RSC OFFERS RESOURCES TO PUPILS LEARNING AT HOME AND TEACHERS DELIVERING LESSONS ONLINE
The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is offering a large number of free Shakespeare-related resources to students currently learning at home, and to teachers looking to create lesson plans to deliver online.
Amongst the resources are celebrated author, Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare, fresh retellings of six of Shakespeare’s timeless stories. They are free for UK schools, with a new Tale being available on demand at 10am every Friday until 5 February.
Other online content includes RSC Activity Toolkits, focussing on six of Shakespeare’s most studied plays. The toolkits have been designed specifically for home learning, with short 15-minute tasks that can be completed by students at home, or set as part of a remote lesson. With supporting videos from RSC actors, the toolkits will take students deeper into the world of each play. Actors, including Niamh Cusack, Paapa Essiedu and David Tennant have also created video responses to questions sent in from students as part of Homework Help.
All resources – a list of which is below – are accessible via the Education section of the RSC website: www.rsc.org.uk/education/about-rsc-education/home-learning-with-the-rsc
Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education, said:
“We know that this next phase of national lockdown is incredibly challenging for students, teachers and families. It can also be isolating and demotivating for many young people. So as children and families adjust to their new virtual classrooms we have created a range of different resources designed to stimulate their creativity and imagination, and support their wellbeing.
“Members of our acting company have developed activity toolkits that set challenges for students to complete on well-known plays, from creating plot storyboards to designing sets to performing key speeches and scenes. Our Shakespeare Learning Zone contains lots of interactive games and quizzes for students to enjoy as well as video content featuring RSC actors performing scenes and speeches, and talking about their approach to playing different characters. Michael Morpurgo’s Tales from Shakespeare are free to schools in the UK, with a new tale being released every Friday at 10am until 5 February. Schools can sign up to register and the content is available on demand for teachers and students, at home or in school, for 3 months.”
INFORMATION ON THE RESOURCES
MICHAEL MORPURGO’S TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE
Aimed at young people aged 6 to 16, former Children’s Laureate, Michael Morpurgo has relocated six of Shakespeare’s plays and their characters to contemporary settings, unlocking the vivid drama at the heart of the tales. The six stories – Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest – are told by both Michael himself and members of the RSC acting company.
Tales from Shakespeare are free for UK schools, with a new Tale being available from 10am every Friday until 5 February. All registered schools and students will be able to access the Tales on demand, with each Tale being available for 3 months from date of its initial release. They will be supported by a series of new literacy resources for Key Stages 1-3, released in February 2021.
To access the videos schools need to register here.
The RSC has created Activity Toolkits for Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice. Each toolkit contains twenty short 15-minute activities for each play, designed to help students revise and refresh their knowledge of these texts. They can also be used by teachers when planning remote lessons. Topics include the Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet, the To Be or Not to Be speech from Hamlet, and the role of the witches in Macbeth. The toolkits are supported by videos of RSC actors completing some of the tasks in their own homes as an inspiration.
In 2020 the RSC asked students to send the RSC their Shakespeare questions through #RSCHomeworkHelp. Hundreds of questions were received, and students can now access video responses from actors including David Bradley, Niamh Cusack, Paapa Essiedu, David Tennant and David Threlfall, along with the RSC’s Artistic Director Gregory Doran.
In 2019 and 2020 the RSC broadcast live lessons into schools about Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth. These lessons are now available for students to view at any time. Each lesson features contributions from RSC directors and actors, including RSC Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman, who directed Romeo and Juliet in 2019; Niamh Cusack, who played Lady Macbeth in 2019; and Karen Fishwick, who played Juliet in 2019. The lessons explore the characters, themes and language of each play.
Other resources available include Shakespeare Unlocked, where students can watch videos exploring key moments, relationships and speeches from Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The Shakespeare Learning Zone contains an informative and interactive catalogue of games, videos and galleries, arranged by play title, giving students the chance to find more about each play or revise ones they know well.
Teachers can search the RSC’s Teacher Resources database, full of activities and inspiration to help them plan online lessons for 30 of Shakespeare plays.