Shakespeare Week. Children as Young as Five should be taught the complete works of Shakespeare.
That’s the radical view of children’s author Christopher Lloyd, who, in collaboration with the world-famous Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, has devised a powerful new way of exploring all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays visually, all together, in a fold-out timeline Wallbook. It is being published to coincide with the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on April 23rd
The What on Earth? Wallbook of Shakespeare, the fifth in a series of highly successful cross-curricular timelines,. It has also been specially selected as a key resource to help enthuse tens of thousands of UK primary school pupils who will be celebrating the inaugural Shakespeare Week between March 17th and 23rd. In the entire history of Shakespeare, this is the first time that all the plays have been presented visually on a timeline together.
The new Shakespeare Wallbook has been developed to align with the latest research on neuroscience and how the brain has evolved to learn – a vital ingredient, believes Christopher, for understanding how to address young minds in the classroom.
Christopher, who lectures to educators and pupils all over the UK and abroad about how children learn best through natural curiosity, argues that an over-dependence on learning exclusively through abstractions such as words and numbers is the most common cause for pupil disengagement in the classroom.
“In ancient Greece, where there were no pens and paper, students were taught the art of memory using everyday objects as visual cues. Images are how the brain has evolved to learn and remember. Therefore, presenting these plays visually all at once is the best way of introducing young children to the world of Shakespeare,” said Christopher.
The team at What On Earth? Publishing dedicates its time to running INSET training and cross-curricular workshops for students in schools all over the UK and abroad. Many head teachers (who have tried and tested his theory) passionately support his methods. Audrey Leeson, Deputy Head Teacher at Sutton Bonington Primary School, is a big fan of these schools visits, and of the new Shakespeare Wallbook in particular:
“The children, all of whom were fascinated, were able to demonstrate that their knowledge of the world was greater than that of their parents, which was just fabulous”
To mark Shakespeare Week (17th – 23rd March 2014), Christopher Lloyd is delivering a workshop at Shakespeare’s Birthplace that will cover more than 12 of the plays of Shakespeare in just 45 minutes using a giant edition of the new Shakespeare Wallbook and a multi-coloured coat of many pockets packed with props. This time, it will be interspersed with short snippets of live performance from the Shakespeare Aloud group. A giant outdoor version of the Shakespeare Wallbook will be positioned for all to explore in Shakespeare’s garden.