Middle School
English Language Arts

Introducing Shakespeare with The Shakespeare Stealer

This historical young adult novel is a fantastic way to introduce middle schoolers to Shakespeare. A young boy is sent to London and charged with the task of copying or stealing Hamlet from the Globe players. After a crisis of conscience, the boy instead becomes a treasured member of the troop and learns to love the plays. Your middle schoolers will enjoy the suspenseful narrative and introduction to Shakespeare's world.
A Collection By Amelia Franz
  • 8 Collection Items
  • 8 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Introducing Shakespeare with The Shakespeare Stealer
  • bit.ly
    bit.ly

    Dispelling the Myth, Kids Don't Like Shakespeare

    7 minute read
    Amelia Franz says:
    This research article documents a teacher’s successful attempts to dispel the myth that kids don't like Shakespeare. By changing her teaching methods, she was able to motivate and interest her sophomores in performing monologues from various Shakespeare plays.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Since Hamlet is the target for Widge, the intended “stealer” of Shakespeare, why not help your students understand what the fuss is all about? Why are we still reading Shakespeare today? After watching Branagh's brilliant performance of "To Be or Not To Be," they will understand why we still perform Hamlet and study Shakespeare. The captions from this clip will be very helpful to your middle schoolers.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    On Gary Blackwood's Amazon author page, you'll find a list of his books (including Shakespeare's Scribe and Shakespeare's Spy, sequels to The Shakespeare Stealer), as well as a brief author bio.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    With an overall quality score of 3.9 and 37 reviews, this resource unit should provide plenty of practice with citing textual evidence and other text-based skills that your students will need to master. This is a Teachers Pay Teachers resource priced at $7.50 for 30 pages of lesson plans and student activities.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    Actors and production staff take you and your students behind the scenes of a performance of the play. Particularly for some of your students who may not have seen a Shakespeare play before, this might lead to a new level of understanding of everything involved in a dramatic production.
  • Amelia Franz says:
    When your students begin researching the historical context of the novel, this page would be a good place to start. Created by the Kennedy Center to give students and teachers more information about their performance of the play, this "Learn More About" page contains sections on fencing, apprenticeships, the Globe theater, and the Lord Chamberlain's men (all of which appear in the book).
  • Amelia Franz says:
    This three-minute audio excerpt from the book’s beginning would be a great way to introduce the novel to your students. The narration is read expressively, in a British accent. The excerpt ends just as Widge, the main character, arrives at his first apprenticeship.
  • A Character Life Box

    Lesson plan
    artsedge.kennedy-center.org
    artsedge.kennedy-center.org
    Amelia Franz says:
    A well-designed lesson plan from the Kennedy Center requires students to create "life boxes" for characters from The Shakespeare Stealer. The boxes contain items that represent the character, as well as an original poem written about the character. You can download the lesson plans and search an index for aligning the lesson with state standards.