(Last Updated On: November 7, 2022)

National Day Calendar Classroom - April 15-21, 2018 - Week 31


April 23rd is National Talk Like Shakespeare Day, and in the classroom, we are going to build our lessons around this day. Later in the week, National Telephone Day lands on April 25th followed by National Tell A Story Day on April 27th.  Linking all three days makes for a fun way to experiment with and study the English language.

LESSON 1 – National Talk Like Shakespeare Day

Challenge students to speak with a British accent all day. Though even their best effort will be far from the accent used during Shakespeare’s day, it will be fun to attempt an accent not quite like our own. Understanding how vowel sounds are formed differently by shaping our lips and placing our tongue further or closer to our teeth when speaking certain words also helps us to understand how to begin speaking a foreign language.

Have them try using these Shakespearean phases in places of their modern ones to get them started.

  • The game is afoot (I Henry IV)
  • A dish fit for the gods (Julius Caesar)
  • Knock knock! Who’s there? (MacBeth)
  • As good luck would have it (The Merry Wifes of Windsor)
  • Better foot before (King John)
  • Refuse to budge an inch (Measure for Measure)
  • Fancy Free (Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • In my book of memory (I Henry VI)
  • Not slept one wink (Cymbeline)
  • Snail paced (Troilus and Cressida)
  • Swift as shadow (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • Tower of strength (Richard III)
LESSON 2 – National Telephone Day

Carrying our Shakespearean accents into the middle of the week, let’s imagine how the Bard would answer the telephone today.  Perhaps he would need a few lessons in etiquette and message taking if he were to answer someone’s phone and they weren’t around.

  1. Play a traditional game of telephone. Everyone sits in a circle, and one person starts a simple message by whispering it in their neighbor’s ear seated to their left. That person whispers to the person to their left and so on until the communication has traveled all around the circle.  The last person to hear the message says what they THINK they heard for the entire class to hear.  Is it the same message the first person said?
  2. Now the class can pair up and pretend to make Shakespearean phone calls.  Sit back to back, and one person will be the caller and one the receiver.  Remember, you can’t hear when a person nods or shakes their head. Take turns being the caller and receiver.
    • The first caller should call with a list of items to pick up from the store.  Make sure to take good notes!  Did you remember to get everything?
    • The second caller wants to set a time and place to meet for lunch.  Then, the caller calls right back and changes the plan.  Did you get that message right?
    • The third call is a buddy you have been hoping to hear from for a long time.  You want to make sure you have his phone number.  Make sure you write it down correctly!
    • The last call is from your mom.  She needs you to pick up your sister after school and take her to the doctor.  She gives the address, but then she also needs you to run to the bank and make a deposit and call your father at work.  She gives you the number.  Did you get the address of the doctor, the correct amount to deposit at the bank, and your dad’s work number?
Lesson 3 – National Tell A Story Day

It’s the year 1500 in London, England and the telephone has already been invented.  You’re William Shakespeare.  How are your plays different because of the telephone? Tell your story.

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