The playwright William Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most important writers in the English language. His plays are still performed today, more than four hundred years after his death.
As well as writing his plays, Shakespeare performed in them too. At the time, women were not allowed to appear on stage, so all of the female parts were played by boys.
Teach your children about the Shakespeare using our handy topic guide!
- Show children the inside of Shakespeare’s Globe from this Google Arts and Culture Project. Compare it to a modern theatre, what do they notice?
- Use this series of four lessons from Oak National Academy to explore Macbeth during your drama lessons.
- This lesson from the British Council uses a video to introduce Shakespeare’s life and learn about life in Tudor times.
- Try out some Shakespearean insults in this lesson!
- Retell a plot from a Shakespeare play as a story, or a report.
- Using Google maps, find the places associated with Shakespeare in Stratford-Upon-Avon. For example can you find his birthplace or the Royal Shakespeare Theatre?
- William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon around the 23rd of April 1564.
- Shakespeare wrote three types of plays; comedies, histories and tragedies.
- Shakespeare performed his plays in front of both Queen Elizabeth I and King James I.
- There was no standard spelling in Shakespeare’s time, and each of the six surviving examples of his signature are spelt differently. None of them are the spelling we use today!
- Shakespeare was the first to write down many words and expressions that we use today. These include arch-villain, fashionable and dead as a doornail.
Introducing Shakespeare | i.am.Will Shakespeare
This video is a good introduction for older primary children.
Running Time: 7:14
CBeebies: Who is William Shakespeare?
Younger children will enjoy this introduction to Shakespeare’s life.
Running time: 4:08
A compilation from Horrible Histories, mainly looking at the phrases invented by Shakespeare.
Running time: 8:24
Shakespeare in Shorts: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A retelling of William Shakespeare’s classic play ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ set to modern music. One of a series also including The Tempest, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.
Running time: 3:41
Are you teaching your children about other topics? Explore our full collection of guides!