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Dr Seuss and Macbeth

Page history last edited by Jon Reiff 12 years ago





When we began the Sonnets unit, we discussed the idea that Shakespeare’s stories are timeless.  As such, it is important for you to have fun with his words.  Students wouldn’t study him and people wouldn’t spend their time recreating his masterpieces if they weren’t enjoyable.  While Shakespeare’s words may be intimidating, they are just as easy and fun as … Dr. Seuss’ words!


 “Mr. Reiff? You’ve finally lost it.”


No, I haven’t.  Although Dr. Seuss used a bunch of crazy words, he still told a story, and the most important part of ANY play is the story (“The play’s the thing” – Hamlet).  Students are generally afraid of Shakespeare’s language because they believe it’s Old English (which it isn’t).  A lot of the words come across as prim, proper, and, quite frankly, incomprehensible. 


Ah, but Shakespeare wrote for EVERYONE.  He knew his audience unlike any other author.  He used beautiful poetry for the nobles and dirty jokes for the common people.  How he wrote each character in each play tells the audience a lot about that character as an individual.


I have a number of Dr. Seuss books available for you to peruse, and you are welcome to bring in one or more of your own tomorrow.  I want you to find a book that not only interests you but one with which you can have fun.  The passage you choose should have a natural beginning and a natural ending.


While I do not expect you to read the entire book aloud (as I did with The Lorax at http://www.havsd.net/~reiff/FOV2-00100899/FOV2-00107E5F/), your selection must be at least two minutes in length and a maximum of three minutes in length. I want you to listen to my version of The Lorax before you do anything else.  Full disclosure: prior to my recording it, I had read this book ONCE in my life, and that was to my daughter just last week.   Note that there’s a difference between simply reading the words on the page and playing with the text.  You will receive a rubric shortly, but here are the key aspects of the assignment, which you will record using Audacity:

  • Tell the story correctly, remembering that each word was chosen for a reason.  As such, think about your tone, inflection, and enunciation, as they can change the entire meaning of a passage, page, section, or entire story.
  • Make sense of the language by reading the punctuation correctly.
  • Be prepared with your passage, which will enable you to reduce the number of errors that you make.  If you should make an error in reading (I have a couple in my recording), be sure to correct them (I did) instead of glossing over them.
  • Read and record the story in one take!
  • Most importantly, make the project your own.  For example, how is your interpretation of your passage different from anyone else’s? 


* Special thanks to Bailey Shaw, HHS Class of ’07, for her inspiration and suggestions for this activity!

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