Week 4: Shakespeare Animations

Week 4: Shakespeare Animations

Here are a few Shakespeare Animations found on youtube. Maybe you could think about animating the plays you are studying!

Whiteboard Drawings The Tempest, Act I Scene 1 



Finger Puppet Shakespeare: The Tempest



Craft Video: The Tempest



This is a short summary of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in form of a common craft video.


Anya explains Shakespeare’s famous play to two young girls, using flash animation. © 2003.

Some quotes from the children:
“Does everybody die?”
“That is just so awful! I mean, like, imagine running into your sword!”
“Are you sure you didn’t read this hard enough?”
“I like that play, but I liked Hamlet better.”

Watch it here!
Commentators: Erin and Jenny Hayden, ages 11 and 7.
Creative Consultant: Nancy Sans
Animation: Anya Rose and Jim Hickcox
Writing, Narration, and Design: Anya Rose
Music: Verdi Requiem

Extraordinary Words, Extraordinary Worlds

Extraordinary Words, Extraordinary Worlds

In Autumn 2014, our team of theatre practitioners and writers drew on their experience of devised theatre, writing for theatre, immersive theatre and physical theatre to devise a programme that allowed children to explore and create ‘Extraordinary Worlds’. Whilst developing a framework that each of our schools can follow, we want to ensure that Verse vs Verse allows for individuality and for individual needs and priorities to be met. Some schools have opted to focus on a set text and give their students an alternative way of experiencing these books; whilst other schools have opted to explore a wide range of literature. Throughout this term the children have delved into lots of texts sampling fiction and non-fiction and debating The Nature of Stories considering what makes a good story and where they might be found. Students have explored stories whether it is their set text or a book by a favourite author and looking at setting, by thinking about Extraordinary Worlds creating their own world collectively and finally they have enriched their vocabulary, learnt new words and invented their own Extraordinary Words.
For examples of their work please visit the children’s portal on the main site.

3 of our drama facilitators reflect on their experiences below.

Warm ups for introducing stories and reading

Warm ups for introducing stories and reading

Story Machines

How excited are your class by reading? Bored or ecstatic everybody can get involved with this and all responses are fair and valuable!

To start get the class to go round in a circle and say a word that describes how they feel about reading- the first word that come into their head.

Now build on this with the word and action to go with the word.

Introduce the idea of the story machine whilst the class is still in a circle.

Have 4 volunteers create a story machine by joining together one after another making their movement and saying their word. They must have at least one part of their bodies touching each other. Get them to think about how they come into their machine and position themselves on different levels. Make sure they can hold their positions and do their actions faster and slower.

Split the class into groups and asking them to remember their words and actions. Get them to create machines that they will then perform back to the class.

Get the class to give feedback.

You could use something such as a tambourine to create a beat for the movement of the story machines.


What is a story?  Metaphors for good stories

Brainstorm metaphors for what a ‘good story’ is for them (write on post its) e.g.

a flying carpet (takes you to another world)

a fantasy holiday (escape)

a crazy clown (funny)

This can be an individual activity or you could extend the activity into group work.

In groups, devise the idea as a tableau. Perform to the class and see if they can guess the metaphor.

 From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary

Play some fill the space games to warm the class up. Get the pupils to walk around the room at different degrees of urgency. Make sure they are not bunching together- repeat the activity until they are properly spreading out.

Explain that in this space there are lots of hidden portals to different worlds that they have to find. Tell them their hidden portal will be something that they have never spotted before- a crack in the wall or a stain on the floor etc.

Give the class a few minutes to find their portal- make sure they are not bunching around the same ones.

Give the class independent thinking time to come up with their stories as to where their portal leads to. This can just be thinking time or they could write ideas on a post it.

If portals are written down students can go and read the other portal worlds or you could have some pupils tell the class about their portals and worlds.

Portal extension: If you get the students to write on a post it where their portal takes you. Then get them to pick a different portal and give them time to do some free writing and write a diary entry of what then found when they went through the portal.

If you want to tie the activity into the set text you could suggest that the portal leads you to a character or a setting. You could also extend the activity if it going well to why the portal has ended up in your school and what happens to you if you go through it?

Pass the Parcel

This is a good activity to build the tension and the excitement for the actual story.

At each unwrapping have quotes from the book- they can introduce the characters, be descriptions of characters or of settings or some action that doesn’t give too much away!

If you have music that works well and matches the feel of the book then you could use that as the pass the parcel music.

At the end it is the book that is wrapped up- read the first chapter (or appropriate) to finish the game.

Big Fat Lies

This is a funny game that students find exciting as they are usually not allowed to tell lies in the classroom.

How did you get to school this morning?

Model this by making up a fantastic story of what happened to you before you reached school this morning.

Split the pupils into pairs and give them two mins to make up their own stories. Encourage as much detail as possible and have a couple of the pupils tell their stories to the class at the end.

After two mins get them to swap and the other student makes up their story.

Bring the story to life

Bring the story to life

This worked very well to calm a very excited class down.

Sit your class in a circle and get them to suggest words to describe the setting or what you might see in the setting.

Then go round the circle and suggest noises you might be able to hear in the setting.

Give the pupils a few minutes to decide on the noise they want to make and then build the noise up from quiet to loud and back down to quiet. Take your time on this to make it really atmospheric.

Get 4 volunteers (depending of the size of the class) to step outside the circle- they will be a selection of the main characters or just all one character. Get the rest of the class to start their noises very very low and then get the characters to carefully step into the circle and walk around- build up the noises.

When you finish ask the students who were walking around the scenes how it felt where they comforted, scared, excited?


As a class or in groups, have your student’s think of the best villain, hero, damsel in distress, friend and narrator they can think of from any books or plays.

Get them to really describe the character and what makes them the best.

Get your student to act like these characters- from their heads to their toes.

Start by getting them to simply stand like a statue of the character, the walk, then have them miming an action that the character might do daily eg. Putting their shoes on having breakfast brushing their teeth.

Do they have a catch phrase?

Meet another character- how do they react?

Have the class sit back down and think about the story and the characters role in it. What is the most important point of the story for that character?

How does that character change the narrative or impact on the story?

Acting the scene

This works particularly well if you have already read some of the book- but is not impossible if you have not, it might just need a bit more description from you.

If your class is particularly unsettled or over excited you could have a small group of students standing and acting and the rest of the class sitting and making the sound effects.

Take a part of the story which describes a journey or adventure.

Have the students embody the main character. As a warm up get them to think about their posture, how they would walk with different emotions (eg. when the Iron Man is scarred, angry, happy).

Play around with speed and stopping on command and freezing.

Start the journey, paraphrasing the different parts of the journey but with specific actions you would like them to act out (eg. Opening doors, peaking round corners, etc.)

Now try act out different emotions the character might go through (eg. The main character seeing something scary or being really brave)