Guntersville High students experience Shakespeare out of the classroom

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- It's one thing to learn about something in a book, and it's another to experience it in real life. With the help of a grant, that's exactly what some Guntersville High School students got to do Thursday morning.

Students got out of the classroom and into the auditorium for a different approach to learning. "We are viewing Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing performed by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival troupe,"  teacher Miranda McCoy said.

The school got a grant to be able to provide the opportunity for students in select related classes. The students studied and discussed Shakespeare's works as part of their curriculum. McCoy says giving the students a chance to experience what they're learning in real life is beneficial in driving the lesson home. "The text was written to be performed," McCoy said, "It wasn't written to be read."

For the students, seeing it in person pushed the lesson past its 'normal' limits. "Reading Shakespeare and seeing it in motion is different because reading it you have these ideas in your head, and seeing it you see these characters come to life; the motion, the movements," said senior Raul Ortiz.

"It keeps it alive, and we're introduced to this culture that is not really what we are a part of today," added fellow senior Anna Campbell.

"I just think that seeing that come alive is important not only to their intellectual and academic experience, but also artistically, and in making them a well-rounded human being," McCoy said.

The school received other grants in the past to allow students to see more productions by the group. School leaders say they feel it's an important part of learning.