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How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare
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How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  522 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
A foolproof, enormously fun method of teaching your children the classic works of William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s plays are among the great bedrocks of Western civilization andcontainthe finest writing of the past 450 years. Many of the best novels, plays, poetry, and films in the English language produced since Shakespeare’s death in 1616—from Jane Austen toThe G
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Crown (first published January 1st 2013)
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Feb 20, 2016 Kristy rated it really liked it
Shelves: lorenz-inventory
I have a great love and appreciation for the works of William Shakespeare, especially his comedies. I was fortunate to have been introduced to Shakespeare's works by my mom while I was in middle school and I definitely reaped the benefits in high school and college. So it was a pleasant surprise when I came across this work by playwright Ken Ludwig. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical that I would be able to teach my 6 and 7 year old how to memorize and recite passages from some of The Bard's ...more
Jun 01, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book from First Reads.

I found this book to be enjoyable, and wish I'd had it when I was in high school English class. Plots from some of the plays were explained in a way that was really easy to understand! There are a couple of pieces of Shakespeare I had wanted to try and learn for the fun of it, and this book had some nice tips for learning them. This is one I plan on keeping around for sure if I ever have kids of my own someday.
Jun 25, 2013 ladydusk rated it really liked it

I know nothing about Shakespeare or his works. Seriously, I am just starting to learn about Shakespeare.

Oh, I know what is "common knowledge." I recognize some lines from Shakespeare and probably which play they're from. I think I read Romeo and Juliet in High School (Freshman English? Maybe? and maybe Macbeth at some point). It's possible - highly likely even - I only "read" the parts that we read in class.

This book was a big help. Ludwig walks the reader through many plays, introducin
Jun 19, 2014 Monika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted on my blog, A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall:

Confession: I am a very reluctant Shakespeare reader. I don't remember being exposed to his works before high school, and I don't remember my teachers showing much spirit when Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar came along on the syllabus. We're a homeschooling family, and I know there will be time I'll have to teach things I'm not terribly interested in. But I want my daughter to appreciate Shakespeare's works in the same way I want he
Jun 26, 2013 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
This was both a great introduction to several of Shakespeare's plays, as well as a practical guide to introducing him to your children through the explanation and memorization of 25 passages from 9 different plays (as well as suggestions for "bonus passages"). I was thoroughly inspired by Ken Ludwig's obvious love of Shakespeare and convinced that memorizing is the way to go if you want to really develop a love for and understanding of his work. This was somewhat of a revelation for me, as I ...more
Easily the best book we did "all together" in 2014-2015 school year. I wish there were a sequel.
May 03, 2013 Jackie rated it it was amazing
not just children-smile
Apr 01, 2016 Lekeshua rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-tbr, read-2016
I have a new found appreciation and courage to tackle Shakespeare. I recall being assigned to read Shakespeare without any hand holding. Shakespeare writing is deeper than what meets the eye and as a high schooler trying to read and truly understand was difficult. I no longer feel that way and plan on sharing this with my children. Ken Ludwig along with Charlotte Mason has inspired me to share Shakespeare with my children from the beginning and not wait until they are in high school. I believe ...more
Apr 26, 2016 Lauriann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
"Shakespeare should not be an occasional visitor. He should be a permanent houseguest, living in that spare room down the hall, ready to join you for a meal or an evening whenever you crave his company."

Everyone with kids should read this book.

Everyone without kids should read this book.
Sep 18, 2013 peaseblossom rated it liked it
Useful, basic, probably best for people who don't already obsess about Shakespeare. Emphasis on memorization. Somehow still uses sullied flesh instead of solid, but otherwise decent.
Nathan Albright
Jun 20, 2014 Nathan Albright rated it it was amazing
[Note: This book was provided by Blogging For Books for free in exchange for an honest review.]

It is clear from even a cursory look at this book that Ken Ludwig has a passion for drama. Ludwig is a multiple Tony Award winning dramatist and a fan of Shakespeare from his youth, and he shares with parents and teachers (the intended audience for this work) the same sort of tips to teach Shakespeare to children that he used with his own children. Although the book is somewhat lengthy (including its a
Jul 24, 2013 Jill rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book. If you always have loved Shakespeare, or, better yet, wanted to love it but just didn’t get it, this is the book for you!

How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare is by an acclaimed playwright who hopes to provide you with the tools to help you and your children make Shakespeare a part of your lives. He shows you how to make Shakespeare both informative and fun. He writes:

"Shakespeare should not be an occasional visitor. He should be a permanent houseguest, livi
Sarah(All The Book Blog Names Are Taken)
Love, love, love this book. Read it in just a couple hours and I can't wait to start teaching E. She's way too young for the big passages - oh, and she can't read because she's not even three yet - but she loves to repeat and has an excellent memory, so she can surely start on some of the lines. This book is fantastic, full review to come.


Rating: 5 Stars

Loved this book. Loved,
Edy Gies
Ken Ludwig most definitely loves Shakespeare and he clearly communicates that throuugh his writing. I would highly recommend for parents who homeschool or those who are looking to do some supplemental learning with their children. His techniques are excellent and his explanations are interesting and clearly expert. That said, I really don't see using his memorization techniques with my own son, but I will try to use some of it in my classroom. It is not possible in my classroom to spend as much ...more
Jun 29, 2014 Kari rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Ultimately I think this is probably a little bit more intense than I want to be about teaching my son to memorize Shakespeare, but it has great tips on how to work on memorization that I can see us using for important texts – Shakespeare, yes, but also poems and speeches and the Bible. I feel like I have an adequate knowledge of Shakespeare, but there are some big plays that I have never read, and Ludwig explains the plots and the importance of some famous speeches with great enthusiasm and ...more
Apr 27, 2016 Sarahelisabeth rated it it was amazing
I'm not a great Shakespeare fan and this book hasn't changed that but it has helped me understand more about Shakespeare's plays and how to make them accessible to my children.
The main premise of the book is to teach the children short passages from the plays so that something is familiar to them. Along with the passage, the child needs to understand the meaning of the passage and the play. Ludwig uses passages from some of the most well known plays and goes over their background.
At the end of
Aug 06, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homeschooling
Wow. This really impressive volume urges us to introduce Shakespeare to our children by memorizing key passages. This would make an IDEAL companion to a Charlotte Mason-style Shakespeare reading program for children--choose a child-friendly play, read, discuss, and memorize a passage. Ludwig has an absolutely contagious love for Shakespeare and a firm belief that our children can learn and enjoy the Bard from a young age. Delightful. One caveat--not sure the chapters on Falstaff--and especially ...more
Abby Ophus
Dec 05, 2015 Abby Ophus rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-school
This book was a joy to read. Ludwig teaches you how to help your children memorize key passages from Shakespeare's plays. Each passage he uses he gives you an introduction to the play and plot so your children can understand the context of the part they are memorizing. This book deepened my love and appreciation for Shakespeare's works (and I already loved them quite a bit). I can't wait to use this book with my children when they are older, and I think I may start memorizing the passages myself ...more
Anna Wassenaar
Feb 26, 2015 Anna Wassenaar rated it it was ok
Oh, so much fun, but alas, I am not an actor. This would require more dedication to Shakespeare than I have.
Nov 29, 2016 Olivia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this through a Goodreads Giveaway. I am not sure what I was expecting, but it sure was not actual tips to teach your kids Shakespeare. This book covers various memorization techniques and a few tricks and games to help learn some of the more famous passages and soliloquies.

After the first few chapters, assuming you or your kiddos have the idea, the focus shifts more toward interpreting and understanding Shakespeare. These are he sections I most enjoyed, seeing as I am years now apart from
Manuel Antão
Oct 21, 2016 Manuel Antão rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
“If we can’t all be Shakespeares, it doesn’t make us less in the world; the understanding makes us more.”

“I want your children to be inspired by Shakespeare for the many years to come when they believe that they can do anything as long as they work hard enough at it”.

The above quotes are both from the epilogue, and they both fitting conclusions to an extraordinary book. Ludwig’s love of Shakespeare is evident and he makes us want to learn more and to develop a deeper understanding of Shakespeare
Jul 06, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own
For summer vacation this year, we've decided to (finally) return to the Utah Shakespearean Festival. We haven't been since we had children but have decided that they are old enough to be introduced to Shakespeare and enjoy it. In prep for that vacation, I picked up a copy of How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare by Ken Ludwig hoping to find practical tips and advice for introducing Shakespeare to the kids before we arrived at the festival.

Before reading the book, I didn't know the name Ken Ludw
Nov 18, 2016 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one! Famed playwright Ken Ludwig chooses multiple Shakespeare passages for children (and adults) to learn, while explaining their meaning and providing memorization tips. Ludwig also gives basic overviews of Shakespeare's plays and a biography of the famous writer. While I'm a few years away from introducing this to my kids, I'm already planning to purchase a copy of this book.
Oct 04, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I'm such a sucker for picking up books that people keep raving about. Blame Sarah Mackenzie for this one - and she was right. Of course it's a great book just like everyone's been saying. In fact, it's fantastic. Like if I had an extra hour in my day, I'm now convinced that I should spend half of it doing Shakespeare with the kids. But since I'm currently trying to do All The Things, Shakespeare isn't going to fit. So I give it 4 stars. 5 if it had convinced me Shakespeare was more important ...more
Dec 05, 2013 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
This gem is a book built to help introduce your children to Shakespeare, but it would work as an introduction for adults as well. It’s also a great way to dive deeper into the world of Shakespeare even if you’re already a fan. I felt like I learned quite a bit while reading it, because it isn’t dumbed down for kids, it’s just simplified.

Ludwig's passion for Shakespeare is infectious. He finds joy in the work and beautifully explains how to make that joy accessible to anyone who reads the Bard. H
Oct 16, 2014 Kari rated it did not like it
Confession time, I’ve never been a big fan of Shakespeare. When I tell people that some people say that it’s just because I haven’t been exposed to Shakespeare. I assure you that after having spent five years in college as a theatre major with an English literature minor- I have. I’ve been in several Shakespearean productions, performed many scenes and monologues and taken entire classes about Jacobean drama. Exposure to Shakespeare hasn’t been a problem. I just don’t like his writing. However, ...more
Justine Olawsky
Aug 25, 2014 Justine Olawsky rated it really liked it
Have you ever had the perfect book come along for the perfect need at the perfect time? I did, when I found How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare at Bas Bleu a few months ago. See, I have planned for my daughter's Sixth Grade year to spend our literature and memorization time exploring the Bard (Antonomasia). Lo and behold, Ken Ludwig has written a book about introducing your child to Shakespeare through memorization. Aha! I now have a plan of action, and I had to do so little to create it (tho ...more
Stephanie Andreasen
Sep 24, 2016 Stephanie Andreasen rated it really liked it
I don't know if I'll actually be making my kids memorize Shakespeare, at least not at this point. But this book offered easy to digest information about various Shakespeare plays and increased my confidence and desire to learn more.
Robyn Groth
I have read plenty of times the idea that my children should memorize this or that poem or passage with vocabulary and structure too complex for my children to understand, and I always wonder what the point is in having my children memorize a series of meaningless syllables.

Part of what makes this book great is how the author breaks down, explains and rewords the passages, explaining not only what the words mean, but what has been going on up to the point of the passage. Then you can turn around
James Swenson
Aug 22, 2014 James Swenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program.

Author Ken Ludwig, a successful actor and playwright, presents 25 passages, mostly from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet, for a program of directed memorization. His choices are appealing -- and for those of us who can't get enough, he has listed 60 more speeches in the appendices. But this book is not just a list of citations: Ludwig provides clarifications, context, and persona
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Age appropriate 3 31 Apr 26, 2015 01:55PM  
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KEN LUDWIG is an internationally-acclaimed playwright whose work has been performed in more than 30 countries in over 20 languages. He has had 6 shows on Broadway and 6 in the West End. He has won two Laurence Olivier Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, the Edgar Award, the SETC Distinguished Career Award, the Edwin Forrest Award for Services to the Theatre and he is a McCarter/Sallie B. Goodman ...more
More about Ken Ludwig...

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“Students were expected to learn hundreds of lines from the Greek and Roman classics, then, later, from poetry in their native tongues. This tradition has faded from our lives, and something powerful has been lost.” 0 likes
“To know some Shakespeare gives you a head start in life.” 0 likes
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