Excellent Resources for Teaching Shakespeare to Gifted Students

The study of Shakespeare never grows old: his plays are counted among the greatest works in English literature, he was an outstanding observer and communicator of human character, and he expressed enduring wisdom and wit. Presented appropriately, Shakespeare fascinates students—especially gifted students—who appreciate the opportunity to study and perform his plays. There are a number of excellent resources available to help teachers and parents expose their children to this icon of literature.

The Folger Shakespeare Library is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. It is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare materials. On its website, there is a Teach and Learn section that contains a wealth of information. Teaching resources for K-12 include Shakespeare lesson plans and other materials for teachers, such as audio and video podcasts, a blog, a Teachers' Lounge forum, and an expanding list of web features. The Shakespeare for Kids section of the site offers games, activities, and creative fun. Folger is a strong advocate of performance-based teaching, which is reflected in the resources on their website.

The University of Texas at Austin created Shakespeare Kids, which is designed for young people,  teachers, parents, and administrators who work with students in grades K-8. The value of introducing young children to Shakespeare is discussed, along with ways to approach the subject.

In Search of Shakespeare was developed by PBS. It contains case studies, articles, and quick tips on how to bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom; interdisciplinary lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high school students; and lots of print and online resources.

Prufrock Press also has a series of books that is designed for teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) students in grades 7-12. Currently, six of Shakespeare’s most famous plays are represented.

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