Reading Cloud
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Reading Cloud
Easy USO

YOU CAN DO IT! June 2017



Did you know that you don't have to be a reading genius or know what old-fashioned words mean to read and understand the plays of William Shakespeare?


This year, in April, Shakespeare, who many believe is the greatest playwright who has ever lived, would have celebrated his 453rd birthday, had he been alive!


As soon as you hear his name, if you have heard of him, you may be a little put off, thinking Shakespeare's plays are not for you. But they are! In fact, Shakespeare's plays are for everyone - no matter how young or old.



What did he write about?

Shakespeare wrote many, many, plays and poems. In total, he wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets (which are love poems) and 5 long narrative (story-type) poems. Imagine that!


Some of his plays were funny (called comedies such as The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night) and some were really sad (called tragedies, such as Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and King Lear).



Many of his plays have fantasy characters like wizards, witches and naughty spirits and fairies who get up to no good, playing tricks on humans, that leave the audience shocked or amused.


One thing that all his plays have in common though, is that they are about what YOU, ME, ALL of US have felt at one time or another.


Have you ever felt angry, upset or jealous? Well, he wrote about those feelings through the characters and events in his plays. Have you ever felt really happy, loving or kind? He wrote about those emotions, too.



You see, Shakespeare wrote about us all and the different feelings that humans have. They are often exaggerated or made stronger in his characters than we would feel them and this makes his plays powerful and exciting - like adventure stories!



Chances are, that when you get to high school, each and every one of you will study at least one play by Shakespeare. Maybe some of you have already done some writing about a play by Shakespeare in a Literacy lesson?



You Can Do It!


There are loads and loads of shorter, modern versions of Shakespeare's plays that are written especially for children in primary school. There will be some in the school library and also your local library.


The picture opposite shows Macbeth who was told by 3 witches he would become a King. Problem - he had to murder the existing King first! Do you think he did it?





My favourite is a collection of his plays that are in cartoon form by Marcia Williams: 'Mr William Shakespeare's Plays' and 'Bravo, Mr William Shakespeare'.    



Another of my favourites is by Leon Garfield 'Shakespeare Stories' and 'Shakespeare Stories II'. I love these books because the author uses lots of clever writing methods that I talked about in the last Blog entry, like similes, personification and strong adjectives and verbs. This makes it easier for us to imagine the story in our heads - and makes it feel real and exciting!













Other books you could take a look at:

'The Shakespeare Stories Collection 16 Books' by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross.


'Usbourne Illustrated Stories for Children' by Rosie Dickins and Anna Claybourne.


'What's so Special about Shakespeare?' by Michael Rosen. This is a great one because it includes interesting facts about Shakespeare's life and takes a look at four of his most famous plays.





I hope by now that you are all convinced that you can read and write about a Shakespeare play. You can also ask an adult to read a Shakespeare story to you if you struggle a little with your reading. But the best thing is to have a go!


Look at the next Blog entry for this month to see some scenes from King Lear, written and illustrated by children in Year 4.

Well Done to Nevaeh, Ridwaan, Omid (4D) Anojan (4H) and Abdullahi (4N) ... YOU DID IT!



Mrs. Collins







  • Horsenden Primary School
  • Horsenden Lane North
  • Greenford
  • Middlesex
  • UB6 0PB
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 020 8422 5985
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