William Shakespeare Teacher Resources
Find William Shakespeare educational ideas and activities
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Students examine Shakespearean sonnets as it pertains to the bard and the poet. In this reading Shakespeare lesson plan, students read Sonnet 116 and review the structure of a sonnet and how it works. Students share their thoughts on love and make connections regarding Shakespeare's sonnet.
Use the ideas here for a Valentine's Day activity (or anytime you study sonnets) with your 11th graders. Demonstrate how to analyze a love poem by conducting a think aloud about Shakespeare's Sonnet 29. Then small groups analyze Sonnet 130 by taking turns thinking aloud about specified couplets or quatrains while groupmates take notes. Finally, groups conduct a similar analysis of a romantic greeting card and compare its message to that of the sonnet. Two student handouts are included.
In this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet, students respond to 14 multiple choice questions based on various Shakespearean sonnets. Students may submit their answers to be scored.
"I all alone beweep my outcast state." After a discussion of the "Shakespeare in American Life" segment in which Maya Angelou's relates her reaction to Sonnet 29, class groups create and perform a scene about an outcast that includes the first four lines from the sonnet.
Learners complete poetry analysis using William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 130" as a part of a study of figurative language. In this Shakespearean language lesson, students define literal and figurative language and practice paraphrasing and annotating poems. Learners analyze the poem's speaker, its poetic structure, and poem's content. Students analyze the theme of the sonnet and create a thesis about a the poem based on evidence.
Discover and identify how William Shakespeare created complex systems within his sonnets using both words and the structure of the poem. To begin the instructor will review the basic structural elements, characteristics, and style of Shakespeare's sonnets. Next, learners will read several Shakespearean sonnets and analyze the wordplay, subject relationships, tone, and imagery used. Then learners will read and analyze a chosen sonnet.
Learners examine one type of lyric poem; the English Sonnet. By studying the form of sonnets, students can explain the English Sonnets more effectively in their future reading if them, and they ill also have the tools to compose a sonnet of their own.
The Bard, Mikki Giovanni, Mos Def? “Sonnet 18,” Ego Tripping,” and “Black on Both Sides”? Sure! It’s the poetics. Class members compare the lyrics, rhythm, and rhyme in classic poetry to hip-hop in a richly detailed resource that includes audio and video features. To conclude the instructional activity, participants craft and perform their own poems. Be sure to preview all materials to ensure the appropriateness for your classroom and community.
Looking for ways to implement the words and works of William Shakespeare into your curriculum? This list of activity ideas is a great starting point, as it covers a wide range of grade levels and a wealth of online references to explore.
Students investigate how sound influences meaning in poetry by listening to sonnets. They write an analysis after listening to and reading sonnets.
For this online interactive reading comprehension worksheet, students respond to 8 short answer and essay choice questions based on various Shakespearean sonnets. Students may also access an online quiz on the sonnets using the link at the bottom of the page.
Spark some provocative discussions about attractiveness and the Elizabethan view of women. What is Shakespeare trying to say about female beauty in Sonnet 130? Do you see anything like this today in modern songs? Writers then come up with their own poems reflecting the Petrarchan style. Enjoy this activity for several days.
Poor Cinna, the poet. His dream of “things unlucky” certainly comes true as the mob tears him apart, at first because they mistake him for Cinna, the conspirator, and then continue to “tear him to pieces for his bad verses.” As part of their study of Julius Caesar, class members get their chance to rate a series of sonnets (supposedly written by Cinna) as good or bad verses. Groups examine one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known sonnets, create a tableaux that illustrates the story, and then, using a rubric the class developed, rate their sonnet as good poetry or “bad verses.” Easily adapted to Common Core standards.
Learners examine the difference between Othello's jealousy and his passion. They create tableaux or living pictures to examine the difference between the two as presented in four of Shakespeare's sonnets. They discuss their findings in small groups.
Shall I compare this project to a summer's day? Perhaps not, but you might find your pupils making similar comparisons as they work on their own Elizabethan sonnets. The resource includes an assignment page, a clever student example, sonnet pointers, two sonnet planning pages, and a peer review sheet. Your poets can let their imaginations run wild while they practice with rhyme, form, and meter.
Students examine denotation and connotation in language, and paraphrase a poem. They read and analyze a sonnet by iam Shakespeare, analyze the attitude and tone, paraphrase a poem, and create a thesis about a poem based on textual evidence.
Eighth graders focus on the Shakespearian sonnet as a form and analyze the sonnet in terms of structure, the particular rhyme scheme of the quatrains and the rhyming couplet, the rhythm of iambic pentameter, as well as any figurative language.
Students examine the wit of characters in two plays. For this drama lesson, students read The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary L. Blackwood and Twelfth Night by Shakespeare. Students analyze the puns used in both plays and write essays that reveal how the playwrights used puns to build characters.
Sixth graders explore figurative and literal language. They study literary devices through short pieces of Shakespeare's work. Then investigate Shakespeare's works and life.
Disguises and role playing are the focus of a resource that uses Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Twelfth Night, and Henry IV, Part I, to demonstrate how we all play many parts in our lives; how we all are “merely players.” The many activities ask class members to work in groups, pairs, and individually to create roles and reflect on the implications for the characters and themselves. A wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful, wonderful resource.