The Globe Theatre Challenge!

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SWBAT continue to build understanding of Shakespeare and his theatre world by learning about -- and constructing -- a Globe Theatre.

Big Idea

Teamwork will carry us through this challenge...and the difficulties that the language of this play will present.

Globe Theatre Video

30 minutes

This is a pretty good video about the Globe Theatre.  It focuses on the Globe Theatre today, post reconstruction.  But there is a lot of great footage of the inside of the theatre, and the video includes a lot of discussion of the connection between the Globe Theatre's physical space and the action of Shakespeare's plays.  

Since the next part of today's plan involves a hands-on activity, you really could watch the video while the students build their theatres.

The Globe Theatre Building Challenge

30 minutes

I absolutely love this activity.  It involves very little reading and no writing (so beware of your school leadership would frown on it), but it is great fun and builds teamwork, relationships and a sense of community in the classroom.

Basically, the students have to build a tiny papercraft replica of the Globe Theatre.  They work in teams of two and construct the theatres.

On the board, are the labeled parts of the theatre and their functions.  (This is the reading part.) This activity helps the students to picture how the staging was planned and executed using this type of theatre.

Special caution about the papercrafting: it can be really hard for some students.  In my room, it is absolutely fine for students to abandon the project if it becomes way too frustrating. (Those students can help others with scraps or small tasks to support classmates.)  I also encourage them to pair up with someone who has complementary strengths (This is code for "If you are a boy who can't use scissors well, don't pair up with someone with the same problem.")  

This type of activity is really valuable for students if it helps them to recognize each other's strengths, persevere, and work together.  (And, yes, it also helps them with their understanding of Shakespeare, too.)

Exit Ticket: What did this activity teach you?

5 minutes

After participating in the building activity in teams, I asked the students to tell me "What did doing this activity teach you?"  

As you would expect, some students said things like "I suck at cutting" or "I have no patience." But many realized that the struggles that they had could probably have been avoided with a change of approach or a different division of labor.  Some said things like, "I thought I would hate this activity.  Well, I hated it a little, but after a while, my partner and I figured it out -- even if our theater looked more like a post-earthquake building."

When I do this activity, I emphasize to kids that it is not one that would, ahem, draw upon my strengths.  However, just because it's hard, that doesn't mean it's not worth doing.

In a perfect world, my student would write something like, "Upon reflection, I realize that even though this was not easy for me, it wasn't impossible.  I think, like any task, this one required the right tools and preparation.  I will remember this whenever I face a challenging task." Remember: I said "in a perfect world!"