This is what teachers said…
A recent survey of both classroom teachers and heads of English in secondary schools revealed a huge diversity of opinion as to what is the best way to introduce Shakespeare to pupils and students for the first time.
Indeed many of the teachers who responded had evolved their own unique approach, so while some went straight to the Shakespeare text others started with viewing the play on film, some used a dramatic exploration of certain scenes, and others used a comic style presentation by way of introduction.
What was particularly interesting in the responses was that as we explored the matter further many teachers said that they had not tried certain approaches or had assumed that it was not an approach that was developed enough for their pupils.
Further, when we asked if it was felt that introducing a Shakespeare play for the first time was problematic, the most common answer was that it was difficult because of resistance to the whole concept of Shakespeare. In short, barriers had to be broken down.
Now, in response to a range of questions asked of teachers in the last couple of years we’ve produced a Shakespeare resource which meets many of the needs expressed by both classroom teachers and heads of departments.
For example, we noted that many teachers like to have a dual text edition with the original and a modern translation available at the same time. Others welcome a highly illustrated comic book approach to make the play more rapidly accessible, particularly at Key Stage 3.
Likewise we noted that around two thirds of teachers involved in teaching Shakespeare to students seeing it for the first time said they liked to start with key scenes only.
So this is what we have produced: a resource that incorporates all these requirements. You can get a feel for the results on our website
Then just click on the small pictures that run down the web page to the right of the cover picture, and you’ll see exactly what individual pages of the resource look like.