Is This a Robot Which I See Before Me? Shakespeare, Coding, and Raising Students’ Computational Voices

Notes from the NCTE18 Roundtables

In December 2017, Pam Amendola was teaching Honors British Literature at a large suburban high school in metro Atlanta. Looking for ways to teach Shakespeare differently, Pam began looking around for ways to inject energy into her practice. After searching around the web, she stumbled upon a project called BardBots. BardBots (you might recall) is a project in which students conduct close readings of scenes from Shakespeare and then program robots to perform the scenes.

After downloading and reviewing the BardBots curriculum (freely available here), Pam worked with her students to bring robotics to her teaching of Macbeth. She taught the first four acts using hands-on analogue methods from the Folger Shakespeare Library, then she brought in the bots for the final act. Groups conducted a close reading, blocked the scenes, and programmed the robots to bring the Bard to life.  Here’s a sample:

Check out additional resources for this project below. You can also connect with Pam and me Twitter.


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