Romeo and Juliet is finally here! I wanted to share a few wonderful resources to keep you on track during our reading, including a few winners from last year’s Shakespeare’s World Research presentations (hint hint). As you may remember, there is a veritable slew (slew!) of information to keep track of. It’s all worth it though! Remember, we don’t agree with Plato – art isn’t useless! Look at what Lady Gaga pulled off in yesterday’s Super Bowl:
Theatrical skills can really pay off later! These great four links help fill in general knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works. Also, although it’s a little early to be thinking about it, you can expect some potential Unit Test items below…
Here’s a link to a brief timeline of the life of Stratford’s most famous son:
This YouTube video takes a humorous look at introducing Shakespeare (make sure you stick around until the ironic, slow open is over):
Of course, here’s the Canadian Folio copy of the play we use in class:
And, because why not, more awesomeness relating to the Bard from a 2012 TEDxTalk:
The Readiness is All!
A new week, a new unit! Now, I know all of you loved Macbeth ever so much (almost at dashing-brains-on-the-floor levels), but it’s time to move into our needlessly overpacked third unit — the Enlightenment, Restoration, and Romantic Eras in 6 weeks or less!
As promised, I have included today’s content-opening overview so that you may review the years, terms, and personalities that you might explore in your Unit Projects.
Every year, the last week in September becomes the focal point for a concerted effort to celebrate the freedom to read. In this country, the First Amendment’s right to free speech must contend with a long history of censorship – promoted by individuals, organizations, and government. Banned Books Week is organized by the American Library Association (ALA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and a host of non-profits, publishers, and legal defense funds. It is supported by myself, among much of the reading world, and, through this week’s Extra Credit opportunity, by you!
(Check out this cool infographic to learn more: courtesy of Electric Literature)
To receive Extra Credit for Banned Books Week, you must choose one of the following options, and use professional images, symbols, designs, or media:
A) Create a Poster to celebrate the week, using the three requirements below:
- Include the title Banned Books Week, in flashy color/font to catch the attention of passerby
- Include a quote about censorship from one of these videos: #I Read Banned Books – Teens Speak Out & 13 Authors Speak Out
- Include suggestions on how to celebrate Banned Books Week in school or at home
B) Create a Handout to share information about banned and challenged books, using these criteria:
- A list of frequently challenged books (Here’s a resource from the ALA)
- Reasons why books are often challenged (Resources from the Huffington Post, in 2012 and 2014)
- A checklist of frequently challenged books – check off as many as you’ve read!
C) Compose a 1 page essay (typed – 12pt font, TNR, double-spaced) on To Kill a Mockingbird as a challenged book. Why (and where/when) has it frequently been challenged? What might be ironic about wanting this book censored? What is your reflection on reading the book – how might you oppose or defend a challenge to this book at our school?
Whichever option you choose, it must be submitted by the end of the week, Friday, September 30. To be eligible, you must follow the requirements for each option, as well as aim for professional quality (Mom would put it on the fridge, and so would I!). Successful efforts will be awarded 20pts, and above-average efforts 30pts (each option is worth more than a homework assignment!). If nothing else, you can celebrate this week by finishing TKAM, and moving on to a new book which, having been published, probably has found someone to challenge it by now!
The Shakespeare season is upon us! Before you go further unto the breach, check out what I mean by visiting this 23rd of April post from this site:
Still unsure what a Folio actually is? Check it out!
Now that you know tthe readiness is all, are you ready for the Extra Credit? (By “Extra Credit”, I mean one of the three options – a HW pass, points on a low-scored assignment, or an item from the Time and Space Box.)
It’s simple, by Jove – go see the exhibit! That’s it. Brush up your Shakespeare with a visit to the State Museum, and prove it with a selfie in the exhibit!
The Museum is located at 2301 Central Avenue in downtown Cheyenne (mind the road closures at 19th street). The hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday (Fridays and Saturdays are your best bet unless you’re on a field trip I should’ve been invited on, fustilarian!). Admission is FREE!
There is also an opening night reception, featuring guest lecturer Professor Peter Parolin of UW’s English Dept. (one of the best classes I took there)! This event is tonight (8th September) from 5-7 pm to see the folio, and the lecture runs from 7-8 pm. So fair a day you shall not likely see, and you can get extra credit if I see you there!
So that’s it! Check in with me for more info should you need it – better three hours too soon than a minute too late!
Can you believe it?! Not much sense in thinking backwards now – so let’s go ahead and get started! Here is the welcome back slideshow airing in the Back to School evening event. Only those present will hear the soulful tunes and receive the wicked handouts, but all can be redeemed when school officially tarts next week. See ya then!
That’s all folks! Another school year complete, I want to thank you for the advice, participation, suggestions, and giggles you gave me in and out of class in this site’s debut. Feel free to check in this summer, as I’ll post the occasional snapshot of my life during break. Plenty to look forward to in the fall – great reading, Google Classroom, new “district assessments”, and another chance for the best school year ever – but for now, I’m satisfied to sit back and summer it up. Hope you do the same! Stay safe, be good. See ya ’round! – Mr. E
If you’ve looked at this page but once, you know that the Bard is a pretty big deal around here. Today, then, would be remiss without an annual commemoration of his birth/death-day with some extra, added momentum. The whole world is turning out for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s (bodily) death, with touring productions, social media campaigns, reams of newsprint, and random English teachers’ blog posts. However, there is one special event that will be making its way to our humble corner of the world later this year.
The Folger Shakespeare Library, located in Washington DC, has 82 copies of Shakespeare’s First Folio. These items are extraordinarily rare, and unbelievable fragile. (You can read about the extreme safety precautions the Library takes by checking this link from NPR.) Published long after his death, the folio contains at least 18 of his plays that would not be known today without these labors of love. And this year, to honor his everlasting legacy, copies of the Folio will be traveling from the Folger Library out to all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and Wyoming’s temporary host is none other than our own State Museum in downtown Cheyenne!
From Sept 7 – 30, you can see one of these Folios, a repository of some of the greatest words ever penned by the human race, for the price of admission, which is typically FREE! While a trip to DC may be a prerequisite for American-ness, let’s be honest and say that this opportunity is likely your best bet to join in one of the most important celebrations available to young scholars and citizens of the world. Rather than leave you with yet another quote or pun on the topic, I think it suffices to let the plays speak loudest. Do yourself a favor and bask in the (probably musty) glory of all that is wonderful, inventive, and essential by checking it out next Fall!
April (snow) showers bring new music! This month’s themes: weather, generations, and perspectives of poetry.
- The Blues Brothers (Soundtrack) – She Caught the Katy
- Simon & Garfunkel – Cecilia
- Ivan & Alyosha – Running for Cover
- Jay & The Americans – Come a Little Bit Closer
- The Standells – Dirty Water
- Caro Emerald – Pack Up the Louie
- Spoon – The Underdog
- George Ezra – Budapest
- 10,000 Maniacs – Like the Weather
- They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
- Kurt Vile – I’m an Outlaw
- Lucinda Williams – Lake Charles
- The Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday
- Mumford & Sons – Roll Away Your Stone
- The Perishers – Come Out of the Shade
- George Harrison – Got My Mind Set on You
- Queen – Hammer to Fall
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
- Tomaso Albinoni (Remo Giazotto) – Adagio in G Minor
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band – My Lucky Day
- Warren Zevon – Mohammed’s Radio (Live)
- War Horse Soundtrack – The Scarlet and the Blue
- The Lumineers – Ophelia
- The White Stripes – My Doorbell
- Nina Simone – Feeling Good
- Stars – Your Ex-Lover is Dead
- KT Tunstall – One Day
- BØRNS – Electric Love
- Regina Spektor – Us
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Into the Great Wide Open
- Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone
Hope the no-wifi game isn’t the only thing to keep you entertained over your unexpected break! If internet has been restored (which I am assuming to be true, as you are reading this post…), be sure to e-mail me any missing assignments – SWRPapers, Unit 5 Reflective Essays, Annotated Bibliographies – because the 3rd Quarter is over! All grades are final on Tuesday. If I don’t have it then, there’s not much I can do.
For more fun and games, why don’t you check out this sweet game my wife made for one of her classes. It serves as Shakespeare Connections/Exploration Amazingness! No extra credit is being offered as of yet, but maybe you can earn a “Super Awesome” Prize if you solve the puzzle!