TeachersFirst's Shakespeare Resources
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.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): shakespeare (133)
In the ClassroomIntroduce Shakespeare before reading any of his works by having the students do a jigsaw. Have students number off in groups of four. Three of the students should investigate two tabs each (exclude Citations and Opinions). One student should look only at "Best of the Web" since it is rather extensive. Have students get in their expert groups based on the tab(s) they will read and jot down notes. Once everyone has completed the work have them report out to their original group what they found that was important or interesting. Have groups create multimedia presentations to share with the class. Have your students create an interactive online poster using 16745, reviewed here. Another idea, have students create podcasts using a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here, or hallenge students to narrate a picture of Shakespeare using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.
Grades1 to 12
In the ClassroomVirtual field trips from this website could be used on the interactive whiteboard or projector as a whole class activity. A better use could be to create a question sheet that mirrors the trip and have students work through the field trip at their own pace in lab, either with partners or individually. Follow up by challenging student groups to create an interactive guidebook to their topic using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. With younger students, make a class book together.
Grades5 to 9
In the ClassroomFrom 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.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomHave 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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.
Grades11 to 12
In the ClassroomThe 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.
Grades10 to 12
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.
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades3 to 12
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..
In the ClassroomTeachers 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomEnglish 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomPull 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.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomSince 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.
Grades4 to 12
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 (276)
In the ClassroomDepending 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).
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomShare 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.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTry 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.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomThis 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.
Grades9 to 12
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.
In the ClassroomAfter trying these lesson ideas, you may be tempted to apply some of the techniques with other readings, as well.
Grades9 to 12
tag(s): shakespeare (133)