What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shakespeare in Bits: A Midsummer Night's Dream lets kids see animated characters "perform" the play aloud on one side of the screen while the text is highlighted on the other. It gives kids studying Shakespeare the option to process the words by hearing them as well as reading, and there are lots of features that enhance the learning experience. Although it's presented tastefully, a bit of inappropriate content exists -- lots of sexual innuendos spice up the characters' antics. This app can help tweens and teens get the most out of Shakespeare's silliest, most magical of plays with a variety of handy features.
What kids can learn
Language & Reading
- reading comprehension
- text analysis
Thinking & Reasoning
- thinking critically
Engagement, Approach, Support
Shakespeare's writing may not be engaging to some kids, but these animated videos and other special features can really help them get into the challenging but worthwhile text.
Getting kids to understand and appreciate A Midsummer Night's Dream is the goal, and they have a few ways to get there: hearing the text, putting it together with the words they're seeing, taking their own notes, and utilizing lots more special features.
Subtitles, highlighted text, animation, scene summaries, and other support features make the text accessible to reluctant and low-level readers. However, the app lacks the resources to extend learning.
What's it about?
Animated Shakespeare is what you will find in SHAKESPEARE IN BITS: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. Scene by scene, teens can watch animations that follow the text of the comedy to a T, seeing the text highlighted and/or appear as subtitles as characters speak and clicking on unfamiliar words for their definitions. Other supports, such as scene synopses, character profiles, and general analysis help enhance their understanding of the play.
Is it any good?
Reading Shakespeare can be a really frustrating experience for lots of kids, but those struggling with the dense text will see a light at the end of the tunnel when they encounter this version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. By placing the animations and text side by side, kids do more than watch a video version. They connect the words directly with the action, helping them not only understand what's going on in this magical play but also build an understanding of the language of Shakespeare. Although the animations may not be the highest quality, and some of the magic of the fantastical setting may be lost, it offers a way for readers to connect with and better understand an often-confusing play.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about why it's sometimes easier to hear a play than simply to read it. Have your kids act out or read favorite scenes aloud and ask them if their experience changes.
Many cities present free Shakespeare plays in parks. Check your local theater listings and watch your kids discover how goofy and fun the Bard can be, especially in this particular play.