These days Shakespeare can be taught to children and young people in very exciting and active ways – and there are numerous recent books to help teachers. These books bring alive the stories, characters, settings and language through lively games and exercises that are guaranteed to generate excitement in the classroom or studio. Here are my current favourites:
1 Creative Shakespeare – The Globe Education Guide to Practical Shakespeare by Fiona Banks. An excellent and thorough resource, jam-packed with practical exercises to help students and actors discover Shakespeare’s work through active learning and exploration. Bloomsbury Arden Shakespeare (2013). Read my review >
2 The North Face of Shakespeare – Activities for Teaching the Plays by James Stredder. Features over 200 activities exploring language, group formation, character and particularly good for drama games related to Shakespeare. This one probably inspired several of the others. Cambridge University Press (2009).
3 The RSC Shakespeare Toolkit for Teachers has been developed by the Royal Shakespeare Company to offer teachers practical sessions and worksheets for three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays: Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It covers a whole range of drama techniques such as Whoosh!, Voices in the Head and Five Point Chase.Methuen Drama (2010). Read my review >
4 A Practical Guide to Shakespeare for the Primary School by John Doona. The approaches focus on bringing the stories of four plays – The Tempest, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet – alive through active drama, exploring the characters through improvisation and enjoying the language. Routledge (2011). Read my review >
5 Beginning Shakespeare 4-11 by Joe Winston and Miles Tandy is a clearly-written and practical approach to exploring Shakespeare with very young children through playful exploration of the stories, characters and settings. Routledge (2012).
To try out and experience these practical techniques yourself, why not come on one of our Shakespeare CPD days where you will quickly learn to teach Shakespeare through practical methods that you can take away and use right away?