Let's Celebrate Shakespeare! - National Council of Teachers of English
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Let’s Celebrate Shakespeare!

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. If you look online, there are all kinds of suggestions of how to celebrate his birthday. Here are a few of our favorites!

  1. Perform a Scene — After reading The Tempest or any other play by William Shakespeare, students work in small groups to plan, compose, and perform a choral reading based on a character or theme. Learn more in the “Constructing New Understanding Through Choral Readings of Shakespeare” lesson plan.
  2. Read a Sonnet — In this lesson plan, students read sonnets, charting the poems’ characteristics and using their observations to deduce traditional sonnet forms. They then write original sonnets, using a poem they have analyzed as a model.
  3. Visit the Globe — Here, students compare attending a performance at the Globe Theater with attending a modern theater production or movie. They then create a commercial for an Elizabethan audience promoting a modern product.
  4. Watch a Film — In Reading Shakespeare Film First, Mary Ellen Dakin asserts that we need to read Shakespeare in triplicate—as the stuff of transformative literature, theater, and film. See also the author’s companion website, where she extends and updates the ideas and materials in this book.
  5. “Who Am I?” Another Look at Shakespeare — In this alternative to the traditional book report, students respond to a play they have read by creating a resume for one of its characters. Check out this sample resume created for Shakespeare!

What will you be doing to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday?