In order to achieve this, art is used to connect students’ personal experiences and views to that of themes found within Shakespeare’s plays. The students are asked to respond creatively to Shakespeare to help them better process his plays. The play that we chose to do was Hamlet, because of its common use in high school classrooms.
In our lesson plans, we have broken the play down into different themes that students would have prior knowledge of and be able to connect with, to make it easier for the students to learn about Hamlet.
For example, one of our lesson plans involves the theme of indecision. To begin this lesson, thought provoking questions are derived from the text, such as ‘What do you think of Hamlet’s words “May my thoughts be bloody?”’ and “When can indecision have a positive or a negative effect?”. This will encourage the students to think critically about this theme.
After the discussion, the students are challenged to apply the theme of indecision through a specific art-making process.This solidifies the students’ connection between Shakespeare’s writings and their own lives.