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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KS3 Bitesize - BBC

Grades
5 to 9
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Pick your subject for Keystage 3, roughly equivalent to grades 6-8 in the U.S. (English, Math, or Science anyone?) Find interactive activities and lessons in a variety of topics in...more
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Pick your subject for Keystage 3, roughly equivalent to grades 6-8 in the U.S. (English, Math, or Science anyone?) Find interactive activities and lessons in a variety of topics in each subject area. At the end of each lesson is a review that recaps the main points. In the English section you will find Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, and Shakespeare. The Math section features Numbers (basic arithmetic), Algebra, Handling Data, Measurement, Shapes, and Space. Science includes Organisms, Behavior, Health, Chemical and Material Behavior, Energy, Electricity, Force, The Universe, Environment, and Earth. Within each area there are interactives, tests, and review (referred to as revise at this site, created in the UK). There are also specific activities within each of the categories, educational "games," and message boards. Use of the message boards requires registration but it is not required to use the other materials.

tag(s): data (149), measurement (163), shakespeare (131), space (206), symmetry (54)

In the Classroom

From Life Processes to Solids, Liquids, and Gases in Science, Orders of Operation to Probability in Math, and Writing Structure to Shakespeare in English, find a topic for any material you are covering. Share the interactive (or other sections) on your projector or interactive whiteboard). Provide this link on your class website for students to use to practice both in and out of the classroom. After viewing a topic, brainstorm the main points together as a class and use the information on additional problems or interactives within the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shakespeare - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
6 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Shakespeare. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Shakespeare vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Shakespeare. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Shakespeare vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector and embed them in a class wiki. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles! This is a great addition to a unit on Shakespeare or even character education.

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In Your Ear Shakespeare - In Your Ear Shakespeare

Grades
9 to 12
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With today's students plugged into their MP3 players, this site offers a great way to attract students. It has posted podcasts (visit the "Chop Bard" link) that explain Shakespeare...more
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With today's students plugged into their MP3 players, this site offers a great way to attract students. It has posted podcasts (visit the "Chop Bard" link) that explain Shakespeare in a way that students will find appealing and more realistic than reading it alone or aloud in class. Several of the podcasts are geared specifically to Romeo and Juliet, a play often read in 9th grade which makes it familiar and an easy listen for students. The site includes a list of the chronology of plays as well as a timeline of Shakespeare's life. A section of the page also has "Interactive Shakespeare" which is really just a funny little Shakespeare picture. Clicking on it gives students a simple explanation of iambic pentameter and a measured beat of how it works. A caution that there is language slightly bawdy in the podcasts, so preview them first. However, listening to the "Chop Bard" either as a class or as individual students, gives students a lift and a laugh, creating a link with Shakespeare that they have never experienced. The site loads slowly at certain high-traffic times. Be patient.

tag(s): romeo & juliet (7), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Share the podcasts at this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. You may want to make this site a class project, to ensure the podcasts are all appropriate for your students. After listening to the podcasts, have students write a blog entry from the perspective of Romeo, Juliet, or another character from the literature. Or ask students to create an image to illustrate a scene and then narrate it using UtellStory, reviewed here, or Podomatic, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Shakespeare's Staging - Regents University of California

Grades
11 to 12
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This great site gives serious Shakespeare students something to dig into deeply. Of particular interest is a full-length, documentary video titled "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection."...more
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This great site gives serious Shakespeare students something to dig into deeply. Of particular interest is a full-length, documentary video titled "Shakespeare and the Spanish Connection." The documentary links Spanish and Elizabethan theatres in style of performance, architecture, and background. From the homepage, you can look at galleries (basically online picture albums) of Shakespearean productions from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Clicking on the "Videos" tab will enable you watch short excerpts of plays performed in various venues including open air theatres. Due to the academic nature of the presentations, this is probably best used with upperclassmen or gifted students who have some familiarity with the Elizabethan Renaissance and Shakespeare. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

The ideas presented on this site offer imaginative teachers great scope. Using the short videos and/or the albums as jumping off points, students can create their own videos of their own productions. Share the videos on YouTube or another tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

One of the central topics can be the ease or difficulty in staging some of the scenes. Since there are several of the videos where actors describe the experiences playing certain characters as well as short documentaries showing authentic Elizabethan music, dance, etc., students can incorporate their own ideas in making their own scenes more genuine.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Literary Webquest: Shakespeare's Othello - Russ McDonald

Grades
10 to 12
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This webquest grabs student interest by examining the character of Othello as a man set apart from his peers by his race. The task, process, resources, and evaluation are all ...more
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This webquest grabs student interest by examining the character of Othello as a man set apart from his peers by his race. The task, process, resources, and evaluation are all clear and provide ample fodder for interesting class discussions on homeland security, racial profiling, and societal pressure. The quest casts the student in the role of a CIA agent, a proposition most students would find attractive!

Note: the first link relating to how to write a report is not working and neither is the Horizon Magazine, but all of the other article links and MLA source links are fine.

tag(s): othello (6), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

This is a great activity to meld literature and social studies or humanities-based curriculum. Students can choose different areas to search for information and this can be tailored to the students in a given class. Using the information found will spark new interpretation as students then read the play Othello. As a writing activity, have students write a blog post as one of the investigators, reflecting on what he/she has learned!

Since the webquest was made, 3 of the links have ceased working, so teachers need to be sure to take the time to test all of them and find replacements if need be.

In regards to the final product, consider using a tool such as Google Docs,reviewed here, to have students digitally share the end product, vs having a stack of papers on your desk at the end of the day.

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Showing Evidence: Analyzing and Evaluating Information - Intel Education

Grades
3 to 12
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Give your students the skills to analyze and evaluate information with Intel's free "Showing Evidence tool." "Showing Evidence" provides a visual framework to help students learn how...more
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Give your students the skills to analyze and evaluate information with Intel's free "Showing Evidence tool." "Showing Evidence" provides a visual framework to help students learn how to construct well-reasoned arguments and prove their case with credible evidence. Students are prompted to consider the quality of the evidence and the strength of the evidence to support their claim. When an argument is complicated, the components of the tool help students think through justifying a claim.

This web-based tool is accompanied by detailed lesson plans designed for elementary, middle, and high school students. A variety of subject areas and projects are ready to adapt for the classroom or implement as-is. Explore the project ideas, instructional strategies, assessment tips, and research to help you plan a project of your own. Registration is free and creates a teacher workspace in which to build the class project. The password-protected workspace is accessed through the internet where students log on with the teacher-created ID, team ID, and password. Students can access the project workspace from home or though other Internet access points such as the public library.

Be sure to disable your popup blocker, as the site needs to show popup windows during the project. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get these tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): debate (41), folktales (66), shakespeare (131), thinking skills (17)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the comprehensive tutorial to learn the features of the tool and use the workspace to practice with the tool. Take advantage of the detailed unit plans that provide usable handouts and student work samples. Or just browse through several shorter project descriptions for project ideas that suit your classroom.

Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and student computer desktops for easy access. Use the "Showing Evidence "tool to explore themes such as why do we explore, what happens next, is everything we read true, and what is freedom? Have student teams stage debates using their visual diagrams to show their thinking processes to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Shakespeare Mystery - WBGH Educational Foundation

Grades
9 to 12
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Since almost every high school reads Shakespeare, the look at the man himself and the controversies surrounding him make fascinating study for students and pull them into the Elizabethan...more
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Since almost every high school reads Shakespeare, the look at the man himself and the controversies surrounding him make fascinating study for students and pull them into the Elizabethan world (generally making study of the plays more interesting!). Originally aired in April 1989 (and no longer available for purchase), this site offers the text and links to the fascinating debate of whether Shakespeare was the man from Stratford or really an intimate of Elizabeth I, the Earl of Oxford. It is divided into three sections: The Debate Continues, Updates, and Shakespeare on the Web. In a related report, the site looks at Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe as contemporaries, rivals, or being the same man.

tag(s): acting (27), elizabethan (17), shakespeare (131), writing (355)

In the Classroom

This site offers a wide variety of activities from mock trials to timelines to actual discussions of the topic. Having students assume the roles of different participants either as those debating the issue or as Shakespeare himself, Marlowe, the Earl of Oxford, and Elizabeth I enhances research, writing, persuasive, and acting skills.

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TeenInk Online Magazine - The 21st Century and the Young Authors Foundation

Grades
5 to 12
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This print magazine for teens also has a free,online version. While not all the content from the print magazine is found online, you will find a wealth of cool teen ...more
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This print magazine for teens also has a free,online version. While not all the content from the print magazine is found online, you will find a wealth of cool teen stuff there. Written solely by teens, the site includes edgy stories, poetry, opinion pieces, photography, extensive author and celebrity interviews, and call-outs for stories and contests. You need not "join" or "subscribe (at a cost) to read and use the site.

tag(s): photography (160), poetry (229), writing (355)

In the Classroom

English teachers, create your own TeenInk publication in your classroom. Work with your school's technology teacher to have students set up an online publication like the one at this site--perhaps on a wiki. Don't dare call it a literary magazine these days. Use TeenInk as a prototype of an edgy, creative outlet for your students. Put Shakespeare on the shelf for a few weeks and consider using the TeenInk site's content to show story elements and literary devices. If school policies prohibit publishing content online, make the wiki private and share the password with invited guests. Learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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highschooldrama.com - Natalie Hendrickson

Grades
9 to 12
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Created by a drama teacher in California, this drama site has several interesting aspects and promises more in the future. There is a link to organizations, affiliations, guilds, and...more
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Created by a drama teacher in California, this drama site has several interesting aspects and promises more in the future. There is a link to organizations, affiliations, guilds, and unions as well as books that are helpful from Amazon. The best part of the site is the section Drama Notes and Exercises . Based on Robert Cohen's book Acting One , with additions by the site author. This offers a variety of exercises appropriate to the high school setting and classroom, tested out by teachers. There are some simple advertisements at this website.

tag(s): acting (27), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Pull interesting ideas from the Drama Notes as either class enrichment or for inclusion in lessons involving drama, such as Shakespeare and other plays. Students love to "act it out," and if they have a little knowledge on how to do that well, they will enjoy it more and remember it better.

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60 second Shakespeare - BBC

Grades
9 to 12
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This is a fabulous site for the Shakespeare teacher or simply the Shakespeare fan. It includes all of Willie's most famous plays done up in student-friendly and attractive, attention-getting...more
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This is a fabulous site for the Shakespeare teacher or simply the Shakespeare fan. It includes all of Willie's most famous plays done up in student-friendly and attractive, attention-getting form. The challenge is for students to develop their own '60-second' bit of Shakespeare. The site includes examples of different formats and offers everything from teacher lesson plans to "master classes" in teaching students how to do things such as audios, films, and photo slideshows as well as the more common newspaper articles and acting classes. The site also allows viewers to "vote" on their favorite renditions. This website requires Windows Media Player or Real Player. You can get either from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): acting (27), shakespeare (131), writing (355)

In the Classroom

Since you can even submit your 60-second Shakespeare piece to the site for posting, this can be a real challenge to classes in competition. Have each class design its own 60-second program. They can use the ones already posted for inspiration. If you choose, you can use plans already posted by Paul Sibson, an IT teaching instructor, or you can pick and choose which ones you want students to attempt (or make better!). Make sure you have written parent permission before submitting student work and are within school policies. If policies prohibit posting on the BBC site, create a private wiki of your own within your school.

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Welcome to the Universe: Mythology - Windows to the Universe team

Grades
4 to 12
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This site is part of a larger science-oriented site and focuses on the stories of mythology from Greek, Roman, and other major world cultures, and their importance to our world ...more
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This site is part of a larger science-oriented site and focuses on the stories of mythology from Greek, Roman, and other major world cultures, and their importance to our world both culturally and scientifically. Mythology is an important aspect of literature and the humanities. Too often students know little about it, thus losing many of the important allusions that writers from Shakespeare to Hemingway use frequently.

Broken into three sections: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, the site offers a variety of approaches to teaching the mythologies of the world. The maps and family trees are especially nice. Switching from beginner to intermediate to advanced changes the level of depth and sophistication as the expectation for more vocabulary and understanding rises. The map showing different mythologies through continents is nice to show students the parallels between the stories of different cultures and places. The site also includes a "Mythology Hangman," always a challenge for any level of student, and mythology links to other sources on the web.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Depending on what level you teach, your possibilities here are endless. For upper levels, assigning individuals or small groups to different mythologies and then having them "teach the class" that mythology is an attractive prospect. Showing the synthesis among the different cultures emphasizes Jung's theory of the collective unconscious and human archetypes. For younger students, drawing the stories of the different mythologies or writing conversations between Apollo and Freyr (for example) creates some fun while learning stories that influence our western culture. There is a teacher section you can access if you register (registration is free).

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Renaissance: The Elizabethan World - Maggi Ros

Grades
4 to 12
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the ...more
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This site has links to everything you ever wanted to know about the Elizabeth world from a Compendium of Life in Elizabethan England to Heraldry to the transcripts of the trials of the Earls of Essex and Southampton. It also includes a link to a list of more than a hundred recommended sites for the Renaissance and Elizabethan times.Teachers of everything from world history to Shakespeare will find something to mine at this site. The Compendium of Elizabethan Life is especially interesting to those students who want to know "how things worked" 500 years ago in the time of Will Shakespeare. While this is a great research sourcefor Shakespeare, it is also good for drama, literature, and history for all sorts of activities.

tag(s): elizabethan (17), renaissance (34)

In the Classroom

Share this resource on your teacher web page for students to choose different research topics related to Elizabethan or Renaissance times. As you teach Shakespeare, bring up a daily "factoid," text snippet, or image on a projector to take students back in time before you start class.

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Language Arts Presentations - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
K to 12
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Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website...more
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Wow - this website provides ready-to-use PowerPoint presentations on over 100 topics. The presentations were created by teachers - for teachers to use in their classrooms. This website organizes topics by general grade levels (K-5 and 6-12). Just to give you a taste of the uniqueness of these presentations, topics include such diverse topics as Shakespeare, "grammar goofs," active reading strategies, haunted house graphic organizer, phonics millionaire game, pronouns, and numerous others. Any language arts teacher is guaranteed to find something useful at this website. Do yourself a favor and check it out! You may need PowerPoint software to be able to view these files, depending on how the site creators save them. Note: while files are downloading, it may appear that nothing is happening and that the links are dead. Look for a tiny "downloading" icon in the lower left corner of your screen, and please be patient!

tag(s): air (163), grammar (217), narrative (24), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for remediation or review. There are games, resources and a lot of information. The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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Shakespeare and the Classics at pppst.com - Phillip Martin & Don Donn

Grades
8 to 12
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This site is a bonanza for the teacher who teaches Shakespeare! One of the best features is a collection of teacher-made, free powerpoints: some you can use with your classes, ...more
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This site is a bonanza for the teacher who teaches Shakespeare! One of the best features is a collection of teacher-made, free powerpoints: some you can use with your classes, some with parents. These come from teachres in schools all over. The site also includes links to specific lessons or units already posted on the web for many of Shakespeare's plays, his life, or the Globe theatre. You must have Microsoft PowerPoint software to use thes portions of the site.

tag(s): globe (14), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

This is a great way to start many units, especially with students who have had a taste of Elizabethan theatre before. There are powerpoints that can adapted for review of dramatic terms or Shakespeare's life. You could show many of these PowerPoints on a projector or interactive whiteboard, checking student recall/prior knowledge of terms before showing the answers. You can also download and combine several of the shows into one, such as several of the Romeo & Juliet selections. The lesson plans are useable, but be aware of Fair Use rights regarding sharing copies on your own website. (Fair Use for instructional purposes does NOT include distributing unlimited, unrestricted copies on the web!). It is better to LINk to them.

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Exploring the Expository Scenes in Macbeth - Jim Carpenter, Ph. D.

Grades
9 to 12
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Sometimes students miss what is being said as exposition in Shakespeare and are consequently confused for the rest of the play. This lesson gives them the opportunity to explore what...more
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Sometimes students miss what is being said as exposition in Shakespeare and are consequently confused for the rest of the play. This lesson gives them the opportunity to explore what is being said in a way they can apply to other scenes as well.

Getting students on their feet to perform Shakespeare is much easier with some preparation. These 3 45-minute lessons using Macbeth help them do just that. Guided practice in small groups helps the students feel a little less awkward and more confident as well as more aware of what they are actually saying while reading Shakespeare.

tag(s): macbeth (11), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

After trying these lesson ideas, you may be tempted to apply some of the techniques with other readings, as well.

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The Rest is Silence - Jim Carpenter, Ph. D.

Grades
9 to 12
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Wondering how to get students to listen for those setting clues in Shakespeare? Here's a lesson that helps them pinpoint the dialogue clues that Shakespeare used in place of stage ...more
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Wondering how to get students to listen for those setting clues in Shakespeare? Here's a lesson that helps them pinpoint the dialogue clues that Shakespeare used in place of stage directions.

tag(s): shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

For those teaching Hamlet or any other Shakespeare tragedy, this is a great lesson to help them see what they need for stage direction. The pdf. handouts linked here are great. The lesson allows students to work in groups, then perform their interpretation, once again involving them in the script to teach the lesson. Includes 3 45-minute lessons.

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Examining Tone in Parody and Tragedy - Jim Carpenter, Ph. D.

Grades
9 to 12
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Tone is a difficult concept for students to grasp. Using Romeo and Juliet's Act IV, scene v, students can look at it as either tragedy or parody depending on how ...more
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Tone is a difficult concept for students to grasp. Using Romeo and Juliet's Act IV, scene v, students can look at it as either tragedy or parody depending on how the director and actors present the scene. Using drama to demonstrate tone makes it a little easier for students to understand.

tag(s): literature (275), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

Since most students read Romeo and Juliet, this is a wonderful scene to use. They already perceive this scene as tragedy; presenting it as parody generally delights and amuses them, making it easier to see the tone. Using performance to show irony, repetition, and diction also helps cement those concepts. 3 45-minute lessons useable or adaptable.

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A Question of Style - Jim Carpenter, Ph. D.

Grades
9 to 12
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Shakespeare's comedy sometimes escapes students because they can't get past the language. Using As You Like It as a starting point, students can look at different styles of writing,...more
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Shakespeare's comedy sometimes escapes students because they can't get past the language. Using As You Like It as a starting point, students can look at different styles of writing, acting, and directing, thus involving them beyond the written word. Looking at traditional theatre styles also gives them a place to begin and teaches them something beyond sitcoms.

tag(s): shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

This can be done in 3 45-minute lessons or adapted for use with another Shakespeare play. The theory behind it is solid, and the site includes handouts that you can use or adapt to your needs. You will also find several study rehearsal guides and an assessment rubric.

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Shakespeare's Monologues - Steven Shults (ed.)

Grades
8 to 12
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Looking for a monologue for memorization for class assignment, audition, or to impress your friends? You can find it here. Steven Shults has chosen many monologues from Shakespeare...more
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Looking for a monologue for memorization for class assignment, audition, or to impress your friends? You can find it here. Steven Shults has chosen many monologues from Shakespeare and divided them into male and female categories. You can even click at the bottom to have them translated into different languages for your foreign language learners!

tag(s): shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

The choice of plays and monologues included is quite good. The monologues range from short to much longer and can be used for a variety of purposes.

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Elizabeth I - Class 8C

Grades
5 to 8
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for ...more
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While this is a student-posted site, it contains good, simple information about the life and times of the Elizabethan era in England. It is a good source of info for the basics before studying Shakespeare.

tag(s): renaissance (34), shakespeare (131)

In the Classroom

While the info is good, not all the spelling IS. A good exercise for middle school kids is to have them proofread for spelling as they go through. It is also a good exercise in teaching how good content would be better with NO errors via proofreading. It is, however, too good a simple site to ignore.

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