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Dinner with Shakespeare & Dickens


Full Year Course

Grade Level: High School (Grades 9-12)

Meeting: Mondays 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. CST

Instructor: Shannan Swindler

Required Materials:



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Dinner with Shakespeare & Dickens will explore history in a unique, integrated project-based approach. What would you do if you were the guest of honor at a dinner party hosted by William Shakespeare or even Charles Dickens?  What would you eat? By whom would you sit? What would be the topics of discussion and entertainment for the evening?

Get ready to answer all these questions as we study William Shakespeare’s Medieval England and Charles Dicken’s Victorian England.

In the first semester of Dinner with Shakespeare and Dickens, we will explore the life of William Shakespeare and deep dive into the culture (and drama) of the Late Middle Ages where Queen Elizabeth I was in charge and change is afoot in science, religion, philosophy, geography, literature, art & music.

In the second semester of Dinner with Shakespeare and Dickens, we will look at Charles Dicken’s Victorian England. We will again get acquainted with the culture, innovations, and challenges of living in Victorian England in the 1800s.

We will spend time each semester learning about other famous dead folks from the 1500s and 1600s and the 1800s that were alive at the same time as Shakespeare and Dickens.  A portion of the class will be dedicated to learning about the food, customs, and challenges of planning a dinner party to appeal to all the guests on your extensive guest list.

The culmination of each semester will be a “digital dinner event”. We will attempt to step into the shoes of these famous men and women and enjoy a deeper understanding of what life really was like in medieval and Victorian England. Get ready for a better understanding of the impact these famous folks had on the whole of history.

Dinner with Shakespeare and Dickens is suited well for junior high or high school students interested in a different approach to history or those looking for an in-depth study for a senior thesis-style project.

This project-based class is appropriate for middle school or junior high students who want to be challenged.

Required Materials and abilities necessary for this course include:

  • Required Materials: Let’s Study Shakespeare and Let’s Study Charles Dickens
  • Additional materials may be required for those doing a Senior Thesis style project
  • Ability to attend the online class and participate in group discussions and project sessions
  • Ability to conduct online research outside of class time, being ready for discussion each week
  • Those taking this course as a senior thesis project will be given the opportunity for more in-depth research of additional areas relative to the time period

Note: this class is available as a full-year class, or your child can register for a single semester in the Fall (the era of Shakespeare) and Spring (the era of Dickens). Bundle the class with other core classes and electives for your high schooler and get your year planned!


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