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Posts Tagged ‘classics’

If you’ve ever wondered which Shakespeare play you should get stuck into, wonder no more.

A quick check of this awesome Penguin graphic is bound to set you in the right direction!  With an easy to follow flowchart to help you along the way, a suggested play with a brief synopsis to double check that this is really suited to your likes awaits you on completion of the quiz!

Find the Shakespeare play for you

A definite site to share with English teachers!

With this past weekend commemorating 400 years since the death of Shakespeare, many sites are being shared.   The latest email from Awesome Stories (a fabulous site well worth exploring!) focused on William Shakespeare.  This link How to Insult Like Shakespeare really tickled my fancy as my imagination went wild thinking of students reaction to it!

Another email sent as part of VATE membership (Victorian Association for the Teaching of English – actiVATE published as VATE Education News – April 26 2016) listed a host of ideas for teaching Shakespeare in schools.  Noting Paul Kelly’s project recording poetry, they pointed to his recording of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 as well as reminding us that screenings of the Royal Shakespeare Company Live production in London on April 23 will be in Australian cinemas in May.

Other great sites worth exploring are Shakespeare’s England and Shakespeare400 so enjoy the year reveling in all that Shakespeare has to offer!

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I read an interesting article the other day: What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out.

It’s basic message was that kids today are no longer required to read the classics in high school and that as a result their ability to improve their reading level is either stagnating or falling behind.  With the exception of Shakespeare, a quoted study “What kids are reading” by Renaissance Learing found that the assigned reading of most classics, such as those by Sophocles, Dickens, George Bernard Shaw and Emily Bronte,  have dropped off the list.  The underlying assumption of the article, based on the report, is that this is a retrograde step, as students are no longer being challenged by ‘difficult’ texts by which to enrich their vocabulary.

This infographic, which highlights the salient points of the full report or the report summary, certainly gives us food for thought:

Renaisance Report Infographic

Hmm …..   Interesting …..  I wonder how true this is of Australian Schools …..

The rise of Young Adult Literature has seen a plethora of novels with genres that perhaps didn’t exist thirty years ago.  And, as in this US based article, novels such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men and Animal Farm also dominate our high school reading text lists.  Is this all bad though?

Can reading levels only be lifted by having our students dabble in texts of yesteryear – texts with which students of the 21st century may find it difficult to identify?  Is it possible to accurately determine the difficulty level of texts set for our students?  And is it possible that novels currently being set are having a ‘negative’ impact on reading levels?

I’d be interested in your thoughts.

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