Brave Writer

Shakespeare Family Workshop invites families to dive deep into a single writing subject over four weeks. Readers investigate excerpts from Shakespeare's plays and poems as they react as interested readers to the themes, language, and messages of those works. 

In the course of this class, writers develop an appreciation for language, musicality, literary elements, and rich vocabulary. Each participant emerges from class with an appreciation of Shakespeare’s work as well as a series of short writing projects that spring from the texts under study. 


Week One

Families embark on the adventure by zooming in on what makes Shakespeare shine most brightly: his use of impactful (even innovative!) language. Participants jump into study with a fun language-learning challenge of their choice.

Week Two

From Malvolio to Romeo to Titania to Hamlet, Shakespeare’s characters are known and re-imagined in countless adaptations. Students do a deep dive on a Shakespearean character this week with a choice of hands-on, age-appropriate activities.

Week Three

No stranger to the shipwreck, duel, regicide, or all-out war, Shakespeare’s plot lines are designed to keep theatergoers engaged. Participants engage in some plot analysis this week as they break down a Shakespearean scene.

Week Four

Class wraps to an end with consideration of Shakespearean settings. Participants explore his most important setting—the stage itself. Students leave class with a crafted setting that will form a treasured part of the school portfolio.

Common Core and Academic Standards Support

What follows is a word bank and set of skills associated with this class. Use them to craft your own learning narrative for use in year-end evaluations, charter school reports, or any other accountability source.

Word Bank

  • Analysis
  • Audience
  • Character development
  • Close reading
  • Literary devices
  • Metaphor
  • Plot arc
  • Poetry
  • Point of view/Perspective
  • Setting
  • Structure
  • Symbolism
  • Theater
  • Theme
  • Voice

Core Skills

  • Analyze structure of text
  • Cite textual evidence to support conclusions
  • Compare and contrast texts
  • Determine central ideas and themes
  • Identify key events
  • Identify patterns
  • Identify point of view
  • Imitate elements of language, setting, plot, and character traits to write original texts in Shakespearean world
  • Interpret and retell in own voice
  • Memorize a Shakespearean text for oral performance
  • Perform scenes in theatrical style
  • Study narrative arc: action, background, development, climax, resolution
  • Write detailed, organized, structured original narratives