William Shakespeare was a famous English playwright and poet. His most famous plays include: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Midsummer's Night Dream, and Macbeth. His plays have been translated into every major language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright. Shakespeare's sonnets are considered to be the most romantic ever written.
Born - April 23, 1564
Died - April 23,1616
Activities, Lesson Plans, and More
- Y—Young (PreK-3rd)
- M—Middle (4th-6th)
- O—Older (7th-12th)
- T—Teacher Resources
myShakespeare is a multi-media, interactive, educational website that pairs the full-text of Shakespeare’s works with performances, animated videos, audio recordings, notes, quizzes, and more that students can use to explore Shakespeare’s most popular plays, including Hamlet, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, The Taming of the Shrew, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Also included are teacher’s resources, including including lesson plans, guides, activities, and tips.
RSC: Shakespeare Learning Zone
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare Learning Zone has tons of fun, interactive resources for learning about Shakespeare’s most popular plays – 16 are currently included with more being added regularly. Each play guide includes a timeline and overview of the plot; character descriptions and a character map; analysis of key scenes; breakdowns of themes and imagery; videos of stage performances; and more.
Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Teaching Resources
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has a large collection of lessons, activities, and handouts for teaching Shakespeare. Included are resources for specific plays, language and vocabulary sheets, history lessons, and more.
The Shakespeare Globe Trust Teaching Resources
The Shakespeare Globe Trust has a large collection of fun, interactive educational resources for all ages to learn about Shakespeare, including games, puzzles, and animated videos for younger students; textbooks and downloads; and even a virtual tour.
PBS: Shakespeare Uncovered Lessons
Shakespeare Uncovered, by PBS, is a large collection of lesson plans and other resources that use performances and history to teach Shakespeare’s plays. A majority of the resources are designed for grades 6-12, but grades 3-5 are also included in the A Midsummer Night's Dream lessons, which appear toward the bottom of the page.
Shakespeare Teacher’s Guide and Lessons
This Shakespeare teacher’s guide from EDSitement includes guiding questions and a collection of 10 lesson plans, covering Shakespeare’s most popular plays. For grades 6-12.
Absolute Shakespeare, the essential resource for William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets, poems, quotes, biography and the legendary Globe Theatre. The site contains biographical information, the full text of Shakespeare’s plays, sonnets, and poems, fun facts, quotes, a timeline, quiz, film list, and more.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Plays and Poetry
A complete list of Shakespeare's works. The Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare. This site has offered Shakespeare's plays and poetry to the Internet community since 1993.
The Complete Work of William Shakespeare: Plays
Shakespeare wrote at least 38 plays and over 150 short and long poems, many of which are considered to be the finest ever written in English. His works have been translated into every major living language, and some others besides (the Folger's holdings include translations in Esperanto and Klingon), and nearly 400 years after his death, they continue to be performed around the world. His complete works, along with study guides and educational resources are available on the Folger Shakespeare Library website.
Open Source Shakespeare
OSS, from George Mason University, not only offers Shakespeare’s complete plays, but also tools you can use to search the texts for characters, history elements, and keywords.
Shakespeare for Kids
Check out these fun and informative resources for kids and for Shakespeare beginners, including Shakespearean insults, compliments, and quotations; Short Shakespeare play scripts for kids; Coloring pages; and more. From the Folger Shakespeare Library website.
Shakespeare Online provides free, original, and accurate information on Shakespeare to students, teachers, and Shakespeare enthusiasts. Included are study guides, analyses, quizzes, and more.
This free resource includes summaries and analyses of the Shakespeare's complete works. Includes reviews of characters, tone, plot, imagery, prose, figures of speech, and more.
LibriVox: Shakespeare and Related Texts Audio Recordings
Shakespeare sonnets and other sound recordings from LibriVox that are listed as Public Domain in the USA.
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare
Beloved children's author E Nesbit wrote Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare as a way for children and adults alike to understand the works of Shakespeare. Find audio files of her book on LibriVox.
Tales from Shakespeare
These retellings of Shakespeare's works by Charles and Mary Lamb were meant to introduce the youngest learners to Shakespeare, but these audio files provide a gentle introduction to Shakespeare for any age. From LibriVox.
Speak The Speech: Universal Shakespearean Broadcasting
Find audio recordings of full-cast productions of some of the most popular Shakespeare plays, including: As You Like It, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and A Winter's Tale.
TeachersFirst Quizzes for Hamlet
Teachers First has created a set of interactive quizzes for selected portions of Hamlet. These include general introductory quizzes, as well as quizzes on important quotations and selected scenes. Each quiz offers immediate feedback - and occasional hints - to help students better understand Shakespeare's text.
Teaching Shakespeare Through Exercises on Acting and on the Basic Emotions
A series of activities and exercises from educator Gerald Grow that have students analyze Shakespearean plays via identifying and reproducing emotions, character analysis, and more. Plays mentioned: Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and The Winter's Tale.
The English Renaissance in Context (ERIC)
ERIC offers a set of tutorials on some of Shakespeare's plays to make learning Shakespeare more approachable.
William Shakespeare Background Information & Teaching Ideas
This free resource from Varsity Tutors provides teaching tips, study guides, and more to make learning Shakespeare more approachable.
William Shakespeare with the Literature Network
The Literature Network offers searchable online literature for the student, educator, or enthusiast. The website has short stories, poems, plays, a quotations database, and literature quizzes.
TeachersFirst's Shakespeare Resources
TeachersFirst has a large collection of lessons and resource links on William Shakespeare, based on his most popular works. In addition, there are links to related sources dealing with the English monarchy and life and customs in Elizabethan England. For grades 5-12.
Shakespeare Resource Center: BardWeb.net
Collected links from all over the World Wide Web to help students discover William Shakespeare. There are millions of pages that reference Shakespeare on the Internet. This site aims to make it a little easier to find the most useful ones.
William Shakespeare Resource Links
This resource roundup from Surfing the Net with Kids includes William Shakespeare resource links for lesson plans, full text works, study guides, quizzes, fun, and more.
7 Types of Female Characters in Shakespeare's Plays
Certain types of female characters often resurface in Shakespeare's plays, telling us a great deal about his view of women and their status in Shakespeare's time. This article from Thoughtco gives insight and ideas for further study on Shakespeare's works.
A Collection of Shakespeare Lesson Plans
From Thoughtco, this webpage offers lesson plan ideas to help students understand the Bard's verse, themes, and more.
List of Phrases Shakespeare Invented
Four centuries after his death, we are still using Shakespeare's phrases in our everyday speech. This list of phrases Shakespeare invented is a testament that the Bard has had a huge influence on the English language.
The Influence of the Renaissance in Shakespeare's Work
This article from Thoughtco helps readers obtain insight into Shakespeare's life and world.
This fun insult generator from Pangloss.com comes up with actual insults from Shakespeare's work, including the name of the work from which each is taken.
What's So Great About Shakespeare?
A homeschooling mom talks about many important reasons she teaches Shakespeare to her children. From Higher Up and Further In.
Hip-Hop & Shakespeare? Akala TED Talk (Video)
An excellent TED talk by Akala, a hip hop artist who fuses rap/rock/electro-punk with lyrical storytelling. He "demonstrates and explores the connections between Shakespeare and Hip-Hop, and the wider cultural debate around language and its power."
William Shakespeare Biography and Study Guide
Explore the life and works of William Shakespeare through study guides, homework help, lesson plans, critical essays, and a concise biography. From enotes.com.
“Since William Shakespeare lived more than 400 years ago, and many records from that time are lost or never existed in the first place, we don't know everything about his life. What do we know about Shakespeare's life? When and how did biographers learn certain details?” An article and primary sources from the Folger Shakespeare Library.
Shakespeare Documented is an online library of hundreds of primary-source materials, including manuscripts and documents, that relate to William Shakespeare’s life and work.
William Shakespeare Primary Sources
The National Archives of the UK is home to thousands of primary-source documents related to William Shakespeare, including deeds, court documents, writings, and more.
The Last Will and Testament of William Shakespeare
This is a transcript of Shakespeare's will, complete with original spelling. From the Folger Shakespeare Library.