On May 22, our Junior Alt Ed English class wrapped up after reading William Shakespeare’s King Lear with a feast that re-enacted Act I scene i of the play. We had food that had to do with the story like “Cordelia’s Nacho-Favorite Daughter with Very Un-Grate-Ful, Sharp Cheddar Cheese” and “Lord Gloucester’s Plucked Eyeballs (Chicken Meatballs) in Vile Jelly Sauce.”
Everyone was assigned a character, and sat around a table in their labeled seats. Where you sat at the table would tell how important you were. For example, the King and his daughters were at the head of the table, and servants and less royal people were in the middle. We had to keep character the entire class, and answer to our names and answer how our character would. Students had to wear costumes and know quotes from the story.
Doing events like this that can not only help us remember what we learned, but we also get the chance to bond as a program. I personally feel like I will always remember King Lear and the messages in the story. I can’t remember most things about many of the book reports I did in middle school that I had to do. With this, we were able to have fun with it and it didn’t feel like we were being forced to do something we didn’t want to do. I will remember the characters by looking back on the costumes we all made, although, I will also remember that day, and who was there, and how we connected as a program. The more we bring people into these events, the more they open up and can enjoy Project Vine and the students in it.
The purpose of what we did by reenacting part of King Lear in class on May 22nd was to expand our knowledge and understanding of modern English from the Elizabethan Era. Reading a book is easy. Seeing a movie is even easier, but actually bringing a book or movie to life can be more challenging to the mind. To truly become the character with an understanding of the time era can really open your eyes to a whole new idea that we would have never seen if we would have just read it or seen a movie. Not only did we morph into our characters but personally, it was an experience that I wasn't looking forward to but actually enjoyed. Now I will never forget the story of King Lear. As Fletch said “This kind of event is one of the biggest benefits to being part of an alternative education program and that everyone in a class can be so involved with a learning activity is a testament to Project Vine”. I agree completely. This was definitely a memory I'll cherish forever. It expanded my friendship with some of the other members of the program and I'm very grateful for it. I hope we do this kind of thing more often and introduce this to later generations because I believe they can benefit from it, too.
On Monday, May 22nd, we had a feast in honor of the Shakespearian play King Lear in which we dressed up and ate Lear-themed foods such as “Nuncle Ben's Rice” or “Out on the Heath Ice Cream bars.” The purpose was to exercise our knowledge of the play and help us understand our characters more. We did our best to remain in character throughout the play and use the pronouns thee, thy, and thou in their proper context. The bonding experience between the characters in the play and students of the class was the real educational experience.
After doing all of this and making Lear into such a fun event, I can guarantee that I will never forget the plot or characters of Lear. This Shakespearean play was one that I was least familiar with. Usually, when I think of Shakespeare, I immediately go to Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet or Macbeth, but I would never think of Lear. But after this project, I know that whenever I think of Shakespeare I will immediately think of Lear.