Open Notebook

From Page to Stage: An Intro to Shakespeare

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From Page to Stage: An Intro to Shakespeare - 7th to 10th Grade

Overview

In this writing-intensive course, students will read and analyze a play by Shakespeare and study its significance through discussions. They will also learn to identify and analyze specific devices used by our Bard (iambic pentameter, antithesis, repetition, etc.). The course will be conducted around a virtual Harkness table, a popular learning format in elite US boarding schools that champions student-led discussions. Independent thinking is key to the establishment of this course. Besides weekly reading assignments, students will be asked to complete a “ten-minute task” which offers students the agency to choose from either argumentative or creative writing prompts, or a “twenty-minute tango,” a longer and more formal writing assignment dedicated to the analysis of a chosen part of the text. Throughout the course, students will craft complex and arguable claims (thesis) about the text and defend their claim in a formally written, properly cited two-to-three-page essay.

Course Objectives:

Students will be able to

  • Read and analyze a play by Shakespeare and study its significance through discussions

  • Learn to identify and analyze specific devices used by our Bard (iambic pentameter, antithesis, repetition, etc.).

  • Engage in student-led discussion through a virtual Harkness table which is a popular learning format in elite US boarding schools

  • Craft complex and arguable thesis about the text and defend their claim in a formally written, properly cited two-to-three-page essay

 

Session Outline

  1. Introduction, course expectations, why are you here; choose a play (HW: reading)

  2. What happened, assification and practice, read a bit more (HW: reading & 10mT)

  3. What happened, discussion, read a bit more (HW: reading & 10mT)

  4. What happened, discussion, thesis, evidence and basic structure (HW: reading & three thrilling theses with 2 textual evidence each)

  5. What happened, discussion, read a bit more (HW: reading & 20mT, prepare for 2-min terms)

  6. What happened, discussion, 2-min terms (HW: finish the play and craft a workable thesis)

  7. What happened, discussion, student example and workshop (HW: essay due before next class)

  8. Page to stage, discussion, and surprise!

Ages 13+ 
Felix Bao

The Hotchkiss School '21

Columbia University '25