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Shakespeare Topic Guide

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!

Choose a section:
Teaching Ideas | Resources | Facts | Videos | Books | Links

Teaching Ideas

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Resources

The Shakespeare Pack

 

Shakespeare Facts

  • 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.

Videos

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

Sensational Shakespeare

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

Books

A Stage Full of Shakespeare Stories

Twelve Shakespeare plays retold for older children.

Mr William Shakespeare's Plays

Seven of Shakespeare’s plays retold in a comic strip format.

What's So Special About Shakespeare?

This reference book is full of facts presented in an engaging way for younger readers.

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