Drawn in by the hook of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” I went on a prowl of the red-lipped singer’s lyrics to find other Shakespearean bridges I could share with my students. Surprisingly, it was hard at times to separate the beauty from the bard. Don’t believe me? Okay, then, let’s play “William Shakespeare or Taylor Swift?” (Bonus points if you can name any of the song titles or any of the characters who speak the Shakespearean lines – no Googling allowed!)

TaylorSwiftShakespeareHighSchoolEnglishRandazzo

Click on the image above to view the answers and grab even more questions on a FREE single-sheet game you can use with your classes. Teach on, everyone!

Images used with permission: David Shankbone and Yae Steadly, Flickr, CC2.0

Join the conversation! 12 Comments

  1. Haha what a great idea – I love this! We just finished a poetry unit; too bad I did not find this earlier 🙂

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  2. Thanks, Nadine! Well, there’s always next time, right? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect timing! I am reading Wednesday Wars with my 7th graders, and we are getting ready to the parts in which the character starts reading Shakespeare. I am giving this to them as the opening activity on Monday. You are a genius! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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  4. I LOVE the way you think! I will use this with my students as end of the year fun!

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  5. So glad this will slide so smoothly into your plans, Michelle. Success!

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  6. Ah, thanks so much, MusingRunner! Your happiness is my happiness. 🙂

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  7. I love this activity! I got the 7 all right. I will have to try the longer quiz.

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  8. Go, Lisa! Hope you keep that winning streak going. 🙂

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  9. Hey, Laura!

    I was just wondering, do you use parallel texts (Elizabethan on left, Modern English on right) to teach Shakespearean plays?

    If so, do you have students read both Elizabethan and Modern English sides in class?

    If not, how do you teach students to read, understand, and appreciate Shakespearean English?

    Also, do you give participation points for when students read Shakespeare in class?

    Thanks! 🙂

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  10. Great questions, Eng10Santos! For students with IEPs, I’ll quietly slide ’em copy of a No Fear Shakespeare parallel text for them to keep at home for nightly review and test prep. In class, though, we act out each and every line of the Shakespeare plays we study and don’t use the parallel texts. We go slow. I recap a ton. I tell jokes. I explain (most of) the naughty bits. We act things out with lightsabers. It’s a whole thing.

    Because of the opening games that we play (tone, puns, insults/flattery), the kids are raring to go once we actually start the play. When they first recoil at the language, though, I tell them that reading Shakespeare is like jumping into a swimming pool on a hot summer day. At first, the water will be freezing and you think you’re going to die, but very quickly the water warms and you’re so glad you decided to go swimming. With the right support, ALL of our kids can understand Shakespeare. Promise.

    Finally, I don’t give participation or reading points for any of this. I just grab the volunteers (there’s always a handful of my better readers who enjoy performing for the class – some of them even hustle in before the tardy bell to claim their favorite roles) and assign smaller parts to other students. By the end of a play, everyone’s read at least once, even if it’s just the role of “Servingman #3.”

    Hope this helps! 🙂

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  11. Thanks, Laura! 🙂

    One more question, do you have your students read the stage directions?

    I’ve had one teacher say that when reading plays out loud, don’t read the stage directions aloud (except when reading The Crucible), and I’ve had another teacher assign a reader to read the stage directions.

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  12. Hey, Santos! No, I don’t have the kids read the stage directions aloud because it becomes awkward, unnecessarily breaking the flow of the scene. For small stage directions (ex: He sets down the glass.), we don’t read those aloud at all because we all see the words as we’re following along with the student-actors. For longer or more important stage directions, I’ll stop the action and either read the directions word-for-word or just summarize what’s happening. When we read The Crucible, I do a fair bit of summarizing because some of Miller’s long background passages can be boiled down to, “Okay, guys, here’s what you need to know about the bad blood between Parris and Putnam…”

    The short answer is that I’m always the role of “director” during read-alouds. 🙂

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fun stuff, high school English, print and teach, Shakespeare, Uncategorized

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