What Shakespeare play is a must teach for you?

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I absolutely love teaching Romeo and Juliet to my freshmen. All the angst and emotional upheaval really connects with them. I also teach as a what not to do in a relationship way. Other than that, I've had a lot of success with Macbeth, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I will never teach Julius Caesar again. Shakespeare truly should have stopped at Act III in my opinion.

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Macbeth, Hamlet, Midsummer, Othello

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Hamlet...hands down

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I love teaching The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth.

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I teach both of these as well. I have some fun activities I do with Macbeth, but feel I need some more creativity for The Taming of the Shrew....any ideas you can share?

I think a student’s first exposure should be to one of the comedies. For my 9th graders it is A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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Othello!!

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I used to teach Romeo and Juliet to my 8th graders until Common Core took it away from me. Before we even began this unit the students did research on different parts of life during the Elizabethan Era-clothing and fashion, health and medicine, food, education, and crime and punishment. The students were so amazed at how life was so different and then were excited to read the play. I had the students read the plainspoken version at home and then we would discuss what happened before reading the original Elizabethan. By the end of Act III almost all the students were comprehending the Elizabethan, and there were even students who started talking "Elizabethan" outside of class! There were students who never really cared about English class-especially boys-who absolutely "turned on" during this unit. The last year I taught this unit, I had at least 5 boys who were failing my class for the year up until that point, who actually ended up passing due to acing the entire unit! Need I say more? It was so much fun for me to teach and I have to say my teaching year has not been the same since I had to stop teaching it.

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Othello is both my favorite Shakespeare play to teach and my favorite THING to teach. I’m sad I’m at middle school level for that reason.

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What is one classic that you have substituted with a more cultural relevant text?

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Date: 12/29/2020
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