How to teach Shakespeare to students

As you may already be aware of, Shakespeare is not the easiest of writers to understand, especially with modern day teenagers, however he is regarded as the greatest writer of the English language. Groans fill the classroom when one of his plays is mentioned, children are just not interested. Could this be down to the outdated language and plot lines? Who knows! Here are 6 tips on how to get children interested in Shakespeare:


  • Make them aware most of todays language was invented by Shakespeare!  We would not use todays language if it was not for him. Phrases such as ‘Heart of gold’ and ‘Laughing stock’ were created by the man himself.


  • His plays are full of murder, love and sexual innuendos which make very interesting reads. Sometimes children do not understand what is going on in the play but by making it understandable, they can begin to enjoy it.


  • Choose Shakespeare books with chapter analysis and translations of words to read. This helps them understand if they are getting extra help on some of the most difficult writing.


  • Focus on small chunks at a time. Do not tire students out by making them read for hours on end, short chunks of work will help retain concentration and interest levels.


  • Attend Shakespeare events – There are plenty of days out that focus on retelling Shakespeare’s life helping students put the plays into context and make it more interesting.


  • Watch the films of the play – Like most books, it helps watching clips of the book as it creates visual imagery and you can see the emotions of the characters acted out in front of your eyes.




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