So, I have a secret to share. Are you ready? I do not like Shakespeare. There! I said it. Out loud. My senior English teacher is shaking her head right now. To be honest, I don’t like Shakespeare when it’s written in “his” language. I get that many people find his language to be pure poetry, but I get hung up on it. And, when I sit down to read, I just want to read. I want to get lost in a story, and I can’t do this with Shakespeare.
However, I don’t want my kids to feel that way. So, when I discovered picture books that retell Shakespeare’s stories in a more enjoyable way, I jumped on them! We have also listened to a few of his stories in audio form. It was actually through an audio that I did develop an affinity for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. But, we’ll get to that later.
Teaching Shakespeare with Picture Books
Thanks to Jim Weiss, I discovered A Midsummer Night’s Dream. If we had studied this play in high school instead of Hamlet, I might have a little better appreciation for Shakespeare. Anyhow, the kids and I enjoyed listening to Jim Weiss retell some fun Shakespeare. From there, we set out on a journey to explore Shakespeare in a fun way – with picture books and kids’ versions of his stories.
Here are some picture books you can use to introduce your kids to Shakespeare:
- Illustrated Stories from Shakespeare
- Shakespeare for Kids: His Life and Times
- Shakespeare Can Be Fun series
- Tales from Shakespeare
- More Tales from Shakespeare
- Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories
- William Shakespeare and the Globe
- Bard of Avon
- Romeo & Juliet: A BabyLit Counting Primer (totally unrelated – I love this whole series. I want to collect them al to read to future grandchildren!)
- Shakespeare Classics for Kids
Shakespeare Activity Pack
Now that you’ve piqued your kids’ interest in Shakespeare, let them work their way through this activity pack. Inside, you’ll find a word search, biography form, characteristic page, and more.
To download your free printable pack, you must sign up to receive my emails. Enter your contact information below. You should receive your download link within the hour. If, after an hour, you have not received your link, please contact me and we’ll figure it out together.
Please note that your link will expire in 3 days, and it can only be downloaded twice. Be sure to download and save it once it arrives in your inbox. Also note, these files will not open on a tablet or smart phone. You will need to open them from a PC or laptop. Enjoy!
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This post is part of my 31-day Teaching with Picture Book series. Be sure to check out the rest of the posts.