Shakespeare for the Classroom: In Honor of His Birthday, Sort of
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame

for more free resources go to http://www.reacheverychild.com/

No one knows for certain when William Shakespeare was born, but he was baptized on April 26, 1564 so why not use that date as an excuse to bring his work into the classroom. Here are some exciting ideas that can be used to meet Common Core standards and are useful for classes from upper elementary through high school.

I really like to read a sonnet to my students and have them discuss it. I use this site (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/shakesonnets) Afterwords they create there own poem about the same subject. Some interesting and creative poetry comes from this, but most importantly when they are done they have to compare and contrast their work to Shakespeare’s and make a case for which one was the best. I let students work in teams based on the sonnets mentioned in the link.

Lots of good ideas for teachers are posted here:
Primary resources and videos of how to teach sonnets and other elements. Excellent.
https://www.folger.edu/index_sa.cfm?specaudid=2

The New York Times
All sorts of ideas to teach Shakespeare and make it come alive.
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/teaching-shakespeare-with-the-new-york-times/

A great idea from the New York Times
This printable gives students an opportunity to learn that they may already know something about the bard.
graphics8.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/studentactivity/20081218a.pdf

These are quick, video overviews of some of Shakespeare’s work
It deals mainly with the plot.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=shakespeare+sparknotes

The PBS offerings
Includes a webquest and more
http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/educators/lessonplans.html

148 Ideas
Uneven quality, but well worth a look.
http://www.teachersfirst.com/spectopics/shakespeare.cfm
98 More Ideas
Lots of good stuff here. I like the Types of Female Characters in Shakespeare to get students interested in reading more. For older students.
http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/12/16/100-incredibly-useful-links-for-teaching-and-studying-shakespeare/

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