It’s a new month, which means a new topic. I thought this month we’d go back to the classics, namely Shakespeare. We did Shakespeare when Mr. Curiosity was in third grade, which is where Miss Adventure is now. Shakespeare is definitely important enough that we can study his life and works multiple times. I do like to cover both aspects of Shakespeare, so I have two types of books that we used this week.
First off, we need to know about Shakespeare the man. To help us there, I found Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare by Diane Stanley and Peter Vennema, and Shakespeare: His Work and His World by Michael Rosen. Bard of Avon is written with a paragraph of two of text on a page, and an illustration on the facing page. The author explains life in Elizabethan England and fills in the details of Shakespeare’s life that we have, emphasizing the fact that we’re missing many details of his life. Shakespeare: His Work and His World incorporates more of Shakespeare’s writing into a history of his life and times. The book spends more time on his plays, providing summaries of his major works. It’s perfect for Mr. Curiosity as we look more in-depth into Shakespeare.
The second part of learning about Shakespeare is his works. We’ll be focusing on his plays. In particular, we’ll watch a few of his comedies. I find the best way to experience Shakespeare is a live performance. Unfortunately, we don’t have any live performances happening any time soon around me. So, we’ll watch a movie instead. Just jumping in to play can be confusing because of Shakespeare’s language, so I like to provide a summary of the play before watching. That way, we at least know what’s going on. Tales from Shakespeare by Marcia Williams gives the reader a bit of the theater experience in a book form. As the introduction states:
There are three parts to each performance presented here: the words that Shakespeare actually wrote are those spoken by the actors; the story, or plot of the play, is told underneath the picture, and the spectators – who are famously rude and noisy – can be seen and heard around the stage.
The book covers Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest.
We’re studying A Midsummer Night’s Dream first, and found a fairly substantial graphic novel interpretation of the play. It includes some of Shakespeare’s words, and even contains a cast of characters (along with their image), a glossary and history of Shakespeare. The book is A Midsummer Night’s Dream The Graphic Novel. After reading a couple different versions of the play, we’ll watch it next week.
And those are the books we’ve used recently, linking up with the Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers weekly wrap-up.
If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or title to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!