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09 November 2016

Shakespeare's Pegdolls

I saw this amazing idea on the Ambleside Online Facebook group: Pegdolls for Shakespeare plays. Oh my goodness, we're having so much fun with this.

So this is how we tackled Comedy of Errors:

First, we read the Lamb's version. This is a retelling, in story form, of the play. Officially, Lamb's is for Dragon, but unofficially, I'm glad that I get to start with something that's simple, straightforward, and a story. We had a couple of false starts as we tried to settle into the new school year after taking our first-ever summer vacation (I still have mixed feelings about those), but we made it through, and everyone enjoyed it.

Next, we listened to a Librivox version of the original play. I'd like to find a movie version, but haven't yet. And Librivox is free, and something that the kids are already used to. So we tried that, and it worked nicely. They have an app that I've put on my phone that makes listening very easy - even remembers where we stopped last time. And it's easy to stop and explain, back up, and listen to a section again, when I laugh but the kids missed it. This being Shakespeare, we've suspended our usual habit of only reading things once, then expecting the kids to understand and remember. Even with the more difficult language, the kids liked it and protested each time I turned off the play, and seemed to follow much of it readily. We tend to listen over lunch, and they always wanted more. I like to read books slowly, but we did this one pretty quickly.

And then, just as we were doing the Librivox, one of the ladies on the Ambleside Facebook page posted pictures of the peg dolls they were doing with their play. And they were adorable. And I had blank peg dolls in my stash. So of course I got them out and we painted while we listened. And the kids had a blast at it. And I did too.

Aren't they cute? This is Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse, with the Lady Luciana. I did the twins, so they'd actually be identical. Dragon did Lady Luciana, but had me help him with her face. 

This one is the Abbess, though we've since lost her, and I think we'll have to make a new one. Peanut painted her (I helped with the necklace & face), but then nearly immediately lost her in the car, which is a bummer, because she's super cute.

Hero did the goldsmith and his troublesome necklace all by himself - I just love the detail. And he also did the officer. 

We had a couple more dolls to make on a second day- notably the duke and the father - and they needed some clear coat. Oddly enough, it's warm enough to do that, just barely.

Next we'll listen again, and act out a couple of the scenes. I'm really looking forward to it. 

Who knew Shakespeare could be so fun?!


Anne Chovies said...

Sounds like a really fun time!

Unknown said...

What a sweet idea for introducing Shakespeare to little ones!


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