“You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”
Henry IV Part 2
Yes, there are no insults like the ones thrown around in grand fashion by the characters of Shakespeare. This activity allows students to create their own insults, and is the one instance where back talk is allowed, and even encouraged. Hilarity ensues!
MATERIALS NEEDED: one large piece of coloured construction paper per student, markers (at least one per student), scissors, one list of words per student.
- Print off the list of words.
- Photocopy enough copies for your class.
- Each student receives a list, a large piece of construction paper, scissors.
- Students choose one or more words from each column to create insults, and write them down, with markers, on the construction paper.Preface the insults with the word “thou”. Students do ten insults each.
- Instruct students to cut out each insult, creating ten different strips.
- Collect strips. Mix them up, and re-distribute, ten to each student.
- Ask for two volunteers. Give ten random strips to each volunteer. Have volunteers stand in front of the class, facing one another.
- Have them “duel” using the insults. One person says insult. The other one rebuts, using another insult back.
- Have all students find a partner, and duel using their ten strips.
- At the end, create a display with the best insults, titled “Shakespearean Insults.” Use the actual strips created by students. For further engagement, have students involved in putting up the strips themselves.
P.S.: You may want to try the automatic Shakespearean insulter here.