March 10, 2021
Shakespeare Week is a national annual celebration giving primary school aged children opportunities for enriching and enjoyable early experiences of Shakespeare. Coordinated by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare week gives primary school aged children a chance to have a great first encounter with Shakespeare – his characters, stories and language.
This year the week runs from 15 – 21 March and carries the theme of wellbeing. Shakespeare’s own story and his timeless works are amongst the most powerful and profound avenues for understanding ourselves and our experience in the world. This year’s theme is designed to offer teachers, home educators and parents with valuable resources and activities, using Shakespeare’s works and his language to inspire children and support their emotional wellbeing. All the resources are available free of charge at www.shakespeareweek.org.uk.
Children age 4-11 can also take part in an exciting competition to explore their identities and make a creative response to the famous Shakespeare quote from Hamlet - “This above all, to thine own self be true...” Supporting the competition are CBeebies presenter Ben Cajee, and teen vlogger and CBBC presenter, Nikki Lilly, who have prepared their own responses for inspiration - it could be a piece of creative writing, poem, poster, artwork, song or video. Full details are available at www.shakespeareweek.org.uk/competition.
You can use one of our many Purple Mash tools to get children to explore their identities and make a creative response to the quote “this above all, to thine own self be true…” Children could use 2publish to write a poem, 2Paint a Picture or use 2Animate to get creative.
Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564 and died in 1616. Although his plays were written 400 years ago they are full of characters, dilemmas and stories we all still recognise. The Shakespeare Learning Zone from the Royal Shakespeare Company gives you loads of information about Shakespeare’s plays. You’ll find key facts, key scenes, pictures from past productions, videos of actors and directors working on and performing the plays AND find out about all the main characters and how they relate to each other.
You can use this information with our writing tools from Purple Mash. Children can research the great bard and write a fact profile alongside using our Shakespeare Mashcam, pupils can put themselves into the role of Shakespeare and show his thoughts and character in the speech bubble.
BBC Teach have also put together a fantastic collection of Shakespeare resources for Primary and Secondary pupils to use during the week. From Shakespeare in shorts – short animated films retelling six classic Shakespeare plays set to modern music or information about who William Shakespeare was and visiting the Globe, this collection is great for informing and inspiring pupils.