Archive for June 3rd, 2008
I really enjoy time in secondary schools. Especially when we can work alongside primary colleagues. So, I had great fun today at Tring School, Hertfordshire.
After a presentation to all of the staff, I enjoyed a lesson with some Year 7 students. They responded incredibly enthusiastically. One lass even got into the role of Yeesha, the young girl in Myst IV (who we first encounter as the baby in the opening scenes of Myst III)
The descriptive prose the children used to describe the location we found ourselves in, was quite startling at times.
With the staff in the afternoon, we discussed how to integrate literature, texts and other media into the whole visual literacy field as a whole, and in to the use of games as a stimulus in particular. Links with the Hobbit and his home and how this relates to some of the doors we encounter in the Myst games, is one unit of work many people have been developing and sharing. Links with other texts are also possible, as is analysis of the texts within the games. Myst III has a few volumes of text that become available to you as you play. These are great to pick apart, emulate and mimic.
Myst IV also includes the opportunity of writing a journal on screen alongside “Snapp shots” that you have taken during your travels.
Today, we discussed how useful a wireless or Bluetooth keyboard can be during lessons. Pass a keyboard round and encourage students to add to a text that you are generating, “LIVE” into the on screen journal. Develop, change, improve and adapt the text and then the finished result is available at any time to read again.
There was also talk about how Shakespeare can be woven into exploration within the games.
With the interesting development of Sir Derek Jacobi and others questioning the authorship of much, if not all, of William Shakespeare’s works (HERE and HERE) I was reminded of the natty “Shakepseare Insult Kit” or “Taunter”
There are many writers, authors, poets, actors and thinkers who have doubted the Bard’s authenticity, including Mark Twain, Henry James, Walt Whitman, Charles Dickens, Orson Welles, Charlie Chaplin, Sir John Gielgud
You might want to take a look at the insulter but I don’t reckon you can take it…
…You starvelling, you eel-skin, you dried neat’s-tongue, you bull’s-pizzle, you stock-fish–O for breath to utter what is like thee!-you tailor’s-yard, you sheath, you bow-case, you vile standing tuck!
(Henry IV, part I)
If you have not come across the Shakespeare Works crew, their website is well worth a visit too.
Last night we stayed at the delightful Pendley Manor Hotel, about a mile and a half from Tring School. They have their own Pendley Shakespeare Festival. This festival is held each year during August. This Year sees performances of Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice.
Even the peafowl seem to get in on the act with powerful Shakespearean ennunciation, at all times of the day and night!
It was the first time I had ever seen a white or albino peafowl too.
Thank you to Claire Ramsden (head of English) her colleagues and students at Tring School, and visiting staff from neighbouring schools, for another wonderful wander in the world of words.