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Back-to-School Planning 4: Fun with Star Wars!

Why not introduce iambic pentameter and enjoy Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars?

· Teachers

This is the most fun I ever had in a classroom -- introducing my students to iambic pentameter through Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars books.

Buy a class set of the books. Show Akala's TedX talk. They LOVE it! Have the sonnet ready so they can follow along.

Use the two-line start cards to demonstrate how iambic pentameter is read and let students practice with each other.

Use my Role Sheets to assign or take volunteer readers for roles. Set up the corresponding movie. And bango! You're ready to have some serious literary fun.

Each post contains a downloadable Role Pages file, for you to assign / record student reading roles and easily keep track of who's reading and when.

Every post also includes the Educator's Guide from Quirk Books, the publisher, in case you feel inclined to teach some of the references to the Bard's work in Doescher's amazing plays, but don't feel like you have to -- leave that to their high school teachers. In middle school, it's enough if you introduce the 5-act story structure, the hero's journey and iambic pentameter.

For a year's worth of Independent Reading assignments, check out my post,Back-to-School Planning 3: Independent Reading Assignments By Quarter. For novel units and other ELA book related resources, check out my post, Back-to-School Planning 2: English Language Arts Resources. For Social Studies book related resources, check out my post, Back-to-School Planning 1: Teaching Social Studies with Books.

Ian Doescher's William Shakespeare's Star Wars

Using Star Wars to Introduce Iambic Pentameter

William Shakespeare's Verily A New Hope, by Ian Doescher.

This post includes downloadable reading sheets, to keep track of in-class readers daily, Verily Two Line Start Cards, the link to Akala's TedX talk and a link to other Star Wars teaching ideas and materials from Star Wars in the Classroom. There's also a link to a FANTASTIC hero's journey graphic organizer students can use to identify elements of Luke's hero's journey.

Class Readers Theater: The Empire Striketh Back.

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back, by Ian Doescher

This post includes downloadable reading sheets, to keep track of in-class readers daily and the links to the Verily Two Line Start Cards and Akala's TedX talk.

End the Year Right with Star Wars Readers Theater

William Shakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return, by Ian Doescher

This post includes downloadable reading sheets, to keep track of in-class readers daily and the links to the Verily Two Line Start Cards and Akala's TedX talk.

Recommended Additional Star Wars Reading

Powerful Stuff for Star Wars Fans. Cobalt Squadron, by Elizabeth Wein

Other Popular Movies / Books by Doescher in Iambic Pentameter

Ian Doescher has thus far offered two other books in iambic pentameter that follow beloved movies. They're great opportunities for your students to get comfortable with reading the drama / poetry form and have some fun at the same time. Mean Girls is meant for high school / YA mature readers and probably not appropriate for an 8th grade classroom.

Use Mean Girls to Introduce Iambic Pentameter

William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Mean Girls, by Ian Doescher

This post includes downloadable reading sheets to keep track of in-class readers daily and a fresh, new set of Two Line Start Cards from the book, as well as links to Akala's TedX talk.

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