Literature is one of my favorite subjects, but it wasn’t always. If you are tackling literature in your homeschool, then explore these FREE resources for studying Shakespeare & his works will be a great place to start.
This post is part of the Classic Authors & Their Works Series
I admittedly wasn’t always a fan of literature; I never read a full book in high school. When it came time to read books, I really couldn’t care less. More than not caring, I really didn’t understand what I was supposed to be reading. When we got into Shakespeare, I really was lost. I wasn’t exposed to enough regular literature, let alone reading things with Old English.
I just gave up. Thankfully, I made up for it in college, but I started at ground zero, and doing it as an unconventional student (mom) didn’t help.
Of course, now I am an advocate of exposing young students to as much literature as possible. Learning to read classic works of art and books, in general, gave me confidence. We can do that for our kids now.
If your student can tackle Shakespeare that is a milestone and a great feat during your homeschool journey. These resources can help give your kids a good start.
Learning and teaching Shakespeare can be difficult, however, there are some methods to teach it that provide information without making it too complicated.
Here are just a few simple ways to incorporate Shakespeare in your homeschool to make it doable and less intimidating:
1. Firstly, teach all about literary devices and dramatic elements in literature.
Dramatic elements teach kids to understand a text as a whole like a plot, theme, genre, characters, and more. Literary elements are things like figurative language (i.e. simile, metaphor, alliteration, imagery, etc.)
FREE Figures of Speech and Poetic Devices Free Printable Mini-posters | Jimmie’s Collage
2. Introduce new vocabulary
Use words from the text to explore vocabulary. Maybe only five at a time to make it less complicated. What you can do is task kids to predict word meanings, to make associations with the words, and to use them in your learning activities.
Common Shakespeare Words Explained | StageMilk
3. Use hands-on activities
Using hands-on and engaging activities, yes even with acting out scenes helps kids to fully understand the text. They can also show how much they understand, but basically they associate the text with having fun and relate learning to doable challenges as they grow older.
If you ever heard of scaffolding, activities help you to do this. Scaffolding is a teaching approach that moves students progressively towards a deeper understanding and independence in their learning experience.
Explore these activities to add to your Shakespeare studies at home:
Shakespeare Activities FREE Download | Tracee Orman
FREE Intro to Shakespeare Comic with Activities | David Rickert
4. Use audios and visuals; watch it and act it.
Shakespeare was meant to be performed in front of a crowd of people. Searching some performances online truly helps kids to see the texts the way they were meant to be seen. Discuss what happens throughout the play and ask questions.
It is also wise to take a skit and have your students act it out. Create parodies if you have to, so kids can feel engaged and get the most out of what they learned.
Shakespeare For Kids | The Touring Teacher
Play on! 12 of the best Shakespeare productions to stream | Royal Shakespeare Company
Stream Shakespeare from Global Theatre | Insider
Grab these FREE resources for studying Shakespeare in your homeschool.
The Ultimate FREE Shakespeare Resource | PlayShakespeare.com
Tips for Teaching Shakespeare + FREE Download | Secondary English Coffeeshop
30 Shakespeare Activities & Printables for the Classroom | We Are Teachers
FREE Shakespeare Unit Study Starters | Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus
8 Common Phrases We Owe to Shakespeare | Treehugger
FREE Shakespeare Biography QR Codes |Presto Plans
Studying a Shakespeare Sonnet | In All You Do
Learning About Shakespeare with a Shakespearean Unit Study | In All You Do
The Ultimate Guide to Shakespeare for Your Morning Basket (Printables) | Your Morning Basket
FREE Iambic Pentameter Shakespeare Lesson and Activity | Love and Let Lit
9 Unique Shakespeare Writing Activities | Now Spark Creativity
William Shakespeare FREE Unit Study | Peanut Butter Fish Lessons
Teens & Tweens FREE Shakespeare Resources | Captivating Compass
FREE William Shakespeare Lapbook | Homeschool Helper Online
Shakespeare’s Language Word Wall FREE | Mixed-Up Files
FREE William Shakespeare Crossword | TES.com
FREE Printable Shakespeare Mini-Pack | Embark on the Journey
Teaching Shakespeare to Kids (FREE Memory Cards) | Teach Beside Me
The Homeschooler’s Ultimate Resource for Introducing Kids To Shakespeare | As We Walk Along
Shakespeare for Little Kids Unit Study | KidsMinds
FREE Worksheet Shakespeare Biography | Education.com
How to Introduce Shakespeare to Little Kids | Raising DV
Explore these FREE resources for studying Shakespeare’s body of work.
FREE Macbeth Shakespeare Printable Worksheet | Education.com
Romeo & Juliet ~ Literature FREE Notebooking Page | Homeschool Helper Online
Julius Caesar FREE Study Guide | Absolute Shakespeare
FREE Lesson Plans for Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar | Simply Convivial
Romeo and Juliet FREE Worksheet | Education.com
Hamlet FREE Study Guide | Absolute Shakespeare
A Midsummer Night’s Dream | Phee McFaddell
Shakespeare’s Hamlet for Kids: 3 melodramatic plays (FREE on Kindle) | Brendan P. Kelso
Another fun thing to add to your lessons on Shakespeare is to teach your kids about some infamous quotes. Most we hear today, but don’t know they came from Shakespeare.
I will leave you with a few of them below:
Top Shakespeare Quotes by Play Printables | The Natural Homeschool
50 Of Shakespeare’s Most Famous Quotes | No Sweat Shakespeare
‘To be, or not to be: that is the question’ (Hamlet Act 3, Scene 1)
‘All the world ‘s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts.’ (As You Like it Act 2, Scene 7)
‘How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child!’ (King Lear Act 1, Scene 4)
‘If music be the food of love play on.‘ (Twelfth Night Act 1, Scene 1)
‘What light through yonder window breaks.’ (Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2)
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!