Shakespeare for Young Children: Lesson Plan

Shakespeare Lesson Plan

Introduction

Shakespeare is normally a subject matter for older elementary students. Often the subject matter of Shakespeare is more mature and better appreciated by an older audience. With younger children the human condition of the plays is not emphasized. The emphasis is on rhyme, dramatic play, history, and simple themes. The lessons for younger children will be simple and more activity based. We concentrate on dramatic art while using Shakespeare as a backdrop.

Shakespeare should only to be taught once a week or the length of a unit study which would be about 4 to 9 weeks. There is no pressure just exploration.

Learning Objectives

Who was Shakespeare and when did he live?

What is the Globe Theater?

What is a play?

Learning to play a role in a dramatic play with or without a puppet.

What time period did Shakespeare live in and what did people of that time wear? What was the world like? What do we have today that was not around then?
Create a short play and perform it for your family.

Procedure

You can do one activity a day or use a day and chose a 1-3 activities to complete. Use the printables and coloring pages below to enhance your lesson.

Choosing from the resources listed below pick a book that shares Shakespearean plays in a story format. Read short passages of actual plays. Children may not understand it but they will enjoy the melodic sound.

Study rhyme. Shakespeare used some of the same meters as nursery rhymes. Read some nursery rhymes, Lewis Carroll, and a few Shakespearean passages and sonnets to show rhythm and rhyme. Ask your child to rhyme with you by playing a rhyming game.

Look online or chose a book that tells a brief history and biography of Shakespeare. Explain that Shakespeare was a storyteller who told his stories through dramatic plays.

Explain what a play or a skit is and ask your child to reenact a scene from one of the stories you read using puppets, dolls, etc.

Show your child a picture of the Globe Theater. Explain what happens in a theater. You can build your own theater using blocks, cardboard or draw a theater.

Use the paper dolls listed in the resources to show your child how people dressed in the days of Shakespeare. Use the dolls to tell a story. Use this time to compare and contrast the Elizabethan period to current times. How did people dress? What was a typical day like? Did they have cars, TV, or computers? What kind of toys did children play with during that time period?

Allow your child to create a short play and present it to the rest of the family.

Conclusion

Your child will learn more about the process of performing a play and historical background than memorizing Shakespeare plays. Use Shakespeare as a catalyst to discover the world of performing, history and literature. As your child grows you can introduce more elements of Shakespeare.

This entry was posted in Preschool Lessons by Richele McFarlin. Bookmark the permalink.

About Richele McFarlin

Richele is a Christian homeschooling mom to four children, writer and business owner. Her collegiate background is in educational psychology. Although it never prepared her for playing Candyland, grading science, chasing a toddler, doing laundry and making dinner at the same time.

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