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Learn Shakespeare with Projects and Activities
We know that Shakespeare wrote drama to be performed in a theater not "literature" to be analyzed during language arts lessons. So reading his plays doesn't achieve the same effect as watching a performance.
But you can actually bring the theater home by acting out Shakespearean plays in your living room. Dress up and be actors, or use puppets instead.
Here are some ideas to add a fun element to your Shakespeare studies.
Shakespeare Paper Crafts - free printables for hands-on exploration
If you want to keep it simple with a minimum of preparation, puppets and paperdolls are great for narrating scenes from a Shakespearean play. When you add that hands-on approach, the learning sticks forever.
- Globe Paper Craft
Construct a small paper Globe Theater with this printable.
- Toy-A-Day: Shakespeare
A free printable Shakespeare (the man) paper craft. This is sort of like a 3D paper doll. If you like this boxy doll, the site also offers a blank template you could use for making your own actors for a play.
- Puppets & Coloring Pages for A Midsummer Night's Dream
Puppets and coloring pages based on the work of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and from the stories retold by Phee McFaddell.
- Practical Pages --Fashions through the Past Women Paperdolls
The first time period covered is the 1500's, perfect for Romeo and Juliet. (Pictured below; used in my daughter's re-enactment of King Lear.)
- Practical Pages -- Men from History Paperdolls
Among other time periods, these free paper dolls include Elizabethan men that would serve well for male roles in Shakespearean plays. (Pictured below; used in my daughter's re-enactment of King Lear.)
Enacting King Lear with Puppets
Masterpuppet Theater - The World of Shakespeare--at your Fingertips!
This set includes finger puppets and backdrops for narrating famous scenes from Shakespeare.
Read a review at The New Yorker.
View THE PLAYERS , THE SETS, THE PLAYS, THE STAGE at Masterpuppet Theater.
Masterpuppet Theater in Action
Great Characters from Shakespeare Paper Dolls
Acting Out Shakespeare's Plays - Making it Really Come Alive
If you want to go a bit deeper and get an even better taste of Shakespeare's theater, act out some scenes from the drama that you are studying.
1. Choose a play that you are familiar with and then select the favorite scene or scenes. Your children may even want to do a quick summary of the entire plot.
2. Create a simple script.
3. Plan costumes, props, and backdrops.
4. Rehearse and then give a show.
Read how other homeschool families have produced Shakespeare performances:
This book gives six scenes to enact yourself.
If you prefer an instant download, this book is also available at CurrClick in Ebook format.
As You Like It -- Re-enacted by Homeschoolers
Shakespeare for Kids - His Life and Times, 21 Activities (For Kids series)
This book could serve as a spine for an entire term's worth of Shakespeare study. It's jam-packed with illustrations, photos, facts, maps, and history. Instead of being arranged in chapter and sections, this book is divided into acts and scenes just like a drama.
Throughout the text are activity ideas with directions and diagrams. Here are some examples (there are about twice as many as are listed here):
make a pomander balldecorate a pair of gloveslearn how to jugglemake a horn bookcook apple moyecreate new wordsplay Elizabethan gamesmake a quill pen
The Play's the Thing Board Game
This game for 2-6 players is appropriate for ages 8 and up. No knowledge of Shakespeare is requiredto play, but through the game, players will learn about the three plays featured -- Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Julius Caesar. Instructions for four levels of play are included so that everyone in the family can play.
Shakespeare's Globe - An Interactive Pop-up Theatre
What an incredible tool for narrating back what you've just read or for creative play.
To see more pictures of it in action, visit To Shakespeare or Not to Shakespeare.
It seems this item is currently unavailable. I hope that it will be back in stock at Amazon soon.
This interactive book features a fold-out model of the Globe Theatre in its heyday, complete with stage, galleries, thatched roof, and spectators ready for a performance. Selected punch-out characters from 12 of Shakespeare's plays are included!