We just received our Thank You package from Mr. O’s class in Charlotte, North Carolina for sponsorship of a classroom project through Donor’s Choose.
Project: The Error of Comedies (Shakespeare’s, that is…)
William Shakespeare is credited with introducing nearly 2000 words into the English language and his plays are listed on numerous lists of the most important works of English literature. But his plays were meant to be performed and watched, not read. I teach theatre students in grades 9-12 to appreciate the liveliness of Shakespeare’s language through a physical, performance-based approach, as opposed to a literary approach.
The biggest obstacle to teaching Shakespeare is the fear the students have of his language. If they cannot understand the words, they will never appreciate the beauty of his writing. Therefore, I need an intelligent, well-annotated version of the play so that the students can understand the text as we read it. I am currently using a version I have downloaded from the internet, since I do not have the funds to purchase a class set of the play. The students’ reaction to the photo-copied text is visceral: it looks cheap; the copy paper booklet is large and unwieldy; the writing is small; the words are hard to understand; it’s obviously less important than English where they have a “bought” copy of their texts; etc.
I need a book that is small enough to hold in one hand – paperback size – so the students can easily rehearse while holding the book, since so much of Shakespeare’s comedy is physical. I need a copy that is well-researched and up to date, so that the definitions are clear and easy to understand. The students respond well to Shakespeare when they grasp the meaning. And when they respond well in my class, it carries over into their other classes: they are more confident; they feel more intelligent; they are more willing think critically about language. When their introduction to Shakespeare is fun and interesting and early – I teach this play to Theatre I students who are primarily ninth-graders – I find that it better prepares them for their literature studies in other classes in high school and in college.
Your help will ensure that my students have the understanding they need to be successful with material that forms the foundation of their studies if English language and literature.
Dear VH International Business Solutions, Inc,
On behalf of my students, I would like to thank you very much for your generous contributions. Because of the lack of available funds – particularly in the current economic climate – it is difficult to purchase necessary materials for the classroom. Your donations have made it possible for us to have a class set of the Folger Library’s edition of William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, which will be an invaluable resource as the students are introduced to the beauty, fun, and richness of Shakespeare’s language.
Thank you not only for your financial assistance, but also for your belief in the importance of teaching this material and your support for the public schools.
Thank you notes from the Students:
Previously received Thank You packages.