Arts

Roundtable

All the World's a Stage: Sparking a Love of Shakespeare in the Primary Grades

Saturday, November 11
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Location: Exhibit Hall Roundtable 8

Shakespeare is typically associated with high school English classes, but there is no reason why his writing cannot be introduced earlier in a child’s education. This session will provide an overview of the study of Shakespeare in an elementary school language arts curriculum. Using the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” students as young as first grade begin to read selected scenes, use comprehension strategies to interpret the language, analyze themes, and perform short passages. Teaching experiences of the presenter will be shared and examples of writing and reading lessons will be provided.

Robin Fox

First Grade Teacher
Peabody School

Robin Fox graduated from Cornell University in 2007 with a degree in Psychology, with an emphasis on cognitive neuroscience. In 2009, she received her Masters in Teaching from the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Currently, Ms. Fox is a first grade teacher at the Peabody School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Peabody is an independent school serving gifted and academically advanced students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Prior to joining Peabody’s faculty in 2013, Ms. Fox worked in the public school system of Albemarle County, Virginia for four years. In her nine years of teaching, she has taught first, second, and third grade. In addition to her work in the classroom, Ms. Fox has developed curricula in a number of subject areas, designed school-wide standardized math assessments, and held school leadership roles.
For all three of the grade levels Ms. Fox has taught, she has incorporated the study of Shakespeare into students’ language arts instruction. Her round table discussion will focus on integrating Shakespeare into the primary grades. Ms. Fox believes that although a play by Shakespeare often presents complex language and syntax, it can provide students with opportunities for rich textual analysis, scene interpretation, character study, and oration. Using the comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as the featured text, her students read selected scenes from the play, use comprehension strategies, such as visualization, to make sense of the language, engage in discussions around themes and motifs conveyed in the story, and perform passages to an audience of peers and parents. Ms. Fox strives to expand the boundaries for the primary grades beyond traditional expectations, and she is eager to share examples of her Shakespeare-enriched writing and reading lessons with fellow educators and members of academia.

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