.
  12. manc

    manc New commenter

    Hmmmm... not quite sure about the message that this will send.

  13. Another vote for Richard III. (many) Boys also really like Henry V too, all that uplifting battle speak and belittling of the French.

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