Elizabeth, N.J. – Who were those fifth graders running about in togas and spouting iambic pentameter? If it was March 15 and the sounds of Roman Numeral Bingo were coming from their classroom, it must have been Mrs. Phyllis Taub’s class at School Sixteen.
What would the Ides of March be without a celebration of ancient Rome? Festivities required knowledge of important lines and terms from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. After all, the Ides of March is a wonderful time to mutter about soothsayers and warn others to beware the Ides of March. Students were soon able to point out their favorite lines and use them to make strong text-to-self connections. An apt Shakespearean line, for school in this case, is that “The fault… is not in our stars, but in ourselves…” This certainly could apply on days when homework is forgotten at home.
Students also enjoyed discerning the difference between patricians and plebeians and contrasting Mark Antony’s words after Caesar’s passing to words used to eulogize George Washington after his death. As some students did win Roman Numeral Bingo, however, they had to wonder… if winning is possible on this day, are the Ides truly unlucky?