Beyond Living Memory: Commemorating History
Shakespeare's Birthday

Be inspired by the life of William Shakespeare while celebrating his birthday on 23 April. Examine events in his life and think about what life would have been like in Tudor times. Learn about his most famous works and go on a virtual tour of the Globe Theatre. It’s party time - host a birthday party for Shakespeare and meet a surprise guest!

Session 1 Introducing William Shakespeare

Objectives

History

  • Develop an awareness of the past, through finding out about changes within living memory.
  • Develop an awareness of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally.
  • Develop some understanding of chronology.
  • Begin to use vocabulary associated with the past.

English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

Examine Shakespeare’s life timeline, talk about key events and dramatise an event in his life.

Teaching Outcomes
To find out about Shakespeare and learn about his works and sequence events.
To discuss Shakespeare’s life.

Children will:

  • Understand that William Shakespeare is a famous writer from the past.
  • Talk about key events in Shakespeare’s life.
  • Sequence life events in chronological order.

Provided Resources

  • Information sheet with portrait of William Shakespeare
  • Presentations covering sequencing events in chronological order
  • Large images for class timeline

You Will Need

  • Class timeline
  • Birthday cake and candle

Session 2 Would you survive Tudor times?

Objectives

History

  • Develop an awareness of the past, through finding out about changes within living memory and to develop an awareness of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Learn about events beyond living memory that are significant nationally.
  • Develop some understanding of chronology.
  • Begin to use vocabulary associated with the past.

English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.
  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

What would life have been like for Shakespeare? Learn about Tudor life and explore the developments of life since Tudor times by sorting images from life then & now.

Teaching Outcomes
To find out about Shakespeare’s life and compare it to their own.
To discuss changes in the way of life since Tudor times.

Children will:

  • Identify some of the differences between life for children in Tudor times and their own lives now.
  • Think about what Shakespeare’s life would have been like.

Provided Resources

  • Information sheets covering Elizabeth and Mary’s day
  • Now and then sheet

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.

Session 3 Shakespeare's birthday party

Objectives

History

  • Develop an awareness of the past, through finding out about changes within living memory.
  • Develop an awareness of the lives of significant individuals in the past who have contributed to national and international achievements.
  • Gain historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts, understanding the connections between local, regional, national and international history.

English

  • Use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas.

Teaching and Activities

Watch clips about Shakespeare’s work and tour the Globe theatre. Children can celebrate their learning by hosting a birthday party for Shakespeare.

Teaching Outcomes
To learn about the Globe Theatre & Shakespeare’s most famous works.
To discuss Shakespeare’s works and consolidate learning.

Children will:

  • Consolidate their learning in presentation to family and friends.
  • Make a model of the Globe theatre.
  • Learn about Shakespeare’s works.

Provided Resources

  • Shakespeare mystery game
  • Globe theatre template
  • Shakespeare’s birthday party ideas

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.