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Shakespeare for Kids: Activities for Your Classroom

April is the anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth and death, so it's a perfect time to introduce your students to Shakespeare!

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How, you ask? It's true: announce to a classroom full of ninth graders that the next topic of study is an English playwright who's been dead for 400 years, and you'll get a mixed reaction. Shakespeare has a reputation for being, well, difficult. Even boring. And rarely is he an author most kids choose to read during their free time.

But there are ways to get kids interested in Shakespeare from the first day of the unit. Playing "Love Song" by Taylor Swift or this rap, "Hey There Ophelia," by MC Lars might help kids realize that Romeo and Juliet really is pertinent to their own lives. Or you might want to show the movie The Lion King before having them read Hamlet. Because Simba and Prince Hamlet have a lot more in common than you might think.

By connecting the media kids consume today with Shakespeare's plays that were written 400 years ago, you offer them the opportunity to meet this literary giant on their own terms. You might just find you spark a love of Shakespeare that turns into a lifelong habit.

shakespeare for kids

Our book, Shakespeare: Investigate the Bard's Influence on Today's World, offers 10 different language arts activities for middle school and early high school classrooms. It's indispensable when teaching Shakespeare for kids!

Click the icon below for a free activity to use in your classroom during a discussion of Shakespeare!

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