What freaked your geek today?

Shakespeare is freaking my geek today–particularly Macbeth.  I teach English I and II to high schoolers in addition to teaching Comp classes at a local CC, and Shakespeare is required reading for both years. Do you remember reading Shakespeare in high school? I do. I remember not knowing what the heck was going on and frankly not caring. I didn’t see the point in reading it and it was painful. Now, I love it.

Now when I’m reading a passage out loud or playing Shakespeare in Bits, I catch innuendos and meaning I never noticed before–especially in Romeo and Juliet.  I find myself giggling at some new innuendo I’ve caught while I’m simultaneously relieved that my students don’t get it. (Some things you just don’t want to explain to teenagers; thankful I’m not a health teacher).

So now that I like Shakespeare, I find I’m looking for different ways to teach it that will interest my students. I don’t want to torture my students as I was tortured. I think that may be why I became a teacher. Believe me this is a daunting task. Students are easily bored and hate to read in general. Those are probably the two major complaints I hear daily. They say that. I hate to read. Everyday, I hear it at least once. Currently, I teach each act in a different medium (original play, Shakespeare in Bits, graphic novel, film, etc.) to help keep students engaged and willing to read.

I’m curious what you guys think of the validity of reading Shakespeare in high school. Do you like reading his plays? My favorite is Much Ado About Nothing. Do you have a favorite? Have any tips for teaching Shakespeare? How about high school torture stories (about reading Shakespeare)?