Shakespeare at INS Flix

It has been my first cultural week in INS Flix. It has been a great pleasure to leave our course book aside and to carry out other type of activities which, I must confess, I like best.

I am both a great enthusiast of poetry and Shakespeare. Therefore, the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare´s death has provided me with the perfect chance to put into practice two of the ideas I had in mind this course: introducing Shakespeare´s sonnets in a fun and surprising way and to create Shakespeare´s facebook wall to be shown at the school entrance.

In both cases, the use of the smart phone has been indispensable and, for a few days, mobile phones have been wandering around the class as a learning tool.

Sonnets with 1st BAT students.

Just a few days ago I finished all the materials and the web destined to hold my new project "poetrytocollect" (have I already mentioned I´m mad about poetry? Oh! Yes, I have). I wanted to try and test the materials but only using Shakespeare´s sonnets. Students were more than surprised at first. "Is that poetry?" "I can´t understand anything at all", they complained. Of course they did not know where I wanted to take them so I´m sure they all went home thinking that poetry in English is a nightmare. Nothing of the sort! As they have been guided through the different activities, I think they have realised that Shakespeare is as difficult as any rap or hip hop singer is today. They have learnt about the Shakespearean sonnet, its rhyme and, most importantly, its rhythm. Iambic pentameter (are you insulting me, teacher?) can be easily transferred to rap and they have been pleasantly surprised to discover that Shakespeare´s sonnets can be rapped. Will they dare sing sonnet 18 to a hip hop/rap rhythm?

We´ll see.

Shakespeare´s interactive Facebook wall with 1st ESO students.

First ESO students are the little kids in the big family which is High School. Manipulative artistic activities are still desirable at this stage. Learning by doing is what they have put into practice. After a first session in which they learnt about Shakespeare (again using their smart phones and exchanging information working in pairs), they have used that information to create Shakespeare´s status sentences, each one connected to a QR code which leads the reader to sound files (for the sonnets) or videos on youtube. Creating the QR codes was generally thought to be a very difficult task but, as soon as they were told how to do it, they realised it was as easy as pie.

They have used some previously selected links, they have created the QR codes and used them to write what each link shows. By the way, they have also included some book trailers on Romeo and Juliet that some of the students in 4th ESO did as extra work for their portfolios. They have drawn, painted, cut and glued, doing a fantastic job.

Let´s see how the rest of students will interact with the wall. On Monday they will be able to scan the codes, listen to the sonnets or watch the videos as well as to leave a comment or simply leave a "like" symbol.

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© Flying High with English by Mercè Ballabriga - 2015


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