Making Shakespeare accessible and fun for primary level pupils How can you make Shakespeare work for all ages and abilities in the primary classroom? Two schools reveal the engaging ways they work with Shakespeare’s language and stories.
Jo Fife, drama teacher at Wimbledon Park Primary School works with two Year 6 classes on Hamlet. In the first class we see pupils working on the ‘to be or not to be’ soliloquy through staging lines from the speech. In the second, they devise their own words for a speech by Ophelia and enjoy working as a company to produce silent films of ‘the play within the play’. At Queen’s Park school Year 3 teacher Annabel Gray is preparing her class to perform scenes from King Lear at the local secondary school. The class enjoy acting out an abridged version of the crucial ‘How much do you love me scene?’. They go on to recreate the epic scene of Lear’s madness on the heath, enjoying speaking out some of Lear’s lines to the storm and making sound effects to go with them.