Product Review of Globe Education Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
This iBook includes the full text of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, including highlighting and pop-up definitions for many words learners might find unfamiliar. The preface introduces the Globe Theatre, both in Shakespeare’s time and today, including a virtual tour. The text of the play is scrollable, like an ebook, and features pictures from recent productions of Romeo and Juliet along with audio clips of commentary from the actors and directors. There are also a few video clips of excerpts from the play.
The Rehearsal Room section includes acting exercises to deepen learners‘ understanding of a scene or character, taking kids out of the tablet and onto the stage. Each scene includes a brief summary and the “director’s notes.” Students can review the highlighted terms as flashcards or review sample questions and answers about key scenes in the Examiner’s Notes section. As with any iBook, text can be highlighted, underlined, and annotated.
The online listing for this iBook specifies that it’s meant to be used individually, not broadcast onto a screen for whole-class use. Nevertheless, educators can use their own judgment about when and where they might effectively use the iBook for whole-class instruction. That said, it’s certainly possible to use it as a textbook, one per student, for a Romeo and Juliet unit. The full text is included, along with vocabulary support and analysis. To boost engagement, be sure to try out some of the supplemental acting exercises with your learners. Theater educators will find those exercises especially helpful if directing Romeo and Juliet, or even as general exercises to help learners develop their craft.
Throughout Globe Education Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet, clear instructions explain the iBook’s features. Navigation is intuitive, and the analysis is presented in more of a question-and-answer format while still maintaining depth. The pop-up vocabulary help is on par with other similar tools.
What really sets this digital reading of the play apart is its emphasis on the players. The included images from the Globe today, as well as the conversations with modern-day actors, help bring the play to life. It’s an innovative approach that makes perfect sense for anyone reading the plays in a classroom setting. The Rehearsal Room activities lend themselves to some great active learning exercises. The more learners connect with the play, the more they’ll find it engaging, deepening their understanding.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Performance photos from the Globe and multimedia commentary from a diverse range of actors enhance the experience. Kids can’t see the whole play acted as they read the full text — this would greatly enhance reading.
Curriculum and Instruction
The Rehearsal Room, accessed with “ticket stubs” throughout the book, gives student actors exercises to improve their acting craft and understanding of the characters.