I'm delighted to share that our new book, Teaching Shakespeare in Primary Schools: All the World's a Stage (David Fulton publishers) is due out in September 2021. The book, written together with Maureen Kucharczyk, is an essential guide for battling the Bard with primary school learners.
First a confession: we are not Shakespeare scholars, nor do we have a background in the dramatic arts. Instead, we are teachers with a love for Shakespeare. Yet we both felt that a suitable, beginners guide to teaching Shakespeare with primary children didn't exist. So we set out to write the book that we wished we had been given at the start of our teaching careers.
Yes, we've both overcome bad memories of learning Shakespeare at school. That is why we adopt a creative, flexible and child-centred approach to teaching Shakespeare.
If you've always wanted to give Shakespeare a go but don't know where to start, this is the book for you.
Here's a quick summary of what's inside...
Part 1 considers the ratinale for teaching Shakespeare in primary education. Chapter 1 starts with the question ‘Why teach Shakespeare?’. The chapter begins by addressing the debates around heritage literature – the classics – and their place in twenty-first century primary education.
Chapter 2 explores how Shakespeare can be surprisingly relevant to social issues and learning preferences of twenty-first-century children. This also looks at digital technology and the role it can play in making Shakespeare relevant.
Chapter 3 considers classroom practices for reading and responding to Shakespeare’s plays. This chapter is written in two parts or acts (no eye-rolls please - this is Shakespeare after all!) Act I deals with ‘words’ and considers language, texts and reading Shakespeare’s plays. Act II deals with ‘deeds’ and examines approaches to responding to Shakespeare’s plays through drama and creative writing.
In Part 2, we move to the schemes of work for developing a whole-school approach to teaching Shakespeare in primary literacy. Chapters 4 to 9 explain how to teach one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays in each of primary years (Years 1 to 6). The plays are: The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Macbeth and The Winter’s Tale.
The book is available to preorder - click here or on the link below.