To explore the themes and issues from the play it could be beneficial for the students to create a group sculpture following a class discussion.
For this activity one student will model a group of students into a shape that will reflect and encapsulate a particular issue or theme found within A Midsummer Night's Dream. For example dreams, family, love or magic.
This image should aim to be a symbolic reflection of the students perception or interpretation of what occurred during the performance.
An Interpretation of ‘Shape Shifting'
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the reality of life is interwoven with the perplexities of dreams which could be interpreted to be a reflection of the main characters in a dance. For this activity the students could do one of the two:
The inner dance of a character from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The ‘outer' or ‘realistic' character is contrasted with figures that represent the ‘inner dance'. For example the way Shakespeare has captured his plot both through the ‘realistic' world of ‘the lovers' and the magical, hidden world of ‘the fairies'. For this activity the students could be looking at changing the ‘realistic' world of the character into that of the characters ‘inside magical realm'. So the students can pick ANY character from A Midsummer Night's Dream and give them their OWN fairy world just as Shakespeare has done for Lysander, Demetri, Helena and Hermia whose fairy world consisted of the complications due to the fairy Puck's mistakes instead of the realistic view of the tribulations concerning ‘love' between them.
An interpretation of what the students own inner fairy realm would be.
For the older primary students familiarity with Shakespearean texts can be nothing but beneficial. For this activity the students will prepare a choral reading of:
" You spotted snakes with double tongue,
thorny Hedgehogs be not seen;
Newts and blind worms, do no wrong,
Come not near our fairy queen.
Philomel, with melody
Sing in our sweet lullaby,
Lulla lulla luulaby; lulla lulla lullaby.
Nor spell, nor charm
Come our lovely lady nigh.
So good Night, with Lullaby."
ACT II Scene I
The construction of this choral speak should be crafted to explore the stimulus text through a variety of sound, song, repetition, emphasis and different voices. Have fun with it!
What events or images in the play really stuck in the students minds, and why? By unpacking these images and events, using freeze frames and re-enactments, students should start to understand why such representations have stuck in their head.
Did students pick up on the language in the play? Although Shakespeare's language was dimmed down for the children's audience, did students understand what the characters were actually saying?
How would you feel if somebody suddenly stopped liking you? Discuss the emotions that you would feel and ask your students, what actions they would take if this happened. What would they do?
Did the students feel like they had entered a dream, just like Shakespeare intended? Also, have the students ever got so wrapped up in a movie or a show of some kind, that they completely forgot it wasn't real?