Top Tips for Teaching Shakespeare to Teens


Chris RoseTaking inspiration from lines spoken by Shakespeare’s characters, here author Chris Rose offers six top tips for teaching Shakespeare to teens.  

Chris will be presenting a webinar on this very subject at our Shakespeare Special on Wednesday 20th April 2016.   Book your FREE place here.  






  • “This story shall the good man teach his son”

Let the stories guide you – Shakespeare was a great storyteller above all else.  Start to tell your students about ghosts, witches, magical beings or star-crossed lovers to grab their attention.

  • “Be not too demanding”

Don’t expect students to read a whole play in the original version – not many native speakers do that!

  • “Lend me your ears”

Use extracts from the original texts – some of the famous, great speeches for example, setting them in context.  Learners love playing with the richness of Shakespeare’s language.

  • “Make not too much of the matter”

Use simplified versions of the texts.  Books such as the Macmillan Readers are great introductions – as a teacher, it is often your job to lead or give directions.  You can never know quite where your students will end up…

  • “O brave new world, that hath such creatures in it!”

If you can, show your students some extracts from movies or recorded plays – it can help bring the plays to life.

  • “The play’s the thing…!”

Remember Shakespeare’s originals are play scripts:  try acting some of them out, using a mixture of modernised and original languaage.