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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
Keep Calm and Read the Bard

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.

It's a super simple lesson plan, for whichever of his books you choose to have students read -- and it's good to mix it up, from year to year, too.

1. Buy a class set of the books.

2. Show Akala's TedX talk. They LOVE it!

3. Have the sonnet ready so they can follow along.

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

5. Use my Role Sheets to assign or take volunteer readers for roles.

6. Set up the corresponding movie.

And bango!

You're ready to have some serious literary fun.

There is a post for each book. Each post includes the Educator's Guides 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.

Other Back-to-School Planning Ideas

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 and poetry 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, which includes recommendations and free teaching resources for more than 50 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 Roles 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.

William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily A New Hope, by Ian Doescher

Class Readers Theater: The Empire Striketh Back.

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

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

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

End the Year Right with Star Wars Readers Theater

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

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

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

Recommended Additional Star Wars Reading

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

For Star Wars Fans...   Star Wars: Spark of the Resistance, by Justina Ireland

Other Popular Books by Doescher in Iambic Pentameter

Ian Doescher has thus far offered three 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. Get Thee Back to the Future! has the fewest speaking parts of any of Doescher's works, so it works well for small class sizes. And as soon as my library opens again, and I can get a copy of The Taming of the Clueless, I'll add Reading Role Sheets for it, as well!

Use Mean Girls to Introduce Iambic Pentameter

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

This post includes downloadable Reading Roles 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.

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

Go Back to the Future to Introduce Iambic Pentameter!

William Shakespeare's Get Thee Back to the Future! by Ian Doescher

This post includes downloadable Reading Roles sheets to keep track of in-class readers daily, and a lesson plan for implementing it in your high school classroom.

William Shakespeare's Get Thee Back to the Future! by Ian Doescher
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