Celebrating 400+ years of Shakespeare

Celebrating 400+ years of Shakespeare

Tomorrow, Saturday 23 April, will mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death and, according to some historians, the 452nd anniversary of his birth.

There have been a lot of claims made about Shakespeare in those 400+ years. Some positive: that he is the English language’s greatest writer; some curious: that he introduced over 2000 words and phrases to English, like bedazzled, new-fangled and swagger; and some negative: that he didn’t even exist.

This week’s post is a little different. Instead of providing you with guided activities and questions, we’re directing you to some of the brilliant resources already available for schools that have been prepared specifically for that 400th anniversary. The British Council’s lesson plans and resources are accessible for students from the early secondary years through to Year 12 and include practical activities, video and audio resources, and extension exercises. There are also a couple of fun articles to help your students understand the extent of Shakespeare’s enormous cultural influence and perhaps inspire a creative exercise or two in Shakespearean adaptation.

As always, please note that the links below will take you to third-party sites.

Have a happy bard-day. Best wishes and happy teaching.

Sandra Duncanson
Senior Editor

The resources

Shakespeare lives
Source: British Council
Includes: activities and resource packs for schools, with creative ideas for teaching Shakespeare to younger students
Content warnings: –
Suitability: 7–14-year-olds

Teaching teens: UK culture
Source: British Council
Includes: activities, worksheets and resource packs for schools on teaching Shakespearean plays (as well as features on other British writers); teacher notes, worksheets and extension activities
Content warnings: –
Suitability: Years 7–12

William Shakespeare: New London Underground map marks 400 years since playwright’s death
ABC News, 18 April 2016
news article about an artist’s reimagining of the London tube with Shakespearean names
Content warnings: –
Years 9–12

Marx, Freud, Hitler, Mandela, Greer… Shakespeare influenced them all
The Conversation, 19 April 2016
Form: article
Central ideas: discusses the many ways that Shakespeare’s works have influenced art, literature and politics
Content warnings: –
Suitability: Years 10–12

Talk to me: developing discussion skills

April 22, 2016

Language variation: what's the kerfuffle about 'queue'?

April 22, 2016