4.21.2014

10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday

10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday - www.traceeorman.com

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April 23rd will mark Shakespeare's 450th birthday. Here are 10 different ways you can celebrate the Bard's special day in your classroom (or on your own):

Shakespeare word cloud (from: 10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday)1. READ A SONNET: Have each student read one of Shakespeare's sonnets aloud. With 154 to choose from, surely your students will find one 14-liner they like to recite. (Use this as a Common Core speaking/listening activity.) This also counts as a great activity for celebrating National Poetry Month! (Don't forget that Poem in Your Pocket Day is Thursday, April 24th. Perhaps students will like one of the sonnets they hear that they will choose to carry a copy of it with them.)

2. CREATE A SONNET WORD CLOUD: Have your students decorate the room with sonnet word clouds using Shakespeare's poems and either www.Wordle.net or www.Tagxedo.com. (They can even choose a Shakespeare bust or a related shape on Tagxedo.)


Shakespeare's Sonnet #18 (from: 10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday)Shakespeare's Sonnet #98 (from: 10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday)


3. PLAY SHAKESPEARE WORD GAMES: The Folger Shakespeare Library website offers activities for kids, such as these word games. Students can also try to figure out what these weird words mean. (Give your students the word and have them come up with different definitions. Have the class vote on their favorite definition, then reveal the real one and see how close/far-off they are.)
Shakespeare cake (from 10 ways to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday)
4. LET THEM EAT CAKE: Have a real birthday bash for Shakespeare, complete with cake!

5. COMPETE TO FIND THE MOST FACTS ABOUT SHAKESPEARE: This activity can be done either with books (reference books such as encyclopedias or other nonfiction volumes found in your library) or done online (or use a combination of both). See which class can come up with the MOST facts about the Bard in a limited amount of time. Each class can designate several secretaries to write the information down and several "fact-finders." If computer or book access is limited, you can divide the class into small groups and have them work in shifts. After students have found facts, discuss their favorite ones (or ones they find the most unusual).

6. AMAZING RACE SHAKESPEARE: Along the same lines as the fact-finding competition in #5, but different because students will be looking for specific answers to questions, in the style of the popular TV reality show "The Amazing Race." You can come up with the questions yourself, or use this pre-made activity already done for you (with answer key).
The Globe Theatre from Paper-Toys.com (from 10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday)
7. RECREATE THE GLOBE THEATRE: Using this free online printable, have your students recreate a three-dimensional miniature replica of The Globe theatre (from www.Paper-Toys.com). If this task is a little too difficult, have them create their own little mini-Shakespeare from www.Toy-a-Day.blogspot.com.

8. "WHO AM I?" SHAKESPEARE CHARACTER QUIZ: Challenge your students with these "Who Am I?" clues on the Folger Shakespeare Library website. Then have your students create their own clues for a "Who Am I?" game. They can use characters from plays already studied, or mix in some characters from other works of literature from the entire year. It'll be a great review of all the books and stories your students have read this past school year.

9. PLAY AN ONLINE PUZZLE OR GAME: If you have access to the internet, play an online game (some can be printed if there is no access to the internet). Using the www.shakespeareinamericanlife.org website, students can color pictures, solve jigsaw and crossword puzzles, word searches, and complete mazes.

Shakespeare puzzles and games from www.shakespeareinamericanlife.org

10. FAVORITE QUOTE PARTY: Have students select their favorite Shakespearean quotes (can be from the plays, his poems, or anything related to Shakespeare). Then have them create a mini-poster of the quote (being as decorative as they'd like). As a writing component, have students write a paragraph explaining why they chose that particular quote. They can attach the explanation on the back of their mini-quote poster.
"There are no tricks in plain and simple faith" Shakespeare quote (from 10 Ways to Celebrate Shakespeare's Birthday)  Hang the quotes around the room and have students roam from quote to quote, jotting down those that they may not have selected, but also like. As a variation (or to add a speaking/listening activity), have students tell the class their favorite quote and why they like it or why it means something to them.

BONUS! yes...here's one more for a bonus 11th activity:

11. SHAKESPEARE'S LEGACY PROMPT: Would Shakespeare be surprised that—450 years later—his work is being studied, performed, and celebrated by people worldwide? Have students write a narrative piece about what their own legacy may be 450 years from now. They can tie in bits and pieces of Shakespeare for comparison's sake. They can speculate whether they think Shakespeare really wanted all his work published and read, or was some of it very private to him? Would students be surprised if some of their private work (journal/diary entries, poems) was studied by others?
  Students can also speculate whether they think documented words such as Twitter "tweets" or Facebook statuses will be considered narrative nonfiction in the future (or are they already?). Would they be horrified or pleased to know people hundreds of years in the future would be reading and studying them? Why?

If you wish to have these activities in printable form, you can find it here:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shakespeare-Activities-Free-Download-1216646

Shakespeare Activities FREE Download http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shakespeare-Activities-Free-Download-1216646

The free download includes these great printable pages to use with some of the activities:

My Favorite Shakespeare Quotes FREE Download http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shakespeare-Activities-Free-Download-1216646

Weird Words Shakespeare Activity FREE Download http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shakespeare-Activities-Free-Download-1216646Who Am I? Shakespeare Activity FREE Download http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Shakespeare-Activities-Free-Download-1216646



I hope you have a great Shakespeare Birthday celebration!

4.06.2014

Top 5 Reasons Why I Never Complete My To-Do Spring Break List

Top 5 Reasons I Never Complete My Spring Break To-Do List  from www.traceeorman.com

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Today is my last day of spring break. And while I SHOULD be frantically tackling my to-do list, I am here blogging about why I never complete it. Hmmm.

REASONS I NEVER GET AS MUCH DONE OVER SPRING BREAK AS I'D LIKE:

1. My to-do list is way too long. This year my list included: catch up on grading, organize my classroom, create new TpT products (too many to list), upload already completed TpT products (but make preview files for them), revise old units, read lots of books, go to baseball games, take lots of pictures at the games, organize & edit pictures, upload pics to Facebook & Flickr, plan out final days of school for seniors & sophomores, watch Frozen, watch 12 Years a Slave, go back to see my parents, and the list goes on... I think I accomplished five things (and they involve movies, baseball games, and pictures).


Movies I watched: 
I could not pick more opposite movies to watch, but both were very good. "Twelve Years a Slave" made me cry and "Frozen" made me laugh. 

12 years a slave

Yet both made me think: what is it inside humans that makes us do evil things? Greed? Selfishness? Lust for power? Funny how both movies touch on the same theme, albeit in much different ways.

Frozen



2. Some of the things on my list really suck. If I could just list non-productive things (like watching movies and hanging out with family) on my list, I really wouldn't need a list. But I don't want to spend spring break doing sucky things like organizing my classroom. (Or any room, for that matter.) And grading papers is a chore no matter when I have to do it. Over break, I always think I'll have more time "tomorrow" to do these sucky things. Well, guess what I'll be doing TODAY when I finish this blog post!? (If you guessed pinning on Pinterest while procrastinating grading until about 9 p.m., you are probably right on the money.)


Spring break...aaaannnd it's gone. (from www.traceeorman.com)

3. Break is never long enough. Seriously. It should be at least two weeks. And I know many districts are lucky to get one day. (I feel for you all!) We need at least an extra week to recharge our batteries after spending the first week trying to accomplish our to-do lists.


Pin ALL the things!  (from www.traceeorman.com)
4. Pinterest. There. I said it. I have a problem and it involves wasting spending numerous hours pinning funny memes, teaching resources, books, and things that make you say "What the freak?" (or something like that).

But isn't this idea genius to catch the drip from your sports cooler (or jumbo thermos...what are these things called?)? It comes courtesy of our chemistry teacher, who took a 2 liter bottle and cut it to hang right over the spout to catch the dripping liquid and protect the floor. (And using a clear one will not only match/blend in, but it looks so much better than just putting a wad of paper towels or napkins on the floor under it.)
When I saw these set up in our teacher's lounge, I immediately thought of taking a picture and pinning it. Does that mean I have a problem??? ;)


5. I procrastinate. Yes, my name is Tracee and I'm a procrastinator. Why do I wait until the last minute for so many things? I don't know. I just do. In my defense, though, we did get our taxes done and it's not even April 15th yet. That has to count for something, right? ;)

Perhaps next year I'll create a more realistic spring break to-do list. If so, I think I could complete it with time to spare. For naps. Or more pinning. 


I could probably complete this list. (from Top 5 Reasons I Never Complete My To-Do Lists)


WHAT I DID ACCOMPLISH :)
I did complete a few TpT-related things. If you purchased my DIVERGENT unit, MOCKINGJAY unit, POETRY RESOURCES, VOL. 1 bundle, ARGUMENT WRITING bundle, and other smaller items, check your "My Purchases" page on TpT to re-download the revised products. I've updated many files over break.

I've also added the following new products:


Poetry Book Assignment & Rubrics (www.traceeorman.com)

Poetry Book Assignment - includes the requirements/criteria, checklist of types of poems/forms & figurative language/poetic devices, rubrics for grading, and sample poems/books from students. 
All in editable PDF format.

Divergent Poetry Activities (www.traceeorman.com)

Divergent Poetry Activities - Numerous exercises to practice writing, reading, and analyzing poetry. Even if you don't teach this unit, you can use these activities to connect with students in your class who have read it.


 For my clip art friends/followers:
Doodle Borders Clip Art for Commercial Use
Doodle Borders:
Swirly Dots (26 .png files)
Small Circles (28 .png files)
Small Boxes (20 .png files)
Basket Weave (26 .png files)


The highlight of my break? 
Watching my son play high school baseball! With the cruddy weather, this week was the first time they could get outside and actually play. 

KO - EP Baseball 2014 (photo by T.Orman www.traceeorman.com)K.O.  EP Baseball (photo: T.Orman www.traceeorman.com)


I hope you had (or will have) a very relaxing and productive (if that's what you want) spring break. If not...we're not too far from summer break, right!?

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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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