Three Top Tips For Exploring Shakespeare in Primary Schools

Exploring Shakespeare in Primary School

Teaching Shakespeare to primary school children may strike fear into even the most confident teachers’ hearts, but what if I told you there were ways to approach these classic tales that make them accessible for 4-to-11-year olds?

Next week our Creative Director, Abi, will be running a free CPD session for primary school teachers at RADA to help unlock some of the secrets of exploring Shakespeare in primary schools.

From playing with Shakespeare’s stories to playing with his language, you will be guided through an active session discovering transferable games, activities and techniques to help immerse your children within the plays.

Thursday 8th November 2018
18:00 to 20:00

RADA - central London

So, why is it so important to us that experiencing Shakespeare starts in primary school? Well there is of course a reason that these stories have stood the test of time, because they’re quite frankly rather fantastic! But aside from that it’s about creating fearless learners, so that when they go to secondary school and are faced with Shakespeare on the syllabus they have a way to access it.

In the build up to our CPD I met with Abi to pick her brains for three top tips for approaching Shakespeare in primary school and here’s what she had to say:

  1. Tell a Story.

    “Look at the story, just the story, forget how the story is told, forget how the language is being used, it’s just a story. The reason Shakespeare is still around is because he told stories amazingly, told stories that were exciting and engaging. To begin with get your students excited about the story and then add the other layers in.”

  2. Break it down.

    “After looking at the overall story, look at the story of one section. Once you already know what’s happening in a section of the story suddenly you understand the words. Don’t be afraid to edit the script. I edit and edit and edit, don’t think that Shakespeare is untouchable, the important thing is for children to enjoy it and engage with it.”

  3. Get physical with it!

    “Suddenly Shakespeare comes to life when you get up and start moving with it. I like to play with how characters might move. If you take the character of Oberon from a Midsummer Night's’ Dream, the Fairy King has been played thousands of times and never once did he look the same or move in the same way, so it’s not something you can do wrong.”

So there we have it, three top tips: look at the story, break it down and get moving!

For more tips, games, and lesson ideas come along on November 8th for a free Masterclass with our Creative Director. For more information and to book your space click here.

- Katie