King's St Alban's

31 January

Year 4 Macbeth Workshop

Our Year 4 pupils really relished their rendezvous with Shakespeare's Macbeth this week. This annual workshop takes the form of an active storytelling approach, where children act out key moments and reflect on the likely outcomes of the dramatic events, almost like a ‘whodunnit’. The pupils love to provide sound effects and to read out extracts from the juiciest speeches, such as the witches’ prophesies to Macbeth and Banquo on the heath. But it is the sheer power of the storyline that really enlivens everyone: subsequent written work based on ‘Macbeth – the story so far’ tends to be of a very high standard, such is the enthusiasm and excitement that is generated.   

Pupils have been extremely creative off the back of the workshop and have created their own ‘Macbeth: the story so far’ pieces. Here are a couple of our favourites:

Trudging across the heath, Macbeth and Banquo stared at the black clouds which made discomfort swell inside them. It was bitter cold; the wind lashed around almost whipping them. Their hair was waving crazily around their heads. It was a bewildered heath, also gloomy and soggy. The weather was overcast. Suddenly ‘Zap!’ A lightning strike came down upon them, then thunder, grrrrr! Macbeth’s and Banquo’s skin was raw because of the bleak arctic storm. Plodding in the drenched, brown mud, they felt the heath was as cold as the Antarctic. Macbeth and Banquo ever so suddenly heard a cackle of a witch, and another, and another.

“Hee hee hee hee heeeee!…”

Trudging across the heath, Macbeth and Banquo slowly rode away from the battlefield, their heads lowered against the driving rain. Straddled on horseback, they came to a sudden halt. They could detect a faint smell of smoke and bubbles coming from the fog. Suddenly the horses reared and whinnied, their eyes rolling in terror. Macbeth struggled to control the horse, and at that moment, a bolt of lightning turned the air violet. Through the eerie light they saw three weird sisters, barring the way, their wild hair and ragged robes streaming like tattered flags in the wind. Banquo could smell their rotten breath as the three weird sisters edged closer to Macbeth. The air turned solid with coldness, the hairs on Macbeth and Banquo’s necks stood on end as they felt the sisters’ damp, wrinkly, scabby hands on their shoulders. They whispered something and disappeared. Macbeth and Banquo trudged up the steep mushy High Dunsinane Hill, drenched from head to toe, thinking about the things the weird sisters had told them.