During the school year I began reading How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare with the children. We memorized passages and I read from the chapters, slowly and discussing it as we went along. We only memorized four passages, the ones selected from A Midsummer Night's Dream, but they responded with absolute joy. All of my children (11, 8, 6, and 4) can recite some lines from the play. The three older ones can recite many lines from the play. My two oldest know the plot and, what's most important, love the play.
I absolutely recommend this method of learning Shakespeare with your children. As evidence and for your amusement, I'd like to present First Son, performing as Gru as a Shakespearean actor.
"Bottom's Dream" (Passage 3 in the book)
First Son as Gru as Bottom, other three children as Minions
The Minions did their jobs well. I've actually heard him do an even more convincing Gru performance; he was a little nervous with the camera running.
"Theseus and Hippolyta" (Passage 4)
First Daughter as Theseus and First Son as Gru as Hippolyta (using his Most Magical Fairy Princess voice from Despicable Me 2)
They all think this voice is hilarious. I'm sorry you can't hear it very well. I have a new camera (yay!) but it doesn't come with those fancy microphones that real movie sets have.
"I Know a Bank" (Passage 1)
Second Son wanted to recite. First Daughter agreed to help him.
"Captain of our Fairy Band" (Passage 2)
Second Daughter's favorite passage
"Lord, what fools these mortals be!"
This phrase has become common in our house. When chaos reigns, I will often say it and capture the attention of all the little ones in hearing.
I had meant to read A Midsummer Night's Dream before last school year and did not. I'm reading it now. It's a delight to come to a passage we memorized or read together.
Memorize Shakespeare with your children. You will not regret it.
The links to Amazon above are affiliate links. My original review copy was provided free by the publisher in exchange for an objective review. This post contains my honest opinions and recitations by my zany kids.