Shakeserendipity is a blended-learning approach to teaching Shakespeare with a strong emphasis on human interaction in the classroom. It requires use of the online game, individual engagement with selected resources, and then collaborative exploration of ideas in class. It is aimed at high school students, but would work well in a tertiary tutorial or seminar setting, and was successfully piloted as a professional learning course solely involving school teachers. As with all Shakespeare Reloaded resources, it is open-access and we’d love you to try it out, morph it to suit your context, and let us know how it went.
Shakeserendipity offers three games, each focussed on one of these plays: The Tempest, Richard III and Julius Caesar.
To play Shakeserendipity, you’ll need:
- A group of people (e.g. the students and/or teachers) interested in Shakespeare and fresh ideas
- A facilitator (e.g. the teacher)
- Internet access
- A copy of the relevant Shakespeare play
- Time to engage with resources (private reading, viewing and reflection)
- Scheduled meeting(s) to discuss resources collectively.
Each game contains nine flipcards leading to a range of resources that relate in some way to the play. Each game features a Wild Card (containing radical content) and a Tame Card (containing content easily related to the play).
Shakeserendipity generally works in the following three-stage way:
Stage One (Choosing Cards)
- Choose which Shakespeare play you’d like to explore.
- You will be presented with a random selection of nine cards (they reshuffle every time you play). You’ll see only their backs, so you won’t know what resources they lead to.
- Select two to four cards (you cannot select more than four during a game).
- When you select a card, it will flip to reveal its content. You can click to find out more about the content, before moving on to choose another card.
- Once you have selected 2-4 cards, you can choose to email the card content to yourself.
- If desired, the facilitator can choose to modify their game by setting pre-game rules on how many cards a player can select, and whether or not this can include the Tame or Wild Cards.
Stage Two (Considering the Content)
Each player or group of players spends time reading, viewing and considering the resources they selected. This may occur in their own time outside school time.
Stage Three (Sharing and Collectively Pursuing Insights)
- All the players gather in a classroom situation to share and explore collectively their resources and experiences. We have designed several ways this might be managed in Ways to Play: you could be guided by one of these or create your own lesson plan that uses the flipcard content. As always, we’d love to hear feedback on how you are using the games – so please get in touch!
- However you choose to play the game, do keep in mind the aim of Shakeserendipity is always to develop creative, unexpected and novel insights into the plays via the flipcard content.
The aim is to explore the resources that have been revealed, either individually or in groups. After allowing a period of time (for example, a week) for exploring the selected resources, players convene in a classroom or workshop setting to share their insights, discuss the selected resources, and juxtapose or hybridise their ideas in order to provoke fresh approaches to the play in question.
If you would like more guidance on ways to use Shakeserendipity in the classroom, you can find suggested activities - ranging from easy to challenging - in Ways to Play.