To Read or Not to Read Shakespeare? 12 Great Ways to Get to Know The Bard During COVID-19

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

“There is no darkness but ignorance”

– Twelfth Night

With school closures impacting 50 million children across America, and a challenging transition to remote learning,  many parents are seeking supplementary material to enrich their children’s academic experience during COVID-19.  Fortunately, there is a wealth of information available to introduce children of all ages and reading levels to, arguably, the greatest literary figure in the English-speaking world, William Shakespeare. Playwright, poet, philosopher, The Bard, as he is known, has been credited with penning nearly 40 plays and over 150 sonnets, and coining 1,700 of the vocabulary words and phrases we use today. Below, we share a mix of accessible biographies, abridged versions of his works, and video tutorials that will cultivate interest in Shakespeare’s life, his Elizabethan era, and the wordsmithing craft that he perfected.

The Shakespeare Stories Collection – 16 Books

Retellings of sixteen of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays. This is a great introduction for young readers age 6 and up.

 

 

 

 

Who Was William Shakespeare?

Explore the origin story of the world’s greatest playwright, from his time in Stratford to a career in theater in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bard of Avon: The Story of William Shakespeare

This nonfiction picture book covering his life, his times, and his theater, is best enjoyed by children ages 4-6.

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare Stories

Author Leon Garfield carefully transforms twelve of the playwright’s plays into stories, and includes vivid illustrations to capture readers’ imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare Stories II

And when the first book leaves your kids clamoring for more, you can move on to the second volume, for nine additional plays: Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Cymbeline, King Richard the Third, The Comedy of Errors, and The Winter’s Tale.

 

 

 

Tales from Shakespeare

This volume, first published in 1807, includes accessible adaptations of all of Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And AFTER you have read all of these works with your children, be sure to watch these helpful Sparknotes videos to reinforce concepts, such as character development, plot, setting, and important themes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Read related content:

Aurora Institute’s Susan Patrick on Digital Learning Lessons from COVID-19

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Susan Patrick, the President and CEO of Aurora Institute and co-founder of CompetencyWorks. Susan shares observations about the long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for American K-12 education, and the prospects for expanding digital learning.

Court Preserves Privacy: First Amendment Ruling Defends Non-Profits From Modern-Day McCarthyism

Hubwonk Host Joe Selvaggi talks with CATO research fellow and constitutional scholar Trevor Burrus about the recent Supreme Court ruling, Americans For Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, reaffirming the right to privacy by denying the state of California the right to compel non-profits to disclose their list of donors.

Celebrating American Independence! – 50 Resources on America’s Founding for Schoolchildren & Citizens

American schoolchildren need to know more about the basic history of and lessons from the American Revolution and War for Independence, including perhaps the greatest leader and hero the country has ever produced, George Washington. To do our small part to help the cause, we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, schoolchildren, and citizens better celebrate the Fourth of July!

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Prof. David Hackett Fischer on Paul Revere, George Washington, & American Independence

This week on “The Learning Curve," co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with David Hackett Fischer, University Professor and Earl Warren Professor of History Emeritus at Brandeis University, and the author of numerous books, including Paul Revere's Ride and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington's Crossing. As America prepares to celebrate the Fourth of July, they review key figures who helped secure independence from Great Britain, including Paul Revere, immortalized in Longfellow’s classic poem, and Founding Father George Washington, known among his contemporaries as the “indispensable man” of the revolutionary cause.

Why does a gender-gap persist in vaccination rates?

/
Men are more likely to die of COVID-19 than women: 13 men die…

“The Jazz Age” – 1920s America – 50 Resources for High School Students

American schoolchildren need to know more about the basics of the history of and lessons from the 1920s, which did as much as any decade to shape our modern country in the last century. To remedy this, we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, and high schoolers:

AEI’s Naomi Schaefer Riley on Parenting, Excessive Screen Time, & Religion in American Education

/
This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Naomi Schaefer Riley, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and author of several books, including Be the Parent, Please.

Monarchs of the Sea – American Boats, Ships, & their Captains – 40 Resources for High School Students

In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Celebrating American Boats, Ships, & their Captains.

Alzheimer Breakthrough Disillusionment: Confusion on FDA’s Approval of Expensive and Possibly Ineffective Drug

Hubwonk host Joe Selvaggi talks with precision medicine expert Hannah Mamuszka and Pioneer Institute's Bill Smith about the promises and pitfalls of the newly approved Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm, and the challenges presented when new, expensive drugs of dubious benefit are introduced to the nation’s formulary.

Umesh Bhuju Seeks a Fair Deal for Immigrants, Farmers & the Environment

This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Umesh Bhuju, owner of Zumi’s Espresso in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about how a business model based on selling nothing but fair-trade products can thrive in a world driven by profit. He describes his early experiences in his homeland of Nepal, where he witnessed child labor, and how that has shaped his pursuit of the American dream.

New York Times Best Seller Paul Reid on Winston Churchill, WWII, & the Cold War

This week on “The Learning Curve," Cara and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Paul Reid, co-author, with William Manchester, of the New York Times best-selling biography of Winston Churchill, The Last Lion: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. Reid shares how he was enlisted to complete William Manchester’s biographical trilogy on the greatest political figure of the 20th century, which became a best-seller.

Comparing Covid-19 Vaccination and New Infection Rates in Suffolk County: Is Vaccination Working?

/
Massachusetts ranks fourth nationally for the highest percent…

The People’s House The U.S. House Representatives – 40 Resources for High School Students

American schoolchildren need to know more about the basic civics and history of our key democratic institutions. To remedy this, we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, and high schoolers:

Dr. Babak Movassaghi on Winning in Football & Healthcare Innovation

/
This week on JobMakers, Host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Babak Movassaghi, founder of InfiniteMD (acquired last summer by ConsumerMedical), which connects patients with top U.S. medical professionals through second-opinion video consultations, guiding patients to better care. When the world shut down due to COVID-19, Dr. Movassaghi's company was already prepared to serve patients via telehealth. In this episode, they discuss his fascinating pivot from physics and professional football in Germany, to healthcare and innovation here in the U.S., an extension of his ability to navigate multiple identities as an Iranian-German living the American Dream.

COVID-19 and Unemployment Rates in the Cape and Islands 

/
  The COVID-19 pandemic has had a large impact on unemployment…

Nina Rees on the 30th Anniversary of Charter Public Schools in America

This week on “The Learning Curve," Gerard and Cara celebrate the 30th anniversary of charter schools with Nina Rees, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

This Is No Time for a Tax Increase

This is no time to threaten Massachusetts’ prospects for an immediate economic recovery and the long-term competitiveness of the Commonwealth’s businesses. As Massachusetts lawmakers prepare to vote on whether to send a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a 4 percent surtax on residents who earn $1 million or more in a year to the statewide ballot in 2022, Pioneer Institute urges them to recognize that tax policy sizably impacts business and job location decisions and that jobs are more mobile than ever.

The Spirit Enlightened Celebrating Classical Music – 50 Resources for High School Students

In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Celebrating Classical Music.