Today went very well! We had a few newcomers this week so our number went up from 15 students to about 18. We started off with the Bull Frog game, which was an instant success. The kids loved to act their death and it was quite comical to watch for sure. I think it worked well to do that game in the beginning because when we get the children they seem very wound up.
For the second half of our time, we started to read through the script in small groups. We broke up into groups of 4-6 students and did popcorn reading by switching every time a new character talks. In my group, there were 3 students who instantly acted out the lines when they read them. We definitely have some very enthusiastic witches in the making! The one other child in my group struggled to read, let alone read Shakespeare. I did my best to help her sound out the more difficult words, but she made it clear to me that she did not want to read in front of people. I did find though that she enjoyed that the rest of the group was very loud and acting out their parts. She was laughing and enjoying the read-along so I was happy to see that she was not totally discouraged. Also, while I was going through my script with the children I would stop them and have them try to explain to me what was going on in the play. I think we need to do that a little more as a whole group so that they understand how to act out those lines. There were a few times where my children were very close to the plot points and other times where they were way off or did not understand. The more we stop and study the more they will understand I hope.
After we read through the first 3 scenes of our part, I noticed that the students were starting to get tired so we went back to Act I Scene 1 and had each of them read the first two lines of the First Witch and I told them to give me their best witch impression of those lines. They went on to come up with 3 or 4 different kinds of witches they could be; old lady who sick and talking to their grandkids, a young witch with a screechy voice, a young with with a soft creepy voice, etc. It was really cool to see them act out just two lines because they were really creative. I think it is important to have them act out small parts while reading through the script for the first time so that they remember that this about acting as well as about reading.