Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hard News: What Can't They Do?

I'm often asked this question:

"Mel, do the kids really understand Shakespeare's language and all those words?"

Not entirely. I have them circle difficult words when we read the script aloud, and when I meet privately with each club member I yank out ye old dictionary. We discuss the new words and they write the definitions into their scripts.

Do they remember them? Not all, but we've cranked open the vault of possibility.

Stories abound of extraordinary children taking on huge responsibilities or surviving what seem impossible circumstances. Charles Dickens penned tales of children enduring against terrible odds and our current headlines match whatever he fantasized.

I don't wish any child to have to climb adult-size mountains, but when I read of a young boy raising four small siblings on his own, or a girl working in a factory and taking care of ill parents, I think Shakespeare's language is doable.

6-Year-Old Becomes First Child To Complete Solo Ride Around Block (The Onion)


  1. Ha! Onion post is hysterical - and unfortunately too true these days for kids living in the big city. And I love the idea of "cranking open the vault of possibility" :)

  2. Creaking, creaking it open word by word.


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