Merchant of Venice Lesson Plans

Merchant of Venice might be a politically incorrect play, but it is too good for us to ignore. While it makes moderns uncomfortable because the Jew is made to forcibly convert in the end, it is – particularly for its time – an anti-anti-Semitic play. The plot, the speeches, and the themes all deserve attention and affection – and this simple set of homeschool lesson plans will help you build just that. Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice for Kids Merchant of … Read More

Lesson Plans for The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors is a great play for kids who might be skeptical about Shakespeare. Full of slap-stick humor, over-the-top coincidences, and witty one-liners, Comedy of Errors is more about the laughs than the romance. Plus, it has one added benefit: it’s a very short play. If you’ve tried Shakespeare with your kids in the past but have found your crowd to be particularly tough or your own enthusiasm to be low, try Comedy of Errors – the numerous … Read More

Lesson Plans for Much Ado About Nothing

Shakespeare doesn’t have to be scary or intense to incorporate into your homeschool. The stories are timeless, the language is beautiful, and they are chock full of ridiculous characters and jokes that are sure to make everyone laugh. Yet, they also demonstrate an understanding of the human condition and human relationships that make them a keystone in the English literary tradition. We do Shakespeare in about 10-15 minutes a chunk, twice a week, and in this way we read and … Read More

Lesson Plans for Shakespeare’s The Tempest – Simply Convivial

posted in: organizing | 0

The Tempest is a story with betrayal, revenge, reconciliation, and devotion. It has something for everyone: slap-stick humor, violent men & monsters, friendly sprites, and a fairy-tale island setting where forgiveness and keeping one’s word wins out in the end despite long odds. Whether you introduce this story by picture book, movie, or reading the real deal – or all three – it is a story worth enjoying together with your children. Shakespeare’s The Tempest for Kids 1. Introduce The … Read More

Shakespeare for Kids: Julius Caesar – Simply Convivial

posted in: teaching | 8

We’re in the midst of studying Julius Caesar this year. The boys are happy to be doing a play that has nothing to do with marriage or love, but rather with stern and noble Romans. Shakespeare doesn’t need to be intimidating or complicated. It’s really just about enjoying a good story together, as with any other read-aloud! Here are the resources we’ve been using while enjoying Julius Caesar together. Step 1: Introduce Julius Caesar I always begin a new play … Read More

Shakespeare for Kids: Hamlet – Simply Convivial

posted in: teaching | 5

We studied Hamlet in our homeschool last year – over 6 months ago – and the quotes still linger as part of our family culture. Last month I was headed out the door with friends to spend a weekend away (hooray!) and the kids all started waving limply and wailing, “Adieu! Adieu! Remember me!” Their new favorite answer to the question, “What are you reading?” is now, “Words, words, words, words.” If you want quotable Shakespeare, Hamlet is your best … Read More

Lesson Plans for Shakespeare’s Henry V – Simply Convivial

posted in: teaching | 6

Henry the Fifth is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I love medieval England and the premodern English monarchy, so its setting and themes are right up my alley. Henry V is a great play to do with those who think Shakespeare is boring or only about tangled love stories. If you have a child who isn’t into love triangles, but enjoys a good fight, then Henry V might be the play to begin with. In my original Shakespeare for … Read More

Lesson Plans for A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Simply Convivial

posted in: classical | 5

Shakespeare is the master of the English language. My goal for introducing Shakespeare to my kids is that they grow accustomed to lilting language and skillful constructions. I believe it is one of the best preparations for good writing, a skill which often doesn’t blossom until junior high or high school – when they are ready with opinions to share. In my original Shakespeare for Kids post, I wrote: Shakespeare can be an intimidating subject to introduce. Isn’t the language … Read More

Shakespeare for Kids: Taming of the Shrew – Simply Convivial

posted in: teaching | 1

Last month I wrote about a 5-step plan for introducing Shakespeare to my kids. It’s what we did last year with three plays and what we’re doing again this year. Just today I heard my 9-year-old wandering around the house muttering, “murder most foul” and “O, my prophetic soul” to himself – Shakespeare has great mouth-feel. In my original Shakespeare for Kids post, I wrote: Shakespeare was written in order to be seen, scripted in order to be performed. Shakespeare … Read More

Shakespeare for Kids: An Easy 5-Step Plan – Simply Convivial

posted in: extra | 11

Shakespeare can be an intimidating subject to introduce. Isn’t the language archaic and the doesn’t high quality mean high difficulty? Actually, the language isn’t that difficult when it’s read (that is, interpreted) by an experienced reader. The profound themes within plots were created not as pure art, but also to entertain the masses. Shakespeare was the hot movie in his day, and he can still be enjoyed that way today. You don’t have to wait for high school to do … Read More