In fact, Poppa gave me the complete works of Shakespeare as a gift early in our courtship. I never imagined I could start teaching Shakespeare to a child in first grade, but I have found that it is a joy for them; as well as, me.
At first, I was a little leery about teaching Shakespeare in all of its complexity and adult themes. Then I read Why Shakespeare for Christian Students. It shed light on aspects of the plays that I had not considered.
When I read Shakespeare to kids in grades 1-3, we use Lamb’s and Nesbit’s versions of the plays. Before I read, I have the child make puppets of the main characters. While reading, we use the puppets to tell the story. After we are finished, the child glues the characters onto his/her favorite scene.
There are cartoon videos of some of Shakespeare plays that are great for young kids. They use the original language and are in animated form.
For kids in fourth through eighth grade, I read Shakespeare after All before reading the play. I enjoy the background information on the play and the explanations of themes. It opens my eyes to things I might not have noticed and makes it possible for me to introduce my child to those concepts.
I generally try to find movies of the plays that are true to the time period dress and use language of the original work.
When children are in grades 9-12, they should read the play themselves. I read Shakespeare after All and break the readings into chunks of 3-4 scenes to be read weekly over 12 weeks. I read the sections and create an introduction for each scene. I tell them about the reading selection before he/she reads it. After each reading, the child does a written narration.
This is a great age to watch modern translations of movies.
If you don't enjoy Shakespeare, you should give it a try. It has really been worth it for us.