"Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none."
There are hits and misses in my lessons. For example, the Marriage of Figaro, I thought, would be a good introduction to opera for Vincent. It's a comedy! Fail. We took him to the Lyric Opera in Chicago and he laughed for the first 45 min and then he was sleepy. He said it was too long and he couldn't understand anything. He was 9. I want to try again with Turandot in a few years. Right now, he replies, no.
Depaul University has a Theater School where they deliver performances for children. I've been meaning to take him, but it never worked out. This season they had Prospero's Storm based on William Shakespeare's The Tempest. For $10 a ticket, I couldn't beat it. I wasn't sure how I was going to introduce Shakespeare to him but I was hoping this might be my answer.
We did it and he LOVED it! Whew! It was a vaudeville adaptation (so funny) and included puppets.
What was even more exciting, is that the production included a lesson plan. Yep. I'm telling you; you don't need to spend a crazy amount of money on curriculum books and materials. It's all FREE online.
After we did the lesson, we looked up William Shakespeare on BrainPOP. BrainPOP has additional lessons, quizzes, additional information, and mapping.
Finally, I asked him to compare Shakespeare theater and his plays to Ancient Greece. We compared and contrasted the two.
How do I come across this stuff? Googling and including yourself in a bunch of newsletters. I google children's theaters in Chicago; whatever theaters I come across that are interesting to me, I sign up for their email newsletters. I also "like" pages on Facebook such as TimeOut Chicago, Free Things to Do in Chicago with Kids, Chicago Parent, etc. I search per townships, park districts, colleges and universities, churches, and one event leads to information on another event. The trick is to look and sign up. Eventually, you will sit back and choose what you want to do and cater your lesson to that event.