Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Teaching Shakespeare to ADHD students

....IS REALLY HARD!!

But so worth it because I know that when they get past their initial internal monologue. Let me give you a preview since this the same reaction I had when I had to read Shakespeare.

One of my 17 year old boy students:

"Oh my GOD what is she making me do....I don't know what the heck Shakespeare is saying...Why can't he just use REGULAR ENGLISH LANGUAGE....and now she wants me to analyze what it means? Are you kidding? No, just- NO!  I won't do it. I simply will not do it. She can cry about it if she doesn't like it. It is simply too hard....Oh wait- it's about murder? And hallucinations? And crazy, weird, power hungry men? I like those topics...maybe if I listen to what she is saying I will understand it a little more...Ok, I get the history, I get the visual of Glamis Castle and the legend of the Grey Lady and the murder that actually took place there...interesting, I think I could get into this...no, its not THAT hard. I "got" it before that guy for heaven's sake...yeah, it is kinda cool..what was I worried about again??"

I get it and my only interest at this point is to get them involved in the story. Once I get them hooked and can get them involved and caring about the characters and situations, they can provide the most amazing insight and connections. In fact, since their brains move so fast, they will usually "get" Shakespeare fairly quickly and understand what is being said and not said. It makes the class more fun and faster paced when it finally "clicks" for them. It is the energy and discipline that it takes to get them there that it very difficult.
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