Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday William!

Today is William Shakespeare's 443rd birthday (as near as we can tell; there is a record of his baptism on the 26th April so his birth was assumed to be a few days ealier.) At our school we are celebrating - after all three year levels are studying one of his plays. Year 10s are doing Romeo and Juliet, Year 11s are doing Macbeth and Year 12 are doing Hamlet. Our celebration is a student and staff writing competition. We have assembled approximately 40 quotes and the challenge is to write a creative piece to “seamlessly” incorporate these quotations (or PARTS of quotes) into their own original story. From the "entry form": For the competition the criteria for judging will be: the number of quotations incorporated, the seamlessness of their incorporation, the quality of the original piece of writing, and evidence of wit and wordplay in the writing. The piece must have an original title, should not be more than 1000 words. It may be poetry, prose, song or script or be a narrative piece, an informative piece such as a newspaper report etc, the more creative the better. There will be separate competitions for students in years 7 and 8, years 9 and 10, years 11 and 12 and staff. Prizes will be awarded. And to top it all off, any piece which meets the criteria may be submitted to the regular classroom teacher for inclusion in their writing folio requirements for the term. (Year 12 students can use it as a practice piece for a SAC) It will be assessed and counted as a regular work requirement.

I am really looking forward to see what we get. I have included the list of quotes we gave them here. So all of you Shakespearophiles: Happy Shakespeare Day!


  1. Anonymous11:09 am

    That's a great competition for your students to be in! I hope everything goes well!

  2. Hi Jo,

    I'd love to access your quote sheet, but unfortunately I don't seem to have permission! I hope that your term has started well.

  3. Hi nb, sorry about that. I've now published it so it should be accessible. Yes the term has started well if a little frantically, how 'bout you?

  4. Artichoke3:59 pm

    Sounds good Jo - It sure beats the Blackadderish experiences I had with Shakespeare in school

    Blackadder: [punches Shakespeare] That is for every schoolboy and schoolgirl for the next 400 years. Have you any idea how much suffering you're going to cause? Hours spent at school desks trying to find *one* joke in "A Midsummer's Night Dream", wearing stupid tights in school plays and saying things like, "What ho, my Lord," and, "Oh, look, here comes Othello talking total crap as usual."

  5. What a great lesson idea. I've never thought about giving students a bunch of quotes and asking them to write a paper incorporating as many as possible. It seems to me as if a similar paper could be written in which different characters from history, who lived at different times, have a conversation about current events.