Books for Teaching Shakespearean Plays
- Grades: 6–8
From Unit Plan: History According to Shakespeare
This list includes resources for teaching the Shakespearean play, Julius Caesar, as well as resources for building background with your students in order to decipher truth from fiction.
Ancient Rome: A Complete Resource that Helps Kids Learn about this Fascinating Civilization by Alexandra Hanson-Harding
A comprehensive resource that includes a full-color poster of a map of the Roman Empire, background information, art projects, and more.
Classroom Tip: Includes timelines and graphic organizers that explain background on Ancient Rome — critical for appreciating Shakespeare's play. This resource will also help students participate in discussions about the degree of truth found in the play.
Shakespeare Mini-Books: 8 Reproducible Comic Book-Style Retellings of Favorite Plays by Jeannette Sanderson
Retells the plays with narrative and scene explanations in familiar language, while the dialogue between characters remains in Shakespearean verse.
Classroom Tip: Instead of using the original version of Julius Caesar with my 6th graders, I use this version as an introduction to the unit, so that students can build background for reading a more sophisticated version of the story.
Top Ten Shakespeare Stories by Terry Deary; illustrated by Michael Tickner
This is a humorous and catchy version of any Shakespeare play you could teach. Deary retells the familiar Shakespearean tales with an adolescent flair that will appeal to middle-school students.
Classroom Tip: This is the version of the story we study so students can understand the basics of the play and have the background to have deeper, more meaningful class discussions. The purpose of teaching Shakespeare at this level is to give a basic understanding of the "mini-genre" and inspire students to enjoy the verse.