This paper looks at two groups of elementary aged students that engage with Shakespeare in innovative ways. Community Shakespeare Company on Lopez Island in Washington State (gr. 1-7), and Maple Grove Elementary in Vancouver, British Columbia (gr. 1-4) who respectively approach Shakespeare’s work in unique ways to inspire young learners. The teachers and artists that work with these elementary students use a variety of pedagogical and theatrical approaches to explore the language, conflicts, and characters inside Shakespeare’s plays. Although the focus for these young learners centers on studying and performing the plays, a number of by-products emerge during the theatre process. Community building, aesthetic development, and conflict resolution skills become important learning components. This paper traces the work of these two elementary groups to illuminate how Shakespeare’s plays continue to inspire and provoke us four centuries later.
|Keywords:||Theatre and Community, Elementary Students, Shakespeare|
Associate Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
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