Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recess: SGF!

On days that are too damn tough, when I can't get things right and question my high-falutin' ideas, I need an SGF.

We all have those days, men and women alike, and I can vouch for the SFG prescription.

Check this out and I'm certain you'll agree: a necessity!

(Be forewarned: This video is for adult eyes and contains salty language.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Flawless Day

March, 2010

It's one of those tiny moments. As you're about to seal an envelope with a quick lick, the phone rings, you slightly turn your head and, on your lip: PAPER CUT

Wednesday, 3:40 p.m.

"Ms. Ryane, can I go to the bathroom?"

"Um, sure...but do you need to go right this second? We're almost at the end of the scene. One more page...can you hang on?"

"Yeah, I can wait!"

And he did wait, this fourth grader. Through the end of the scene. Through writing in journals. Through a snack with a drink. Through sharing from his journal, to our final circle and good-bye.

When he stood to read aloud I glimpsed a slight twitching in his gangly body.


But I moved on to the next reader and the nagging twinge left my mind.

Thursday, 7:00 a.m.


"Mel Ryane?"


"My son said you refused to let him go to the bathroom during Shakespeare Club and he wet himself!"

"What? Oh dear...I'm sorry to hear that, but that's not exactly what happened."

"Are you saying he's a liar?"

"No, I'm not, but let me tell you how it went." And I did.

"This has never happened in five years of his attending this school!"

This kind of irate call has never happened in my five years of running this program. She continued.

"I do not know you. I'm not saying I'm pulling him out of the play, because he likes it so much, AND I'm not saying I'm going to call the school board or a lawyer, but if this ever happens again, I am saying I will."

"Wait a minute. I understand you're upset — that makes sense — but he had an accident, that's all. He's an enthusiastic member of the club and I suspect he didn't want to miss a moment of our meeting and misjudged. I have never refused a child a bathroom visit and yesterday many other kids went to the bathroom. What I told you is what happened and I don't appreciate threats like school boards and lawyers being tossed at me."

"Are you saying I've raised a liar?"

"No. I'm saying we should move on. It was an accident."

"Oh, we'll move on and you'll move on?"

"What does that mean?"

"It wasn't you that was made fun of by other children."

"I saw him with his dad after we finished, I'm not aware of any other kids—"


I looked closely in the mirror but couldn't see the cut on my lip. Too small to detect but it had a sting, a fierce prickle when I tasted a vinaigrette or bit into an orange. It lasted for a few days longer than such a minor wound should.

Why am I easily distracted? I wanted to run. It scared me to think I failed him.

How do I go back next week? What do I say to him? How do I move on?

Well, here's how: Do it anyway.

The next week, it was gone, vaporized. Dare I say healed?

And we had another flawless day.

I want to be in Shakespeare Club because I love acting. Since it's my last year at ____________, and my 3rd and last in the Shakespeare Club, I want to finish this year with an awesome show.

Three things I learned (or remembered) today

1. William Shakespeare got a work out every time he went to see Anne.

2. The Police would lock up your house if you got the plague.

3. John Shakespeare was in a tragic debt for 1 or 2 years.
Beth, 5th grade

"Anne Hathaway's Cottage" by Joy Gush

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Readiness Is All


"So, did you guys notice any big sports-type event in the news recently?"

"Like you mean like the Super Bowl or something?" Mark suggests.

"Something like that, but longer. More like two weeks longer with a lot of snow and ice?"

Silence. Then:

"The Olympics!"

"Yes, the Olympics were on and amazing athletes from all over the world competed for medals. Here's what I think you should know: Those figure skaters started training when they were your age or even younger. They would get up every morning at four-thirty, go to a cold, empty ice rink and practice. They'd spend a long day at school and then after school, go back to the rink for more practice."

"Ms. Ryane, that sounds like when Shakespeare went to school and it was dark in the morning and then it was dark when he came home."

"Good one, Ellie, it is like that. I'm telling you about children training to be Olympic athletes because that's what it takes to be great. Do you ever wonder why we do yoga before we start rehearsal?"

"So that we can be strong?" Oliver asks.

"Yes, that's important, but look at this."

On the board I draw the three walls of a set, the outlines of a chair and a couch.

"One time I saw a play in New York where an actor sat here on a chair and then flew across the room to land on the couch, stage left."

"Oh, I know, he had those strings on him," Garth offers.

"Nope, no strings. That actor was in such good shape that when he decided his character would do that, he was able to. This is why we work out: As an actor, you always want to be able to physically do what you imagine your character doing. Understand?"

Maybe not.

"We stretch and get strong so that when act we can leap and fly if we imagine our character would do that. And we work as hard as Olympic athletes to make our play great."

"Do we have to be here in the dark?" asks Beth.

"No, but let's use our time well, here in the afternoon light. Agreed?"


I want to be in Shakespeare Club because I wanted to be a actor. I think being in front of a adiece is cool because you show your talent. Working with other people's fun because you overcome your shyness, I wanted to know what William Shakespeare did.

What I learned about William Shakespeare is that when he was seven he learned Latin, geoamatry, and a lot of other subjects.
—Phoebe, 4th grade

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Hard News: Macfunny

My hat's off to R. Sikoryak for "Masterpiece Comics," and his hilarious takes on classic tales — especially his inspired setting for "Macbeth."

When Lord Macbeth's ambition intersects with a visit from his boss, King Duncan, Lady Macbeth urges her husband to get the lead out and sharpen the knives.

Sikoryak places the tale in the worthy palms of the darling Mary Worth.

Have a look:

"Masterpiece Comics" at
"Masterpiece Comics" at Drawn & Quarterly

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where's the Party?

March, 2010

A little bird in the form of a little brother had given me the heads-up, so I was prepared when I ran into Iris an hour before a Shakespeare Club meeting.

Iris joined the club last year as a replacement and, now in fourth grade, assured me that she "really, really wanted in" this year. She's a fair child, blue of eye and off-the-charts sophisticated for her age. Last year she harbored a crush on Nathan and wrote in her journal of wanting "to watch the sun set, on a beach with Nathan." That girl's ready for a glass of chardonnay and a cigarette, I thought.

"Hey, Iris."

"Hi, Ms. Ryane."

"Shakespeare Club today," I chirped while organizing materials for our meeting.

"Well, Ms. Ryane, I can't come today."

"Hmmm. Would this be because of a certain birthday party?"

"Yes. So, I can't come today."

I sat down and faced her straight-on. "Here's the deal, Iris. You can't miss Shakespeare Club for a birthday party. You're part of a team here. Everyone counts on everyone else. You and your parents were told at the beginning that attendance is mandatory. So, if you choose to go to that party you'll be kicked out of Shakespeare Club."

I ran into Darby a while later and she had the same story and I delivered the same warning. "If the party starts at three I don't think it'll be over by four-thirty. I'd be happy to take you later, Darby, but you have to be here for rehearsal or you're out."

As the group lined up for warm-ups, Lizzie handed me Iris' script and a letter. I scanned the note, a missive apparently sent from Iris' corporate headquarters. I spotted her walking off with a wheelie suitcase in tow.

"Iris," I called. She looked, I crooked my finger and she strolled over.

"I am disappointed by your choice, Iris. It's too late to replace you. Are you absolutely certain you want to do this?"

Iris dropped her eyes and firmly bobbed her head, once. She looked like a novice renouncing all worldly goods.

"Okay, I respect your decision but you have to tell them."

We stood side by side and waited for the group. I rested my palm between Iris' shoulder blades. We looked like a ventriloquist act.

"Iris has something she would like to say to you."

She closed her eyes and took a breath.

"I'm quitting Shakespeare Club. I'm sorry."

And off she marched, straight-backed, tugging her wheelie suitcase as if about to board a flight.

I later told the kids what had transpired and how pleased I was that Darby made another choice by staying with us.

    Dear Ms. Ryan,
    I do not want to be in Shakespeare anymore. No, it's not because of the birthday party.

[When someone says "it's not because of," it's usually because of.]

    Shakespeare just doesn't make me happy like last year.

[Nathan's gone.]

    It would be better to let someone in Shakespeare who wasn't in it last year or any year. I'm in room 39 if you want to come talk to me.

Iris comes from a single-parent home. When I dropped Darby off at the party I spoke to Iris' mom and passed on the info of her daughter's choice.

"Oh, it's probably because I told the kids we're moving," the mother commented.

"You're moving? When?"

"April first."

"And when were you going to tell me?"

"Oh, I thought we'd tell everyone once I signed my contract."

How should this girl be expected to honor a commitment?

I hammered out a letter for all the members to take home. I reminded parents and guardians that I was a volunteer, that they'd agreed to the commitment and that we were halfway through the season without having enjoyed full attendance even once.

Gee whiz, I wouldn't mind going to a party myself.

The next week I gave Iris her journal and said it was hers to keep. I assured her that I was not angry.

[When someone says they're "not angry," they're likely fuming.]

Deep breath, arms high. "Hello sun!"

I want to be in Shakespeare Club because I love to act and I consider myself a good acter. One day, I hope to be an actor along with many other things. I think this is a good way to get its really fun.

What I leaned about Willian Shakespeare

1. He died on his Birthday
2. He had two sisters who died
3. His father went into debt
4. He was 70 years old when he died.
—Iris, 4th grade

bluebird by George Coghill

Friday, March 19, 2010

Where Do They Come From?

March, 2010

Charles Laughton (1899-1962) started his acting career in England after his parents agreed to let him study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Among his many Shakespearean roles, Laughton played Macbeth at the Old Vic theatre. His stage career led to a successful cinematic career. His starring roles included those in "Mutiny on the Bounty," "The Private Lives of Henry VIII," "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and his Oscar-winning performance in "Witness for the Prosecution."

I don't know where you stand on the idea of reincarnation. I'm not sure where I stand on it, but I'm beginning to be swayed by its possibilities. I think Charles Laughton has returned.

When nine-year-old Oliver arrived for his audition, I asked if he would like to read the material or if he had learned it.

"I learned it," Oliver stated with a clear and serious look.

Oliver is a big boy. Oliver doesn't skip or run on the playground. Oliver lumbers.

He launched into the Shakespearean text. I suggested he try it again with the idea that he could really let loose on those critters in the forest. He listened and delivered a new take. I gave additional direction having to do with the punctuation in the four lines. Oliver walked toward me, looked down to examine the commas and semi-colons, ran his finger over the sheet of paper, gave me a quick nod and returned to give a third version. He did this with the authority of a professional in a rehearsal hall.

"Oliver, I'm not sure you've ever really found your 'thing.' I mean that 'thing' that you're special at."

Oliver listened, expressionless.

"I think today, my friend, you may have found your 'thing.' When you act, I get goose bumps. You don't know yet how much power you have, Oliver, but I'm telling you that you have a lot. Oliver, I think you are an actor."

The smile avalanched across his face. He didn't move any other part of his body. He didn't take a step or jump or throw his arms skyward. He smiled and I knew in that moment whatever lay in store for this year, however up and down it might be, I had a Macbeth. This year, when frustrations showed up, as they always do, I would know across the room waiting to find his light was this boy.

Welcome home, Sir Charles Laughton.

I want to be in Shakespeare club because I want to learn more about William Shakespeare.

Also I hope at least some people make it to the Honor roll also me. I hope everybody has a good time. With out somebody leaving. Here are some of the three things I learned today William Shakespeare cried like me when I was a Baby, he had a girlfriend, also he became a world wide fonmonnon.

He was 52 when he died.
—Oliver, 4th grade

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hard News: To Parent or Not...

My work with the children in the Shakespeare Club is hugely satisfying to me, but not a sad substitute for maternal experience. My husband and I made a clear choice with no regrets. As chilly as this may sound, I relish a life that includes a full night's sleep and the freedom to read a newspaper start to finish.

I am in no position to be handing out parenting advice but am comfortable sharing the reportage of others who have done their research. To date, I have never had a child in The Shakespeare Club who bears the behavioral traits of any cited here but I live in Los Angeles and know they're out there.

Are You Raising a D*****bag? (Details)

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm a good girl, I am!

March, 2010

Lord and Lady Macbeth harbor secret desires to live as crowned royalty in the Castle of Dunsinane. Macbeth, a war hero with visions of grandeur, returns home to a wife bored out of her mind. Lady Macbeth, stuck out in the country while her husband is off managing his lovely military career, is ready for an uptick.

Shakespeare doesn't let us in on this fun couple's pillow talk but I like to imagine their dead-of-night whispers.

"I know I could run this country better than Duncan...I just know it!"

"What I could do with the dining hall....Oh, the parties....That wallpaper is a crime....I mean, what were they thinking?"

On a long walk home from war, Macbeth and his friend Banquo climb upon a heath and meet a coven of witches. The hags fill Macbeth's head with premonitions: You are not only Thane of Glamis but soon will be Thane of Cawdor. You'll not only be Thane of Cawdor but soon King of Scotland.

Macbeth scribbles out a letter to his wife, she goes berserk with excitement and lickety-split the bodies start piling up. And as these things go, fear and suspicion walk hand-in-hand with guilt and no one gets a good night's sleep.

Methought I heard a voice cry 'Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep', the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast,—

What do you mean?

Still it cried 'Sleep no more!' to all the house:
'Glamis hath murder'd sleep, and therefore Cawdor
Shall sleep no more; Macbeth shall sleep no more.'
Macbeth Act II, Scene II

Sleep-deprived and panic-rattled, the murdering couple collapse under the weight of their guilty consciences.

I asked the kids to open a fresh page in their journals and write about a time when they might have done something they regretted, something they felt bad about.

"Oh, Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Millie?"

"I can't do this."

"Really, why is that?"

"Because I'm a good girl. I never did a bad thing."

"Mmmm, I see." I looked over the group as they stopped writing and noted Millie's comment.

"Does anyone else have the problem Millie has? The problem of being too good?"

A few eager hands shot up.

"Then here's the news for guys: You can't be actors if you can't even imagine doing something naughty."

Say no more. Those pencils screeched across the paper, lickety-split.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries
I would love to have a ipod! I would love to have itotch (?). I would love to have a bunk-bed, without the bottom bunk. So...I would steal my mom's ipod, take my dad's itoch, and trade beds with my brother.
—Millie, 3rd grade

One time I told my mom I would go to the bathroom, but I went to eat candy. Then my mom said why is it taking so long. Then my came in looking angry. I was eating a Kit Kat. Then she found out. I started to cry because I knew it was wrong.
—Phoebe, 4th grade

What I was sorry for and I regretted is my spelling test that I did in class. And I realy wish that I good go back in time but it just hit me that I am unable to do that And whats so special about that test is that it could make my mom proud so I cheated and I got cought and I wish I could regret it and I got a big big zero.
—Garth, 4th grade

If I was lady mickbeth and I realy wanted to kill King Dungken just to be come qeen I woulden't do it even if Lady mickbeth did it. I wont even of my consens wich is the devil sais to. I wont becous my good consens told me to do the good thing. Because even if I did kill King Dungkin I wouldn't.
Lizzie, 4th grade

Friday, March 12, 2010

Those Pesky Rules

Way back in Year Two of The Shakespeare Club we had a fifth-grade member named Emily. She played Polonius in our "Hamlet." Emily was an eager participant. She asked intelligent questions about Hamlet's motives. She was curious to know what an "arras" was since she would be stabbed to death by Hamlet on the other side of such a thing.

Emily was a lively, funny and super-bright kid. She only had one year with the club but left an imprint that stays with us year after year.

At our first meeting, I introduce the kids to the club rules and mottos.

They understand listening to the director. Some wrestle to find courage. So far, I haven't detected whining. The most difficult rule to abide is: "Never tells another actor what to do."

These are little kids, so I get that struggle. However, I've never been in a single rehearsal hall or on a single film set where the concept is entirely disregarded by adult professionals. Quite often in the guise of "Oh, that's how you're going to do that?" or "Just my two cents but I was wondering if she could..." or "I can't do this if he does that...."

In our club, the kids catch each other breaking that rule and then tell each other so. It's a never-ending circle but at least they understand that there is a rule.

Then we learn the mottos and this is where Emily's legacy takes hold.

The children start with: "We are The Shakespeare Club!" then voice the list of mottos, ending with:

"If I can do Shakespeare, I can do anything!"

When Emily first shouted it out, she crooked her elbow and gave a "gosh, darn" gesture along with stomping her foot. It was corny and perfect. The kids and I thought it was a riot and it stuck. Every year a couple of seasoned members will pass along the routine and it has become a favorite moment.

Emily moved to another neighborhood and I never saw her again after the "Hamlet" season. I like to think she would be pleased to know that every time an actor swipes his arm across his chest and yells out that line, I think of her and her funny Polonius peeping out from behind the arras.

I want to be in shakespeare club because I want to do plays. I want to be a real Actor, I know shakespeare club will be fun, I love part when it says If I can do shakespeare I can do anything!

Today in shakespeare I leard what a real Actor does. I leard what the shakespeare club mottos are. Also what leard in shakespeare is A real Actor never whines.
—Wendy, 3rd grade

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You Just Never Know

February, 2010

I do a fair share of whining about having to say "so long" to kids that I get attached to in The Shakespeare Club. Let's face it, they have busy lives with new schools to attend, new friends to make and new teachers to admire. I can hardly begrudge them for disappearing simply because I stay put. It's the way of the world.

I found myself regurgitating these thoughts one weekend. We arrived home after seeing a Sunday afternoon movie and the answering machine was blinking. I strolled past, pressed the button and kept walking because the only messages we seem to receive are robocalls. And then I stopped when I heard familiar voices on the speakerphone:

    Hello Ms. Ryane, good afternoon. This is Kate and Geoffrey.

    We had a fantastic performance on Friday — Saturday — and we we're just here to thank you for all your help for leading us to the path of acting.

    Hello Ms. Ryane, this is Kate and I just want to say thank you because our performances were outstanding and everybody was congratulating us because of your wonderful training that you have given us in fifth grade and those three years.

    Hope everything is going fine with you, Ms. Ryane, and your husband or boyfriend, and we hope to call you and write to you later on in the future.

    Thank you, good bye.

Oh. Sniff. Oh, oh.

This brother/sister team is now in middle school. I returned the call and they told me about a play they did at their church. They said school was good. I told them we missed them in the club. It wasn't a long conversation, just enough balm on my aching heart to make everything, in that moment, right with the world.

They're going to be fine, those two. They'll be swell out there in the universe. The Shakespeare Club is intended to expose children to empowerment. That these kids even made this call proved its worth.

My husband or boyfriend gave me a hug and then transcribed the phone call for me. I took a breath and decided to do even better in the upcoming week because you just never know when or how it'll pay off.

I want to be in Shakespeare club becuase I wanted to act and pretend to be someone, I wanted to know if Shakespeare would be fun, I want to learn about acting

I learned that there is a sickniss called Black Death that you get really fast. I learnd that William Shakespeare had a child and two twins. I learned girls can't go to shool and be a actor.
—Page, 3rd grade

Monday, March 8, 2010


February, 2010

I know it's a big hit series on ABC. Let me tell you it's also a big hit in the Shakespeare Club. Sometimes, like Lady Macbeth, we harbor secret wishes, and like Hermia in a forest, we can feel a little lost.

My system for teaching kids how to scan iambic pentameter verse is to give them each a copy of a Hermia speech from "A Midsummer Night's Dream." The character has run away into a forest with Lysander and wakes up in the dark from a terrible dream, only to discover her boyfriend has split and left her alone. I'm tempted to teach that lesson, but perhaps it's a tad early in their development.

"Here is one of the ways Shakespeare is so darn smart. He tells us how he wants us to act the roles by showing us which words are the most important in a line. We want to squeeze a little more juice out of those words."

I use the images of a cup of cocoa ("U") and a sword ("/") for them to mark the syllables in each line as they clap out the ten beats. They catch on pretty quickly, with some actually drawing steaming cups of chocolate. They are always, count on it, always hungry.

For journal writing this day I gave them a choice. Lady Macbeth has a secret wish to be queen: Write about your secret wish. Or, what might it be like to be lost in a forest? What would you eat, where would you sleep and how would you feel?

"I'm never going to make anyone do this, but think about finding your courage and, if you haven't shared your writing before, maybe today's the day."

Lizzie decided today was her day and bravely stood up in front of the group to read about her secret wish.

"My secret wish is for my dog can come back becouse I miss him. I don't just miss him I love him. He wosn't just my dog he was my best frend. Every day I always wish—"

It happened suddenly. Her tears came in a rush. She looked back at me with panic on her face.

"I can't...I can't read..." and the sobs came fast.

I stepped up and took her journal to finish reading for her. I held her wet face pressed against my waistline and smoothed her tangled, brown hair.

"Good girl. You did very, very well reading a story that is so personal and so very sad for you....It's okay,'re's okay."

The room was quiet. The kids leaned forward in their chairs and forced a tsunami of empathy across the room to Lizzie.

"I think we know what Lizzie is writing about. I think maybe we can think of something or someone we have lost and can't get back and how hard that can be."

I scouted the room for tissues as I spoke and Rachel handed me a bundle.

I got Lizzie settled and back in her chair. Dominick knelt in front of her.

"It's okay, Lizzie, I know how that feels..." and he went on to describe an event of losing his puppy and how he put up signs in his neighborhood.

Millie took Lizzie's hand. "I know it's so sad, Lizzie. I know how that feels."

Sometimes Shakespeare's genius lies in his being the catalyst. Poor Hermia, lost in a forest, abandoned by her boyfriend. Poor Lady Macbeth, bored out of her mind, with little else but aspirations. Poor us.

Take comfort, as Lizzie did that day, in knowing you are not alone.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries
If I was Hermia I would cry pools of water. Because I would be my-self. I would make a hut and make food from acorns. Then I would make a map.
—Phoebe, 4th grade

My secret wish is to be a pixe. I would do anithing to be one! ANITHING!.
—Millie, 3rd grade

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Anti-Curse

February, 2010

The buzz started with emails and then phone calls: "Have you heard? Guess who's back...come on, guess!"

Last year one of our Shakespeare Club stars was a young boy who played Malvolio in "Twelfth Night." This boy was born to act and grabbed center stage with bravado and spirit. A few weeks before our performance, his mom was struck terribly ill. This boy and his little brother were relocated to live with grandparents in a far-off part of the county as mom healed. He and I said good-bye without ever expecting to see each other again.

This boy's name is Henry.

Ah world, thank you.

Missives arrived with the news that Henry was moving back to the neighborhood and back into our school. His arrival landed on the tail of Conrad's departure. Conrad had been cast as King Duncan. As I toyed with reshuffling my cast, the miracle of Henry solved my problem.

I slipped into Henry's fourth-grade classroom and caught his eye. He leapt up, beaming like the sun. I crooked my finger, at the same time asking his teacher if I could have a moment with him. Henry ran to the door. We met up outside.

"I can't believe it," I squealed. "You're back and in the nick of time...I need a King Duncan."

"Ms. Ryane! I's so, so perfect because here I am and I wanted to be in Shakespeare Club and now here I am!"

Of course, when I initially heard he was rejoining the school, I thought it far too late for Henry to be included as an actor. The play was cast and the club was full. I decided I would ask him to be our sound operator. Then Conrad got cold feet and...

"Henry, sometimes the universe just makes everything right...sometimes. How are you, anyway?"

"I'm great, Ms. Ryane! I'm so happy and also Oliver is playing Macbeth and that is so, so cool!"

This is typical of Henry. All the upheaval and scariness the child has been through has rolled off him. He's a cup-half-full kind of guy. Actually, he's a forget-the-cup-and-fill-a-barrel kind of guy.

"So, you know Oliver?"

"Yes! I met Oliver in second, who are you? I like you! And Oliver and I are best friends! He's Macbeth!"

"Yes, and you will be King Duncan. That means you and Oliver will be best friends offstage — but enemies onstage, because he kills you."

"Whoa! That's so neat!"

Oliver and Henry

Almost everything that comes out of Henry's mouth is accessorized with an exclamation mark. He doesn't even know the story of "Macbeth" but he's thrilled at the casting of his friend.

"Henry, I'm so glad to see you. I'm so grateful this has worked out. Like I say, sometimes the world is amazing."

"Yes, Ms. Ryane, the world is amazing!"

"See you on Wednesday, Henry."


I want to be in Shakespeare clube because, I wanted to see what it is like. I want to be on the good lisse. I hated to learn about Shakespeares' life. I like Shakespeare clube.

What I learnd about is that in the old days you had to throw poo out your windows. I learnd that willaen shakespeares dad made gloves. When someone got sick, the police mens had to pin the doors donw.
—Natalie, 4th grade