The Bard Blitz

The Bard Blitz is a learning exercise designed for English teachers to use in the classroom. There is nothing more important to the study of English than teaching students how to read texts closely and how to create an original argument in response to what they read. These two skills are fundamental to secondary and tertiary English Studies and of immense value to all young adults as they leave school for university or the workforce.

The Bard Blitz aims to help students develop confidence, knowledge and skill in the detailed, close reading of Shakespearean or other literary and poetic texts. It is useful for historical, especially poetic, texts in which unfamiliar and complicated vocabulary, syntax and context present challenges to students.

This exercise foregrounds close reading as an active, detailed and goal-oriented process. Students explore the meaning of the text with their peers and teacher while simultaneously developing their own original thesis or argument. The argument could ultimately be expressed in any range of forms (for example, a speech, a short paragraph, an essay, or a creative work). The Bard Blitz does not determine the form of the final product, but offers a guide to teaching the reading of a text and the development of a personal argument in response to that text.