Back to school Shakespeare resources: helping students and teachers to embrace the ‘S’ word
What could be more welcome at the start of a new academic year than a bunch of brand new digital resources for teaching Shakespeare? (OK, apart from the half-term holidays).
Secondary English teacher Paul Wassell loves helping his students to open up and analyse literary texts, but when it comes to Shakespeare the very name arrives with more than a lot of preconceptions: “When the ‘S’ word is mentioned, there are usually a few groans,” claims Paul. “Students love the characters, the plots, the twists and turns, but they find the language difficult to get to grips with.”
Because of this, Paul is on a mission to make Shakespeare’s most famous plays accessible and relevant to all students, and recently he has set up his own YouTube channel where he has launched a series of revision videos that focus on the titular character of Macbeth: “Students are so adept at technology and spend increasing periods of their life in front of a screen. I thought I could utilise the platform to make visually engaging and entertaining resources for students to use outside of the classroom.” He plans to expand on these and produce guides to all of the texts studied at GCSE level.
As well as his videos, Paul has created a huge online database of revision guides, lessons and classroom tools to aid teachers within the classroom: “One of my favourite aspects of teaching is creating lesson resources which help to bring cerebrally exciting but visually dusty old books to life for young students.”
Readers might remember that Macbeth classes from Paul’s previous school participated in a vox pop for Teaching Shakespeare. Additionally, Paul is an MA graduate of the Shakespeare Institute, University of Birmingham. So do take a look – Paul is eager for you feedback and the sites include the opportunity to leave him reviews and feedback so that he can hone his resource going forward.
All of Paul’s resources can be found on his website at EnglishGCSE.co.uk.
Paul’s Macbeth revision videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6FWr2lNsng&list=PLOJNnC8jXlNl9XDN3y9Lc2SzLh-ayAbAF