“Fair is foul and foul is fair, hover through the fog and filthy air.” So say the trio of witches in the opening scene of MacBeth, although they might as well have been talking about the recent weather after the heatwave ended.
There is no better time to get into some fun with literature than a wet day in the school holidays, when kids can be transported away from a world of staring at the rain through to a fantastical story set in the wilds of Scotland.
Few adventure learning activities can be so evocative as the fun that can be had tracing the sub-plot of the Weird Sisters, whose foreknowledge extends to telling MacBeth he will never be defeated at his castle on Dunsinane Hill until it is visited by Birnam Wood.
This, of course, fools the villainous king into believing he cannot be beaten, little knowing the wood will be the enemy army’s camouflage.
Adventure learning activities for kids can involve dressing up as the witches, inventing spells and creating their own witches’ brew, every bit as foul as the one in the play itself.
Along the way, they may also learn more about Shakespeare himself, and how he introduced so many phrases to the language that are in common usage today.
While this can be saved for October and Halloween, it may also be a fun thing to do outside the school year, giving youngsters a fun introduction to Shakespeare before many are put off by the dry and excessive analysis of English lit classes.
While MacBeth may have been a play of its time, reflecting a Jacobean political context and Shakespeare’s own close links to James I, the fact remains it continues to be one of the most popular and memorable of the bard’s works.
With Adventure Aunt, we can help introduce your kids to this wonderful literary treasure trove with spooky but fun activities that will leave them yearning to learn more.