Celebrating Shakespeare with NCTE Publications - National Council of Teachers of English
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Celebrating Shakespeare with NCTE Publications

On April 23 in 1564, William Shakespeare was born. It’s been said that Shakespeare’s complete works consist of 884,647 words and 118,406 lines. Let’s look at some of the NCTE texts written about the works of Shakespeare.

In Walking in Shakespeare’s Shoes, Sheridan Lynn Steelman shows how early modern primary sources can be incorporated partially or fully into any pedagogical approach to Shakespeare. She focuses on the four most commonly taught plays—Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream—plus the sonnets and Shakespeare Book Clubs.

Through differentiated instruction, in Teaching Macbeth: A Differentiated Approach Lyn Fairchild Hawks offers myriad ways to engage students with different readiness levels and interests in this timeless tale of fear and courage, order and chaos, guilt and remorselessness.

In Bring on the Bard: Active Drama Approaches for Shakespeare’s Diverse Student Readers Kevin Long and Mary T. Christel offer active drama approaches that position students to engage with a rich text through low-risk speaking and improvisation activities as a part of any ELA classroom.

In Reading Shakespeare Film First, Mary Ellen Dakin asserts that we need to read Shakespeare in triplicate—as the stuff of transformative literature, theater, and film. See also the author’s companion website, where she extends and updates the ideas and materials in this book.

Reading Shakespeare with Young Adults explores different methods for getting students engaged—and excited—about Shakespeare’s plays as they learn to construct meaning from the texts’ sixteenth-century language and connect it to their twenty-first-century lives.

How can high school and college teachers help their students get the most out of studying Shakespeare? In Performance Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare, Edward L. Rocklin offers teachers a wide array of concepts and practices to explore specific performances as well as the performance potentials of a Shakespeare text.

Reading Hamlet contains a wealth of ideas and practical activities for studying Shakespeare’s play. The first section provides background material to help prepare your students to read Hamlet. Section Two, “Reading the Play,” features notes on each scene of the play, accompanied by activities and suggestions for further study.

Teaching Julius Caesar: A Differentiated Approach offers solutions for bringing the play to life for all students – those with various interests, readiness levels, and learning styles. The author offers practical, engaging, and rigorous lessons for teaching reading, writing, speaking, performance, and research that can be used as-is or can be adapted to suit the needs of your students and classroom environment. 

In Teaching Romeo and Juliet: A Differentiated Approach the authors offer a differentiated approach to teaching Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, including lesson plans focused on key scenes, close reader handouts geared toward different levels of readiness, and scaffolded reading activities. This differentiated approach helps students develop a deep understanding of Romeo and Juliet through activities such as cinematic interpretation, creative writing, dramatic interpretation, and Socratic discussion.

What will you be doing to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday?


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