Though we could keep learning about the Middle Ages for years and years, we took a little break recently to spend some time with Pope Benedict XVI, and to read a little bit of Shakespeare, capitalizing on recent curiosity and interest from Betsy.
We took brief looks at A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, and King Lear, using one of my favorite first-introductions, E. Nesbit's Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare.
This book offers short but satisfying summaries, in story form, of Shakespeare's plays. It's a non-intimidating way to introduce children to the Bard, and to help them see, very quickly, that his comedies are full of fun stuff. You can hook them right away on the outrageous situations and mistaken identities and give them a good grasp of plots. It's a great way to lay the groundwork for later and deeper enjoyment.
Another terrific intro book is Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, which offers the same type of summarized story but with a bit more detail and length.
I'll be back soon to talk about how we plan to wrap up our year in the Middle Ages.