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Shakespeare Education Resources for Teachers and Families

All 2020 Colorado Shakespeare Festival events (including summer camps) have been postponed until summer 2021 as part of the CU Boulder campus response related to COVID-19. We will be in touch with families who are registered for camps soon regarding next steps. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we navigate this unprecedented situation. For more information: CU Presents public health update

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival has compiled resources to help Colorado teachers and families adapt to remote education.

CSF Digital

Welcome to CSF Digital! Currently offered: a series of educational Shakespeare videos for elementary ages. Check them out here!

 

Teach Shakespeare (remotely or at home)

The American Shakespeare Center in Virginia has developed some fantastic resources (Teaching Shakespeare with Play from Far Away) for teaching Shakespeare remotely. These are GREAT resources for teachers hoping to keep Shakespeare in the curriculum, but are struggling to translate lesson plans to an online space.

Royal Shakespeare Company‘s Shakespeare Learning Zone has created extensive content for 14 of Shakespeare’s plays. For each play, there’s an overview (Level 1), a more in-depth look (Level 2), and an even deeper dive into detail about the play (Level 3). Focus is on Story, Character, Language, and Staging. Bonus: content delivered with British accents!

Folger Shakespeare Center created this list of resources (Teaching During COVID-19) to support teachers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Livermore Shakespeare Festival (California) released this collection of resources, activity books, and lesson plans for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders.

WeAreTeachers compiled a collection of short videos about Shakespeare (including a video from scholar James Shapiro on how to teach Shakespeare; a lesson on iambic pentameter; a couple of short Shakespeare bios; and more!)

CSF Study Guides from our touring shows linked below. These study guides were developed for CSF’s Shakespeare & Violence Prevention program, through which professional actors have performed shortened versions of these plays at hundreds of Colorado schools over the past 9 years. We’ve also created a Prezi (online slide show presentation) for each play to help introduce plot, character, and major themes.

 

Off Screen Shakespeare

Feel like you and your kids are spending way too much time staring at screens? (Us, too.) These sites offer activities that don’t require a computer screen, or can at least be printed for some offline time.

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust offers activities, crafts, and resources broken down by age (4-7, 7-11, and 11-14).

PaperToys.com has a printable paper model of the Globe Theater you can download and print here.

Folger Shakespeare Library has a lesson plan for writing a sonnet here. (Okay, this one can be on a computer, but can also be done on paper or on a chalkboard.)

Shakespeare in Spanish and Other Languages

Folger Digital Texts has made this side-by-side version of “Macbeth” available online. English in the panel on the left, Spanish translation (by Alfredo Michel Modenessi) in the panel on the right.

Global Shakespeares Video and Performance Archive has free, filmed performances of Shakespeare plays from all over the world in 45 languages! (Hover over “Video” in the top right, then click “Language” to sort films by language.)

 

Watch Shakespeare online

The Globe in London has a pretty impressive catalogue of live Shakespeare performances that have been filmed and are now available for rent or purchase online. *Note: we have not evaluated these performances for age-appropriateness. Use you discretion for your family / students.

American Shakespeare Center is releasing several streaming titles, filmed from live performances in recent years. *Note: these performances are “ticketed,” meaning you purchase a password to watch the streaming performance. Tickets start at $10.

PBS just announced it’s releasing many episodes of its Great Performances series, including last year’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “Much Ado About Nothing.” Expires June 7!

 

Act Out Shakespeare at home (scripts)

Folger Digital Texts is an online resource with full text of ALL the Shakespeare plays! Bonus: it’s searchable. Find a favorite scene, learn and rehearse it together.

CSF is sharing 3-actor scripts from our touring program! Each script is designed to run either 30 or 45-minutes. Rehearsing and performing these together could be a great family project while everyone’s home. Use your creativity with the recommended props, costumes and character transitions (when an actor changes into a different character). Kids can perform for parents, or whole families can perform for your pets or stuffed animals! The point is to HAVE FUN with Shakespeare. Note: these scripts were developed with a specific violence prevention focus, so they contain introductions that frame those concepts. Each script also includes at least once character that communicates primarily in Spanish. The scripts include both English and Spanish for those sections – use whichever makes the most sense for your family. Want more info? Study guides are available below under “Teach Shakespeare.”

Romeo and Juliet (45 minutes, recommended for grades 6+)

The Tempest (30 minutes, recommended for grades 3-5)

 

More Shakespeare (and Theatre) Fun!

Good Tickle Brain has a giant backlog of Shakespeare cartoons drawn by the brilliant Mya Gosling. We all need to laugh when the world is difficult! Note: these are probably a better fit for middle and high school ages.

The Folger Shakespeare Library offers this hour-long virtual tour of their library and vault, where they store the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare material. (Shakespeare nerds, rejoice!)