Shakespeare in the Summer – Homeschool Unit Study

Would you like to keep the educational juices flowing, while simultaneously enjoying your summer break. Consider doing a unit study of Shakespeare for kids over the summer. All kids over the age of eight can join in.

First, start by choosing one of Shakespeare's plays. For variety, we have read a comedy one year, and a tragedy the next.

Second, it helps to read a synopsis of the play before hand. You can read it yourself, and then summarize it for the kids. Or have them each do an internet search for a summary. One of my favorite resources is Charles Lamb's book, Ten Tales of Shakespeare.

Third, watch the play. Here's the real catch - and it's an obvious one. Shakespeare wanted people to enjoy watching his play. He never imagined they would someday lead to a form of academic torture for teenagers. You may be able to view the from the internet, borrow them from the library (don't forget your local college libraries if you need help) or even watch a local performance. Wouldn't that be great if someone happened to stage the same play the same month you are studying it!

Fourth, read the play together. Each person can be assigned one or more parts to read. Again, your library can be a source of help, so each person can have their own book. There also are some inexpensive reprints that enable each student to read from their own copy without dipping into the grocery budget.

Fifth, after reading the play, watch it again. Better, see if you can watch a different version of the same play. This demonstrates how much interpretation the actors and directors add, even when the exact words are spoken. A lively discussion of the comparison is likely to ensue.

Finally, put the finishing touches on your unit study by having each student complete their own project. Writing, acting, art, theology, music... your student's have a variety of media to demonstrate their learning. In the end, every family's unit study will be different. But of course, that's how all homeschool unit studies work.

Check out numerous ideas for Shakespeare projects and techniques for creating unit studies.


For more ideas on how to use the Syllable Savvy Spelling method, visit Kid Friendly Homeschool Curriculum.

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