Monday, April 6, 2020

There Art Thou Happy

One of my least favorite Shakespeare plays is Romeo and Juliet.  The last year that I taught the play I swore that the next time I did, I was going to start in Act V with Romeo stepping over Paris's body and reaching for the poison.

However, a former colleague of mine had a killer lesson idea for Act III scene iii.  Romeo is whining about how awful his life is and the Friar, speaking for us, I guess, has had enough of it.  He lists off a few things that Romeo should be grateful for and ends with this line:

A pack of blessings lights upon thy back: Happiness courts thee in her best array; but, like a misbehav'd and sullen wench, thou pout'st upon they fortune and thy love.  Take heed, for such die miserable.
 Not wanting her students to "die miserable", she has them as a homework assignment, list out their "pack of blessings".  Puts a bit of a positive spin to her class.

This is also a an easy lesson to adapt in these times of Stay at Home orders.  In fact, I think this lesson is more needed than ever.  If you use this lesson, either through remote learning or not, let me know how it worked for you!

For that matter, this doesn't have to be a Romeo and Juliet exclusive idea.  If you have other texts that this would work with, let us know that too!

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