Shakespeare's dramas, during the Elizabethan Era, were performed in the famous Globe Theater and continue to be staged today in a rebuilt version of the historic structure. The history and characteristics of the London playhouse are topics learnt and discussed in high school literature classes. Devise assessment projects for high school student instruction on all aspects of the playhouse for a deeper understanding of its structure, uses and history.
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Globe Theater Replica
Using a number of artistic mediums, students can construct an open-arena replica of either the original or current Globe Theater stage. The display may be a clay sculpture, a paper model or a diorama. Allow students to use the materials they feel most comfortable with, which may include clay or play dough, wooden craft sticks, toothpicks or shaped styrofoam. Display the projects for other students to see within the classroom or for an art show during school open house.
To adapt the activity to another art form, allow students to sketch a true-to-life drawing of the Globe Theater and decorate it in coloured pencils, water colours or acrylic paints on an art canvas. Another method of sketching can be a charcoal drawing similar to the old photos of the structure.
Students can learn the history of the Globe Theater in London through research both online and in the library. Instruct students to use both types of resources in their research report. The paper may discuss the playhouse origin, who built it and in what year what plays were performed there, the structure and contents of the building, how it has been rebuilt and what it is used for today. Students may present their finding in an oral presentation or submit the paper to the instructor for a grade.
Globe Theater Reenactment
As a class, assign a Globe Theater activity. Instruct students to build columns reminiscent of the playhouse from large cardboard tubes painted in a decorative style portrayed in Elizabethan architecture. Set the columns into a stage area within the classroom or school auditorium and re-enact a literary work from William Shakespeare, such as "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet," "Macbeth," "Othello" or "Julius Caesar." Attempt to allow each student in the class to play an active or narrative part in the Globe Theater re-enactment.
Architectural Floor Plan Design
Adapt a literature topic to a mathematical assignment by instructing students to create a scaled drawing of the current theatre's floor plan. No interior pictures exist of the original Globe Theater, so for a more creative project give each student exterior pictures and allow them to use their personal interpretation of what the playhouse may have looked like according to a list of its characteristics and rooms. Students will use rulers, protractors and a compass to design a Globe Theater replica with measured lines and accurate architectural angles.
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