Monday, July 6, 2009

Shakespeare Rotation

Shakespeare provides students with good classical tales. The language can be challenging, but the works are entertaining and well worth the effort. A lot of cultural information is contained in the plays as well. Who doesn't understand the reference to Juliet on the balcony? Doesn't it mean even more having read the play?

Shakespeare can be done as a family, with different students reading different roles. Some scenes can even be memorized. If you are very motivated, you can form a co-op with other homeschooling families and do a full production of a play.

Students in the very years are not ready for the complex literature of Shakespeare directly, so we use "Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare" by Edith Nesbit. After Year 4, Shakespeare is read directly.

Years 1-3 (Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare)

2 stories are read per term

Rotation 1:
  • Midsummer Night's Dream
  • The Tempest
  • As You Like It
  • The Winter's Tale
  • King Lear
  • Twelfth Night
Rotation 2:
  • The Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • All's Well that Ends Well
  • Cymberline
  • MacBeth
  • The Comedy of Errors
Rotation 3:
  • The Merchent of Venice
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Measure for Measure
  • Much Ado about Nothing
  • Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Years 4-12

Ambleside Online does 3 Shakespeare plays a year (1 per term). However, because of some of the other items used at Maple Hill Academy that are not used in AO, we will be doing 1 play a year. As I graduated from high school having done a total of 3 shakespeare plays in school (plus 2 that I read on my own) - I do not feel bad having my children *only* study 9.

I am not going to provide a list of plays to study here. Select plays that interest you... I do recommend seeing if any will be performed in your area and selecting one of those.


  1. I'd love to hear more details about how you study Shakespeare!

  2. I will add another post soon. Thanks for the interest!