How to read Shakespeare with Younger Children

Oct 04

How to read Shakespeare with Younger Children

I am homeschooling my children using The Family School – LDS Curriclum for the whole family. Looking far ahead to when we’ll be reading “A Comedy of Errors” for Literature. While it’s a great book, with difficult vocabulary explained as you go through the book, I was really concerned about reading it to my 5-year-old son.

I have a hard enough time understanding Shakespeare myself, let alone reading it to my young one . I knew just by skimming that we would both struggle trying to wade our way through. I still wanted to read it with him, so I asked a friend of mine whose mom is a children’s librarian for some advice. I thought I’d pass on what I learned for those who also have young children.

So How do You Read Shakespeare with a  5-year-old?

She recommended looking at the authors Bruce Coville, Charles & Mary Lamb, and Leon Garfield for Shakespeare written for children. Their stories are abridged and have more simplified language with illustrations so children can understand the story in a much easier way.

I found a fantastic version of Comedy of Errors for Kindle by Charles & Mary Lamb for 99 cents. The language is older, so there will still be some vocabulary to explain, but it’s written in a way that the storyline is more apparent and a parent could easily explain what was going on.

There is also a set of 20 Shakespeare books that look like they’re colorfully illustrated called Twenty Shakespeare Children’s Stories by Macaw books.

There is also a .org website that has a very abridged version of many of the plays, including A Comedy of Errors.

If you like the free audio version that your older kids can just listen to click here.

I hope this helps someone! Even though I haven’t seen the lesson plans for this book, I feel a lot better prepared and competent armed with a simplified version.

Written by: Sarah Lee

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