TeachersFirst's Shakespeare Resources

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The amount of material available on Shakespeare is endless. These original and reviewed resources are an attempt to collect information on the works most commonly encountered in a K-12 curriculum using materials geared to high school and introductory college level students. In addition, we have included links to related sources dealing with the English monarchy and life and customs in Elizabethan England. Don't miss the TeachersFirst Exclusive Shakespeare lessons and activities included in this list.

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A Way with Words or Say What? - Mary Beth Bauernschub

Grades
5 to 8
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Shakespeare invented over 2,000 words and expressive phrases. In this lesson, students use drawing and pantomime to identify and analyze some of Shakespeare's phrases. They then write...more
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Shakespeare invented over 2,000 words and expressive phrases. In this lesson, students use drawing and pantomime to identify and analyze some of Shakespeare's phrases. They then write a story using the newly-identified words, lines, and phrases. There are 2 45-minute lesson plans that enable students to:
--identify words invented by William Shakespeare.
--interpret the meaning of words through drawing.
--identify words by interpreting drawings.
--analyze the meaning of a line or phrase.
--pantomime to communicate the meaning of a line or phrase.
--interpret pantomime to identify a line or phrase.
--write a short story using Shakespeare invented words, lines, and phrases.

tag(s): shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Intersperse these ideas as you read a play, giving your students a chance to exercise multiple intelligences.

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A Character Lifebox - Mary Beth Bauernschub

Grades
8 to 12
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This lesson plan has students work in pairs to create a "life box" of a character in the play, The Shakespeare Stealer, based on the book of the same name. ...more
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This lesson plan has students work in pairs to create a "life box" of a character in the play, The Shakespeare Stealer, based on the book of the same name. They collect five props, a costume piece, or clues about the character and write a poem about the character. Other students must interpret the clues and determine which character is represented by the life box.

tag(s): shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

This is done in two 45-minute classes. It contains an introductory activity, guided and independent practice activities, closure and assessment ideas as well as providing sources. An excellent place to get students started with Shakespeare.

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In Search of Shakespeare - PBS - Folger Library

Grades
6 to 12
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If ...more
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In Search of Shakespeare is a 4 part video series shown on PBS. Though the series is quite good, you are likely to "lose" lower level students with it. If you own it, in conjunction with this site, you can't miss. But you don't have to use the video series to use the site effectively. The site contains a multitude of sources, lesson plans, supplementary materials--almost anything you want to teach in a basic through high academic course on Shakespeare is here. The site is divided into 4 parts: the investigation, for educators, the playwright game, and the show. Clicking on any of those links takes you to a specific site within PBS that digs deeply into the Bard's life, Elizabethan times in both Stratford and London, Folger Library lesson plans, creative writing assignments for students, plus actual summaries and guides for the series itself if you should choose to use it.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), england (55), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Decide what you want your students to know and where you want to begin. Involving them in 16th century politics is fun, especially if you assign them roles to play such as Elizabeth, her sister Mary, the Spanish consul, etc. There are infinite ways to make these times come alive by talking about bear-baiting, cock-fighting, and theatre--the main sources of entertainment among the common people. You might assign different pieces of the site to different students or groups of students and have them report back to the class on what they discovered, using the website itself as a teaching tool. The possibilities of using this site are almost endless.Requires Real Player for video portions

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Star-Crossed lovers Online - International Reading Association

Grades
9 to 12
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This lesson plan puts a modern spin on the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet. Students are asked to create original, modern interpretations of specific events described in the play...more
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This lesson plan puts a modern spin on the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet. Students are asked to create original, modern interpretations of specific events described in the play and apply their knowledge of current technologies to each character. Would Romeo have used an iPod? How would blogging have affected the relationship between the Montagues and Capulets? This is a thought-provoking activity that challenges students to analyze literary elements while considering the effect of technology on behaviors and outcomes. Aligned to National Standards.

tag(s): blogs (86), romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (112)

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Absolute Shakespeare

Grades
9 to 12
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This online reference contains nearly everything a student of Shakespeare needs, including a complete library of works, summaries of the plays, a collection of quotes organized by work,...more
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This online reference contains nearly everything a student of Shakespeare needs, including a complete library of works, summaries of the plays, a collection of quotes organized by work, and a useful glossary of words used by the Bard. Also includes information about the controversial authorship debate, a Shakespearean timeline, and biographical information.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), plays (34), shakespeare (112)

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Shakespeare for Kids - Folger Library

Grades
6 to 12
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of ...more
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Make the Bard more approachable for younger students with this clever, interactive resource. Kids of all ages can enjoy delving into the life of Queen Elizabeth and the works of William Shakespeare. Explore full texts of plays in PDF format, word games and puzzles, historical lessons (some are interactive), and fun facts about Shakespeare and his theater. A word of caution: many of the activities on this site require prior knowledge of Shakespearean plays and characters. Choose wisely based on the level and language skills of your students, and the depth of your study of Shakespeare. Use to introduce the Elizabethan era, review important concepts, or extend a literature unit with a bit of history. Created by the Folger Shakespeare Library. Requires Adobe Acrobat.

tag(s): elizabethan (16), england (55), plays (34), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Share some Shakespearean insults and vocabulary by way of introduction to students on a projector or interactive whiteboard before allowing students to use it individually or with a partner. Access the section entitled "games, coloring and puzzles," and save it as a favorite on classroom computers for use as a learning center or station. Have students complete some of the puzzles or crosswords as a way to review a unit on the Playwright or courtship, courtly love and of course - Queen Elizabeth. Challenge students explore the site and create a quick presentation of what they learned. Students can create brief online posters using a tool such as Padlet, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Shakespeare in Costume

Grades
9 to 12
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While we don't generally list sites offering material for sale, this site, which offers Shakespearean character "costumes" - really just head and neck pieces - might be the perfect...more
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While we don't generally list sites offering material for sale, this site, which offers Shakespearean character "costumes" - really just head and neck pieces - might be the perfect resource for English and drama teachers who want to add a little texture to their play-reading sessions.

tag(s): costumes (6), shakespeare (112)

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Much Ado About Something - PBS Frontline

Grades
9 to 12
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Here's the teachers' guide for the PBS Frontline presentation examining the famous question: were Shakespeare's works actually written by Christopher Marlowe. The site offers program...more
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Here's the teachers' guide for the PBS Frontline presentation examining the famous question: were Shakespeare's works actually written by Christopher Marlowe. The site offers program excerpts, background information, and facts pro and con. Use it as the basis for your own examination of the question, or in conjunction with TeachersFirst's unit on Christopher Marlowe.

tag(s): marlowe (2), plays (34), poetry (222), shakespeare (112)

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TeachersFirst: The Hamlet Quizzes - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a collection of interactive quizzes on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Designed for use as a review tool, the collection includes character quizzes and scene-by-scene reviews of key elements...more
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This is a collection of interactive quizzes on Shakespeare's Hamlet. Designed for use as a review tool, the collection includes character quizzes and scene-by-scene reviews of key elements of Shakespeare's most famous tragedy. The collection can be used in class or independently.

tag(s): hamlet (10), plays (34), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

Share these quizzes as a way to check for understanding while students read the play. As an extension, invite students to create their own scene-by-scene or act-by-act quizzes for classmates to try, using a tool such as Easy Test Maker, reviewed here or Kubbu, reviewed here.

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Perfect Mate - Romeo and Juliet - TeachersFirst

Grades
9 to 12
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Here's a lesson unit that lets students design a perfect mate, then compare it with their parent's concepts. Sounds strange, but this teacher-tested lesson has proven immensely popular...more
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Here's a lesson unit that lets students design a perfect mate, then compare it with their parent's concepts. Sounds strange, but this teacher-tested lesson has proven immensely popular with teachers, parents, and students alike. This lesson plan, one of TeachersFirst's long-popular resources, was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): romeo and juliet (6), shakespeare (112)

In the Classroom

The survey handout included in this lesson makes it a perfect starter for the study of Romeo and Juliet. As you read the play, you could extend the idea by having students complete the same survey as Montague or Capulet parents!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Romeo & Juliet - Time Stands Still - Yale University

Grades
9 to 12
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Here's another unit built around Romeo & Juliet, this one from the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute. The eight-week unit is designed specifically for low-ability learners, though it...more
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Here's another unit built around Romeo & Juliet, this one from the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute. The eight-week unit is designed specifically for low-ability learners, though it can be adapted for other ability levels.

tag(s): romeo & juliet (7), shakespeare (112)

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