Now my educational attention is focused on the classes I must teach in the fall at co-op. I have prided myself on closely tailoring my approach to the subject at hand to the students in the seats. I have been given the dilemma of essentially having two distinct groups in my Shakespeare class.
First there is a set of six little girls ages eleven and twelve. I taught a few of them in my Art History class last year, and have observed their friends and find them no different. They are a book smart, giggly, innocent, well behaved group. They would rather smoosh all into a table meant for 1/2 their number than leave anyone out. Like a school of minnows they wander about going hither and yon, but on co-op days always together, but always under the eye of one of two Alpha Moms.
Then I have six more students, three boys and three girls between the ages of 14 and 17. These are a mixed bag of backgrounds, interests and maturity levels - but don't cross-mix with the little girl gaggle.
Shakespeare wrote to entertain the rough workers, erudite merchants, and jaded nobles of Elizabethan England, and he did it so well that we still study him today. The works that would most engage the older group would be either completely over the head, or (ahem..) 'inappropriate for' the younger group. If I skip the bawdy jests, rough murders and bed-hopping for the whole class for the sake of the youngest ones, I'll get a big yawn from the group that I'd like to hook.
This is going to take more research than I had anticipated.