The 451st Birthday of the Bard was celebrated in grand style around the Globe (pun intended) on April 23, 2015, and of course, we had to get in on the festivities. From Stratford-upon-Avon to New Jersey and Florida, Shakespeareophiles acted, danced, read, dueled, and ate cake, all in homage to London’s finest playwright. You can follow the worldwide merriment at Shakespeave Lives Here, part of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.
In our little hamlet on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, we trumpeted our procession and waved our flags from the “cradle to the grave”. After processing to our courtyard, the Bard ceremoniously passed the quill to our head student. We unfurled our flags and released our black and yellow balloons before heading to the final resting place of our honoree, where we laid flowers on his grave, making sure not to move his bones, and recited some of his famous floral verse. Eventually we made our way into our classroom for cake and ice cream, followed by the reading of birthday poems on lovely, homemade birthday cards. No party would be complete without games, so we finished our revelry with a Shakespeare Academic Bowl. Eight teams, including one parent team, answered questions during four rounds of play to determine the team with the most knowledge of Mr. “Shakspere”. Needless to say, a student team won goody bags of British treats, but a good time was had by all.
What was your best birthday celebration?
(P.S. Do you know what Shakespeare play is alluded to in the title of this post?)
A Google search of Shakespeare locates 129,000,000 results. WOW! Imagine that. Our friend William Shakespeare is still going strong, even at 451 years of age. After all this time, we are still uncovering new theories about London’s leading dramatist. Some of the most recent information written about the Bard revolves around the discovery of an additional play, Double Falsehood, which has long been attributed to another writer named Lewis Theobald, but which according to new research, was most likely penned by Shakespeare, with some collaborative effort by his friend John Fletcher.
See? There are always interesting things to learn about our friend, Bill the Bard.
What else can you discover about the poet and playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon? Visit a couple of these sites suggested by our students and share some knowledge gleaned in a comment below.
“Tis that time of year again when young students’ fancies lightly turn to thoughts of Shakespeare. (For all you literary enthusiasts out there, that line is an allusion. Can you figure out from where it comes? Here is a clue: the author was also alluded to in The Wednesday Wars.)
For the record, this middle-aged teacher’s fancy also turns to thoughts of Shakespeare at this time of year.
A few of you may ask, why would our fancies turn to thoughts of Shakespeare at this time of year? LOTS of you already know…
April is Shakespeare’s Birthday Month! The 23rd of April to be somewhat precise (That phrase is an o_ _ _ _ _ _ _. Do you know what literary device I’m referencing? Do you know why it is an o_ _ _ _ _ _ _ ?). And now the obvious question, why is the 23rd of April only somewhat precise?
On April 8th I have the opportunity to share two of my favorite joys: teaching and blogging! As a presenter at the NCEA (National Catholic Educational Association) Convention, I will help other teachers learn how to blog.
I need your input to show everyone how great blogging is. As you read this post, think about your own experiences with blogging. While you are reading and thinking, I’ll be sharing our class experiences. I’ll start with a little powerpoint that explains why I began blogging in the first place.
Next up, I’m going to show this video which explains what blogging is. Do you remember the first day you went into the computer lab and got your own blog? How cool was that, right?
I’ll need to mention, of course, the importance of digital safety and the responsible use of technology. Have you ever had a problem with inappropriate material on your blog? Think about copyright use, too.
We are going to learn all the important blogging terminology so that the teachers can write fantastic posts. We’ll be learning about embedding videos, adding widgets, creating avatars, and giving attribution, in addition to lots of other blogging skills. All the best blogs use these concepts. What are some of your favorite blogs out there? As my kids know, we are great buddies with the kids and teacher (Ms. Smith) at Huzzah!, and I am sure we will take a trip to British Columbia, Canada, to visit them. I would not be here at the NCEA Convention in Orlando, presenting to other teachers, without my BBB (Best Blogging Buddy) Ms. Smith. Also, I would never even have begun my blogging journey had I not been inspired by third grade teacher Mrs. Yollis in California and her blogging buddy Mrs. Kathleen Morris in Australia.
We love exploring blogs, reading about all the great learning that is going on in the world, writing quality comments, and connecting with other kids and teachers. Reading posts from other classes really makes me feel as though I have discovered a “captain’s log” from a ship sailing in a distant land. Or even perhaps from a ship sailing in space; I often hear the voice of James T. Kirk in my head as I begin to read a new blog, “This is the captain’s log…” Do you have a favorite entry/post that you would like us to visit?
Some of my favorite posts involve special blogging activities we have done, like our blogging parties for reaching a goal. I also love the Skype visits we have had with author Graham Salisbury; movie producer Dana Hankins; Shakespeare birthplace curators Lisa Peters and Anjna Chouhan; and Mrs. Emerick’s 6th grade class, Making Waves. Another great experience for me was our guest lecturer, Mrs. Joanne Chonody, who connected with a friend she hadn’t spoken to in over twenty years thanks to Family Blogging Month and our quest to collect visitors from all 50 states. All of these events were possible because we blog. Have any of your special memories from school been the result of blogging?
Under The Blood Red Sun March 26 at 3:14pm · Edited · Here’s our favorite Florida classroom wearing Under the Blood-Red Sun beanies and baseball caps that they earned by partnering up with us. Our website EDUCATION page includes curriculum and a list of schools that have received bookmarks & posters & pin buttons – http://underthebloodredsun.com/education.html Please share to help us reach more schools/classrooms teaching the book and/or movie this year!
Okay, now here’s the part where I could use your help. Would you take a few minutes to think about a specific experience you’ve had with blogging and then share that story in the comment section? I know the teachers at the convention will want to know about blogging from the students’ points-of-view. This is how you can help me teach the teachers.
As my new blogging friends from Hawaii (Graham Salisbury and Dana Hankins) say,