Sticks and Stones: The Bully and the Bullies in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and The Tempest

byJoyce Jacobson

This unit designed for a second grade classroom will use snippets from Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and The Tempest as a vehicle for teaching about Anti Bullying.  Included is a brief overview of the health implications of bullying and the attitudes and research on bullying.  Examples of types of bullying behaviors associated with bullying and research on the causes therein will be provided. This will be followed by examples of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and suggestions on how to implement this in your school setting.  Finally key excerpts of dialogue between characters in scenes from the three plays are given with a focus on word choice and vocabulary of Shakespeare’s time.  Discussion topics and questions that highlight the roles played by characters that at as bullies, bullied, and or bystanders will accompany each segment. Suggested activities such as role -play, masks, and script writing that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards will culminate the unit.

(Recommended for English, Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Grades 2-5)


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