Fiction

English Year 6 Autumn Classic Plays

Shakespeare

Choose from Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, Macbeth for an in-depth study. Relative clauses & prefixes/suffixes in context of Shakespeare’s new words. Write and perform playscripts. Also in Y5 Spring.

Start with the core unit to introduce key texts. Then select from comprehension, SPAG and composition units.

Core
Unit 1 Core: Romeo and Juliet - Introducing Shakespeare
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Make freeze-frame scenes to match phrases from the Prologue of Romeo and Juliet. Listen to the Prologue being read and talk together about the language patterns and its mood. Read the Prologue together, chorusing the end words.
Activity
Match a modern language version of the Prologue to the original phrases. Write answers to questions about the modern language version. Watch a performance of the Prologue and make predictions about the play.

Day 2 Teaching
Generate questions about William Shakespeare and watch a video, taking notes about what it explains. Summarise findings on an outline of Shakespeare.
Activity
Read a version of the first part of Romeo and Juliet and then answer questions about it. Talk about the story so far and watch a synopsis. Make new predictions now that more of the story is known.

Day 3 Teaching
Look closely at a Marcia Williams’ illustration and see how she uses the original text. Explore some of the challenging vocabulary from Romeo and Juliet in context, building children’s confidence in reading the original play.
Activity
Read a version of the second part of the story and answer questions. Talk together about responses to the whole story, its surprises and puzzles. Listen to a song that summarises the story.

Day 4 Teaching
Watch an animated version of a scene from Romeo and Juliet. Look together at the playscript and talk about its presentation and the stage directions. Work together to start performing Act 1 Scene 1.
Activity
Further develop performances of Act 1 Scene 1 or of two other scenes from the play. Watch some of these and reflect together on the process of performing a scene from Shakespeare.

SPAG
Unit 2 SPaG: Identifying and using relative Clauses
(suggested as 3 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean
Mr William Shakespeare's Plays, Seven Plays by Marcia Williams

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read and discuss the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet. Look at the phrase, ‘where we lay our scene’ as an example of a relative clause. Use the presentation to teach about relative pronouns and relative clauses.
Activity
Use sentences about the first part of Romeo and Juliet. Identify relative clauses, select clauses to add and write own sentences. Talk about the effect of these clauses and how they provide additional information.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss the second part of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Write a sentence with an embedded relative clause and then use a presentation to teach about these.
Activity
Use sentences about the second part of Romeo and Juliet. Identify embedded relative clauses, select clauses to embed within sentences and write own sentences that include an embedded relative clause. Talk together about how we read these sentences aloud.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss the final part of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Write pairs of sentences about this, both including relative clauses, with one an embedded relative clause. Use a presentation to teach about punctuating sentences that have relative clauses.
Activity
Write sentences about the third part of the story, using relative clauses. Decide how you will develop this writing. Look together at an example of how Shakespeare used relative clauses and start to look for examples in other reading.

SPaG: Grammar and Punctuation

Relative Clauses Presentation – Children revise the use of relative clauses including embedded relative clauses and their correct punctuation.

Comprehension
Unit 3 Comprehension: Reading and developing an understanding of Macbeth
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean
Mr William Shakespeare's Plays, Seven Plays by Marcia Williams

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Read Act 1 Scene 1 of Macbeth together and work out some of the challenging vocabulary. Model how to use choral speaking techniques to perform the Witches’ Song from later in the play.
Activity
Children prepare a choral speaking performance of the Witches’ Song, which they share with others. They watch two professional performances of the first scene and talk about the mood that they create, making predictions for how the play may develop.

Day 2 Teaching
Discuss predictions from Day 1, then read the first part of the re-telling from Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean. Use a set of questions to talk together about the story so far, ensuring children are familiar with the plot.
Activity
Sequence a version of the story so far and match illustrations from Marcia William’s version. Add quotes from the play itself. Read Marcia William’s comic-strip version of the story so far.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss the characters of the Macbeths and add notes to a pair of character outlines. Read the second part of the story from Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean. Read the first part of Act 3 Scene IV and model how to create a one-word script.
Activity
Create and perform one-word scripts for the rest of Act 3 Scene IV. Share performances and then watch a professional performance of the whole scene, discussing ideas about the character’s feelings and thoughts.

Day 4 Teaching
Discuss the prophecies that have been made to Macbeth before reading the final part of the story from Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean. Discuss children’s response to the story and the question of who was to ‘blame’ for the tragedy.
Activity
Split a re-telling of the story amongst six groups. Prepare a tableau to tell that part of the story and add a suitable quote from the play. Perform the whole story together and then discuss the similarities and differences between Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.

Comprehension
Unit 4 Comprehension: Reading and developing an understanding of the Tempest
(suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Discuss a picture of Prospero and make predictions about this character. Use quotes from Prospero to build up a picture of him and what has happened to him at the start of the story.
Activity
Match quotes about Miranda, Caliban and Ariel to summaries of their stories at the start of the play. Discuss what Prospero might do once he learns that his enemies are sailing nearby.

Day 2 Teaching
Read and discuss Act 1 Scene 2 where Ariel reports the shipwreck. Work in small groups to act out this scene then watch a version. Discuss the three sets of visitors to the island.
Activity
Use extracts from Geraldine McCaughrean’s Stories from Shakespeare to find out about what happens to the three sets of visitors. Make further predictions about what Prospero might do next.

Day 3 Teaching
Read and discuss Caliban’s ‘Be Not Afeard’ speech. Practise reading with a partner, swapping at the punctuation. Use a blank island map to remember the three sets of visitors from Day 2.
Activity
Read and perform scenes which show how Prospero treated the three sets of visitors. Read the end of the story from Geraldine McCaughrean’s Stories from Shakespeare.

Day 4 Teaching
Re-visit your character outlines from Day 1, adding additional thoughts and ideas. Look at some costume designs for Prospero and see how the designer adds quotes to the design.
Activity
Produce designs for Prospero, Miranda, Caliban and Ariel, adding quotes to these designs. Watch a synopsis of the whole story and discuss the themes that it emphasises.

SPAG
Unit 5 SPaG: Understanding and using verb prefixes/suffixes – and Shakespeare’s new words!
(suggested as 3 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Introduce and discuss some of Shakespeare’s neologisms (new words). Look at examples of modern new words and learn about five ways that new words can be made.
Activity
Choose prefixes to add to root words, to make verbs that Shakespeare used. Use dictionaries to check the meanings of these words and write sentences that include them. Try making sentences that use three of Shakespeare’s new words.

Day 2 Teaching
Sort neologisms from JK Rowling, Roald Dahl and Shakespeare. Look at Shakepeare’s word ‘fishify’ in particular and see how it is formed with a noun and suffix. Teach the spelling rules for other verb suffixes.
Activity
Convert nouns and adjectives into verbs using suffixes. Complete a cloze activity that uses these new verbs. Explore nouns being used as verbs without any prefix or suffix added, looking at examples of ‘verbing’ from Shakespeare and modern English.

Day 3 Teaching
Explore the idiom ‘wild goose chase’. Watch a video from Coronation Street that uses it as a title and then watch an explanation of the idiom. Discuss the terms ‘figurative’ and ‘literal’. Look at a poster designed to show another idiom from Shakespeare.
Activity
Match Shakespearean idioms to their meanings, practise miming them and then design posters to show their meaning. Share these with one another and then enjoy playing with Shakespeare’s new words, using an Insult Creator!

Composition
Unit 6 Composition: writing your own playscripts
(suggested as 4 days)

You Will Need

Texts
Stories from Shakespeare by Geraldine McCaughrean

Websites
Three actors perform the first lines of Hamlet’s ‘To be, or not to be’ speech:
Papa Essiedu, David Tennant, Benedict Cumberbatch from YouTube.com

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Use illustrations from Mr. William Shakespeare’s Plays by Marcia Williams to revisit some of the scenes from the plays that you have learnt about. Model how to work in a group to improvise one of these scenes and how to record improvised dialogue.
Activity
Work in a small group to create an improvised version of a scene from the plays that you have learnt about. Record improvised dialogue. Share this with the whole class and see where it shows what a character is thinking or feeling.

Day 2 Teaching
Annotate an example playscript to show its features. Model writing a draft playscript, using some of the dialogue recorded on Day 1.
Activity
Work individually to write playscripts, sharing writing with a partner and making an evaluation of own writing.

Day 3 Teaching
Use an example draft playscript and model how to make improvements. Work on individual playscripts making improvements and changes.
Activity
Read playscripts to the small group from Day 1 and decide on one script to work on. Make improvements to this script drawing on ideas from other scripts. Find out about how plays were shared in Shakespeare’s day and choose another group’s script to perform on Day 4.

Day 4 Teaching
Read the first sentence of ‘To be, or not to be’ from Hamlet, deciding what expression to use. Watch three different actors perform this sentence and notice the differences in their performances.
Activity
Work in Day 1’s small group, to develop a performance of another group’s playscript. Share and discuss performances together, making plans to share them more widely.