Christopher Lloyd, creator of the What On Earth? Wallbook series, is using the latest research on neuroscience and learning techniques in order to understand how to engage young minds in the classroom through England’s most famous cultural export – William Shakespeare.
What On Earth? Publishing is celebrating the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth on the 23rd April 2014 with the release of the Wallbook of Shakespeare, written in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The book acts as a timeline of every single play Shakespeare has ever written, packed full of illustrations to peak children’s curiosity.
“Educators need to understand how the brain has evolved to learn if we are to maximise our chances of achieving pupil engagement in the classroom.” Chris comments. “The evolution of the brain tells us much about the functional relationship of our left and right hemispheres. What we have is evidence that suggests the best strategies for engaging children in learning is allowing curiosity to flow between subjects using timelines and everyday objects.”
The book encourages children to pursue their own path through a timeline of every single one of Shakespeare’s plays, for example discovering all the ghosts, sibling rivalry, or stories of love. These learning techniques engage even the most reluctant learner using no more than the power of natural curiosity.
Christopher comments: “In ancient Greece, where there were no pens and paper, students were taught the art of memory using everyday objects as visual cues. The brain has evolved to use images 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.”
Christopher lectures educators and pupils all over the UK and 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.
The Wallbook was produced in collaboration with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. If you’d like to purchase a copy, you can go to whatonearthbooks.com. The full Wallbook series can also be found on Amazon.