teaching shakespeare: richard II + death rainbows

me: in our play, richard II says "let's talk of worms, and graves, and epitaphs." who knows what an "epitaph" is?

class: {looks of bewilderment}

me: ok, let's use some contextual clues. what are the words around "epitaph?" what scenario is the character talking about?

first student: he said worms, like meaning decay?

me: yes! what else?

second student: he's talking about death. you know, because of the graves?

me: absolutely! anything else?

third student: graveyards?!

me: correct! worms, death, graveyards...in this environment king richard is describing, what might an "epitaph" be?

class: {sound of wheels turning in middle school minds}

me: anyone? go ahead, take a wild guess!

fourth student: {hand slowly raises} is it something about a grave?

me: yes! {making the motion of drawing an arched gravestone in the air to give visual support} worms and graves and....

fourth student: {watching me wildly drawing invisible air arches and trying to understand my clue} death rainbows?

me: um, no.

class: {awkward silence}

me: but death rainbows sound awesome!

class: {laughter}

me: do you want to guess again?

fourth student: yeah...is it the writing on a grave?

me: yesssss!

class: {applause}

thus, our new class mascot...

death rainbows.


grrfeisty said...

HA! i love this story. i can totally picture the students at my school...word for word...
what a perfect image, too :)

Makavetis said...

Hey, I noticed art as one of your interests, I started a new art blog maybe u'll like it! Thanks and keep up great work.

Kim said...

I am swiping this for my blog, if you do not mind - what a great moment!

Miss chatting BTW...

Mim Smith Faro said...

Cool logo for your class! I love when kids come up with interesting connections... though I don't think I ever actually heard of a death rainbow!

diane said...

grrrfeisty...the middle school mind is amazing, isn't it?

makavetis...i do love art and will check out your new blog!

kim...swipe away, friend! i miss chatting with you, too. <3

mim...thanks! i love moments like this in class. when writing this story, i googled 'death rainbow' and discovered some hilarious images.