Yesterday was national Take Our Children to Work Day and Random House (publisher of my book How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, which will be available June 11) was kind enough to invite me to spend a couple of hours with the 9-11 year old children of their employees in New York.
We had tons of fun together. The kids dressed up as characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we had cupcakes in honor of Shakespeare’s birthday, and the kids drew pictures of scenes from the play.
Because the book is premised on the idea that the way to learn Shakespeare is to memorize certain passages form the plays, we set out memorize one together from Act III, Scene 2 of A Midsummer Night’s Dream:
“Captain of our fairy band,
Helena is here at hand,
And the youth mistook by me,
Pleading for a lovers fee.
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord what fools these mortals be!”
Needless to say, the kids were fantastic. Not only did they learn the passage perfectly, but they also memorized the years in which Shakespeare lived (1564-1616) and the fact that Shakespeare was “the flower of the English renaissance!” At the end of our 2-hour workshop, the kids performed a short skit about the play and capped it off by reciting their passage, totally memorized. I can’t think of a nicer way to commemorate Shakespeare’s birthday. And I can’t imagine a nicer, more well-behaved bunch of kids.
My thanks to everyone at Random House for organizing the day so beautifully.
The kids went home with T-Shirts celebrating the day.
Cupcakes with the image of the book cover! (Extremely yummy.)
Me with Random House Dog
We had a joyous lunch afterwards where I was lucky enough to meet Lenore Look, author of the wonderful Alvin Ho picture books, among many others, who also spent time with the kids at Thursday’s event. She was a delight and the kids adored her.