Nibley Park Elementary School, Salt Lake City\THE EVENT
Class: Sixth-graders, under direction of Toni McSpadden Barney, Kristine Tanner, Deborah Tuttle, Paul Sirstens and Barbara Hawn.
Subject: Elizabethan culture
Number of students: 80
Students auditioned for roles in "Romeo and Juliet," "Hamlet," "Julius Caesar," "Macbeth," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Selected scenes from the plays were presented to families and teachers in a two-night program. Each student had at least one speaking part. The sixth-graders also presented the mini-scenes to other classes at Nibley Park. The presentations were designed to teach students about the culture during Shakespeare's time period. The students have rehearsed since December. Money raised from admission to the plays will help pay for a two-day anti-drug-and-alcohol conference attended by sixth-graders in May.\ THE SCHOOL
Location: 2785 S. 800 East Students: 512, kindergarten through sixth grade
Number of teachers: 23\ Principal: Marilyn Phillips\ School district: Salt Lake\ THE LEARNING\ The teacher hopes the students learned: many aspects of Elizabethan culture that were better illustrated through the productions than in a classroom setting. Students were given a study packet that detailed cultural values and daily living during Shakespeare's time. Kristine Tanner, Nibley Park Elementary teacher, said the students "really got to feel their parts." The presentations went a long way toward helping the sixth-graders understand what life was like in Shakespeare's days. She said they also learned to be confident when making public presentations.
The children say they learned: Tiffany McIntosh said she learned that Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays and sonnets. She also said she realized how differently people lived during his times. She was surprised to learn that people didn't like to bath and that open sewer systems were common. Reef Pace said he learned some differences between the court system during Shakespeare's time and the U.S. system now. He said he didn't like it that people were killed sometimes on "trumped charges." He also said he learned how to act. Rosemary Fasselin said she realized just how much theater was a part of Elizabethan culture. She said she learned that people loved attending the plays and that it was a central part of living in those days.
What happens next: This year's fifth-graders will participate in next year's Nibley Park Elementary School Shakespearean Festival.