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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  866 ratings  ·  168 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 and contain the 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 to Th
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 11th 2013 by Crown (first published June 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Manuel Antão
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

“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
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 great ...more
Yes indeed and appreciatively, playwright Ken Ludwig has with his How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare most definitely created an absolutely wonderful and very much useful teaching and learning tool, presenting the works of William Shakespeare extensively and intensively, with general plot analyses of his plays, as well as deeper interpretations and of course also relevant information and details on William Shakespeare’s life and times, on the English theatre during the reigns of Elizabeth I a ...more
Apr 08, 2013 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 24, 2013 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 17, 2014 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
Helena Sorensen
A pleasure from cover to cover. Accessible, exuberant, and inspiring. *runs off to read every Shakespeare play, memorize 50 passages, and watch every film adaptation*
Jun 25, 2013 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 hav ...more
Danielle DeVane Wells
I did not realize that this book is practically a manual on literally how to teach your children Shakespeare. Each chapter introduces a new work of Shakespeare or the subsequent part of one of his works. The author suggests beginning teaching children Shakespeare at the age of six.I read the first chapter and skimmed through the other chapters. I'm not quite ready to teach my 5 and 3 year old this, but it will stay on my shelf for when the time comes. It seemed easy to follow and practical!
Apr 20, 2016 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.
Alanna Truong
This is the book I will credit with really getting me into Shakespeare. I cannot WAIT to read, listen to and watch everything Shakespeare, then memorize favourite passages on top of it all. So begins what will likely be a lifelong obsession...
Apr 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
not just children-smile
Easily the best book we did "all together" in 2014-2015 school year. I wish there were a sequel.
Susan Liston
4.5 A small percentage of this book did not apply to me as I am not teaching anything to any children, but to myself, and for that, it was terrific. A superb tool for de-mystifying Shakespeare for anyone. And what a wealth of great passages and quotes to hopefully use to memorize (if you aren't a beginner you know a lot of this already but its a nice review and reminder) show off and annoy! (anyone who does get irritated if one quotes Shakespeare is merely jealous and secretly impressed, after a ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016, 2016-tbr
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 s ...more
Abby Ophus
Sep 28, 2015 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
Sep 18, 2013 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.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This is an interesting book, but I had to return it to the library before I could finish it. If I am ever seeking to teach children Shakespeare, this is a book that I would want to use as a resource.
Amy Layton
Apr 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So first thing's first, when he says that he wants to teach your children Shakespeare, it's primarily how to memorize passages.  Which isn't a bad thing, though I did come into this expecting more of a multi-disciplinary look that taught Shakespeare from stage to film to philosophy.  However, Ludwig takes on a lot more than I expected, too!  He explains iambic pentameter, tricks on how to memorize passages (something that would have been helpful when I accidentally took an acting class...), and ...more
Melissa Marie
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
4/5 🌟! This was part teach your children these passages from some of Shakespeare’s finest works, and part let me count the ways that these passages have stood the test of time and what they mean to humanity and therefore should mean to your children. As someone who has loved The Bard for many a year, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hold back from 5 🌟 only because I do not yet have kids and do not forsee rereading it for many years to come and that’s only if I am so blessed with said kids.
Kristin C
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An easy to read, FUN, and practical guide to teaching even the littlest little to appreciate the work of the Bard. My 5 and 9 year old are quoting A Midsummer Night's Dream after two weeks! I'm shocked and delighted!
KC Jones
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“He was the inspiration of my youth, the despair of my middle years, and the consolation of my old age.”-Rossini (said of Mozart). My hope is that Shakespeare will be this for my children; another member included at our dinner table and throughout all our lives together.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So helpful! Ludwig's enthusiasm for Shakespeare is contagious and this book has made teaching/reading Shakespeare much less daunting for me. I will revisit this book in the future.
Nathan Albright
Jun 20, 2014 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
Aug 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
this has been so much fun and really enjoyable to read and talk about with my kids.
Catherine Knight
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely worth buying!! It's like a curriculum that I'm using with my seven year old. We're going through the memory passages and plays that the book presents. For me, someone who knew next to nothing about Shakespeare at the outset, this book is a *must have* and has made it possible to teach Shakespeare to my son.... who, by the way, LOVES it! He had his nose in a Shakespeare book for 2 days straight, by his own choice :o)))
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book. If you always have loved the writing of 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 h
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
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lots of fun. Mostly the book is set up as a guide on how to teach Shakespeare via rote memorization of passages and texts. But while that has the potential to be boring he frequently cites examples from his own children's education to show that at some point, memorization or not, Shakespeare's words take over and the young minds begin their questions: "What does tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow mean? Why does wherefore mean why and not where? Why does Shakespeare put Love and Death in the same ...more
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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 Fello ...more

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