I recently read Playing with Plays: Romeo and Juliet for Kids. As a 9th grade English teacher, this little book will definitely become a gem in my collection of engaging resources. First of all, the book is broken down into three mini-plays based on available actors: 6-11 actors, 9-13 actors, and 14-18 actors. Group sizes help teachers to sort students for each mini-play.
In the forward, Brendan Kelso discusses the important scenes of Shakespeare that have remained with him since high school. These are the scenes that are alluded to and remembered, such as, “Romeo, Romeo; wherefore art thou Romeo?” The most important element of this book is that all of the famous lines that teachers want students to remember are there, but the lines are connected with language that students understand.
The plays can be acted out in 10 minutes or less which is perfect for a flip video rendition of Romeo and Juliet. I plan to use this fabulous book to group my students and create flip video versions to post to our student blog pages. Not only will students be able to recite some of Shakespeare’s most famous lines, but they will also be able to connect with the characters in the play to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of Romeo and Juliet.
Thank you Brendan Kelso and Playing with Plays for your excellent, engaging, and short enough to be able to use in class, melodramatic plays.