To London or Bust–and Obtaining Classroom Books

My June flight to London was purchased this morning!  The only thing I could say to my husband (repeatedly) was “This is really happening!”  It’s funny how forking over a large sum of cash–vs. being called and accepted into a program–makes something feel more “real.”  Rhiann, my travel buddy and fellow Globe Education participant, and I will be flying into London a few days before our residency actually begins to acclimate to the time change and to explore before getting down to business at the Globe.  Now begins the exciting part of researching where we would like to travel to in our few unscheduled days.  Bring on the travel books!

In other exciting news, my Donors Choose project was accepted and posted yesterday, so I’m now officially seeking donations for a class set of Romeo and Juliet.  (Waking up this morning to find out that an anonymous donor from Ohio had already made a donation–thank you!–was an extra perk to an already exciting Friday and Saturday.)

When brainstorming with my team teacher, he thought that Romeo and Juliet might be the perfect vehicle to get our students to discuss and consider the effects of gangs on communities.  I thought this idea was genius.  The comparison between the feuding Capulets and Montagues can definitely be made to modern gangs (and has in both West Side Story and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet).  And even the differences are worth examining.  For example, these two warring families have forgotten why they are fighting in the first place, yet consider their actions with the death of our title couple.  Today, however, despite how many people die, gang violence still continues.  In addition, this topic connects a community issue that definitely affects our students as a lens into Shakespeare’s work.  Our kids come to the table with the preconceived notion that Shakespeare is difficult, that they’re not going to understand him anyway.  Focusing on a topic that is very real for them gives them something to pay attention to while reading and a reason to tackle difficult text.

Our hope is that through the reading of this play, our students question the role of gangs in society, examine the effects, are inspired to discuss what is happening in their own community, and begin to think about how to make a change.

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