google-site-verification=_AyRPvVpVTlkA4OSLOYs38MFpDU3qMUoVeCKEhSwMT4 Free Printable Lesson Plans: Free Printable Shakespeare Reader's Guide

Free Printable Shakespeare Reader's Guide

Beware the Ides of March! And students, beware of teachers quoting Shakespeare, or Julius Caesar in March! Teachers adore Shakespeare and the Ides of March (March 15) is their feast day! But students--meh, not so much. Are you struggling with Shakespeare? Do you despise your literature teacher for making you read Middle English? Do you fail to see the appeal of the Bard of Avon? That is perfectly understandable, but don't despair. Here are tips to vanquish that Shakespearean tragedy, parse his sonnets and laugh in the face of the Bard's comedy. Teachers and homeschool parents, use these lesson plans to make Shakespeare more approachable for students.
Use your textbook lexicon to translate Middle English. A lexicon is a reference guide like a dictionary that defines and explains word usage from different dialects, regions or periods. Many publishers include a lexicon in the form of references at the bottom of each page. Penguin and Dover Thrift classics of Shakespearean works also include lexicons. Here are free printable Shakespeare lesson plans with lexicons, teachers.
Use a specifically- Shakespeare lexicon. A lexicon will make mincemeat of troublesome Middle English and make you battle-ready for the Ides of March inspired homework assignments! Here are more free printable Shakespeare lesson plans to put Shakespearean dialog in user-friendly terms.
Use Internet study guides. Many sites offer free study guides on Shakespeare's books and sonnets. They will include a character analysis, character web, plot timeline, major themes and chapter or verse breakdown, as well as an explanation of unfamiliar terms. Cliffnotes, Sparknotes, Bookrags, E-Notes and Pink Monkey provide great literary help with Middle English, Here are more free printable Shakespeare resources.
Read any Shakespeare story in the narrative or children's version. Julius Caesar should beware the Ides of March and teachers should beware of reading the play versions of Shakespearean works until students have a feel for the actual story without all the confusing theatrical notes and dialogue. Charles and Mary Lamb and Evelyn Nesbit have written beautiful story versions of Shakespeare's that are very readable for all ages.
When you get to the play, read the dialogue aloud. Shakespeare is first and foremost a playwright. His works were written for actors in a theater. His sonnets were written to be read aloud. Read plays as if you're a troupe of theatre actors. Put a little enthusiasm into it! Add the correct emotion (which the play will tell you in parenthesis). Get into character. Reading aloud as Shakespeare's plays were meant to be read, will help you to understand the flow and meaning of the dialogue.

Visualize the similes and metaphors
. Shakespeare was free with metaphor, so to understand his phraseology is to connect with his metaphorical references (which may be very different in Medieval/Renaissance England than in 2016!)

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.