Teachers' Notes

A Guide to using teachers' notes

This online resource for Romeo and Juliet provides a range of engaging classroom activities that reflect the National Curriculum for English, Drama and Art and Design. These notes will guide teachers through the website and suggest activities which will show students how the director and the cast create the world of the play.

KS3 English and Drama
The activities are offered to support delivery of the KS3 English Programme of Study for speaking and listening, reading and writing. The Progression Statements indicate the progression in knowledge, understanding and skills in the four areas of study:

  - Character and motivation
  - The language of the text
  - Ideas, themes and issues
  - The text in performance

Character
The Character pages on the website are intended to look similar to Facebook, with which students are familiar. Each character has their own page with a profile, photographs and quotations about them from other characters. Students can post comments on the character’s dilemma. Students can also upload short first person reflections as the character (‘Tweet’). This can be linked to a point in the play with the hashtag option. Both these interactive tools can be used to stimulate discussion and lead to activities such as conscience corridor.

In the audio clips actors discuss how they create an interpretation of their character through exploring a range of techniques. Actors describe how they develop their characters by asking questions about them. By creating a back story, actors can build a personality into their character and some possible explanations as to what motivates them. These ideas are taken into the rehearsal room and tested out in a range of activities.

The Backstage Blog provides fascinating insights into how the cast, working with the director and other professionals, add flesh and bones to the characters. These approaches can be transferred to the classroom and will help pupils to think about how the characters interact with one another, what they want and what they do to achieve their aims.

Other interactive approaches that build on the information on the Facebook pages can be found in Character and Motivation worksheet in the Teachers Notes.

Language
The Tools button on the Language page provides definitions of the literary techniques Shakespeare used. Examples of the techniques are highlighted and students can find others as they read through the scenes. There is also a facility to see some scenes have been edited for this production by using the Show/Hide Director’s edit button.

Activities to develop understanding of the language of the play can be found in Language of the Text worksheet in the Teachers Notes. There are also short essays exploring the text.

Themes
The play has a number of themes:

   - Conflict, including the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, and the conflict within families.
   - Love, and its relationship with duty, lust, and hatred.
   - Secrecy and Concealment, as characters either hide themselves or their feelings, and Romeo and Juliet marry in secret.
   - Pride and ideas of honour and the way they motivate many actions during the play.
   - Activities to develop understanding of the themes can be found in the Ideas, Themes and Issues worksheet in the Teachers Notes Performance

The Backstage Pass pages take students through the whole process of building a production from designing the posters for marketing the play, to designing a set, creating costumes and writing a review for the play. Each week students are offered an opportunity to emulate the work of the production team and the chance to have their work uploaded onto the site. The activities, which are written by the creative team, support the delivery of the Programmes of Study for Art and Design.

Templates and success criteria are provided for each challenge.
The Backstage Blog charts the progress the cast makes in developing their characters, their voice skills and their understanding of the demands of working on the Globe stage. Rehearsal techniques are described within the Character section and actors comment on how these approaches give them insights into their characters and help them perform their parts.

Activities to further develop an understanding of the text and the staging of text can be found in the Text in Performance worksheet in the Teachers Notes.

Globe Education Online
We have many resources for Shakespeare on our website, including an intensive archive of past Globe productions and interviews. Information can also be found about workshops, lectures and other events run by Globe Education.

See: www.shakespearesglobe.com/education

Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank Online
In addition to this resource for Romeo and Juliet, we also have an online resource to accompany each of the previous Playing Shakespeare productions, including Macbeth and the award winning site for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

See: www.playingshakespeare.org.uk

Globe Education Shakespeare Publications
These Globe Education editions of Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet include actor and director views and many stunning photographs, in addition to a clear play text and glossary. Furthermore the online version (dynamic learning) offers the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s plays interactively, through video clips and script machines.

Globe Education Shakespeare titles are now available from the iTunes store in an interactive iBook version, with video and audio as well as the glossary, context, activities, and exam support of the paper versions.

See: www.shakespearesglobe.com/schools-editions and for the iBook edition: www.itunes.apple.com/gb/book/globe-education-shakespeare/id572040639?mt=13

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