The best Shakespeare resources from around the web: all in one place!



We know, teaching Shakespeare to students – especially when English is not their first language – takes a bit of courage and not just a bit of preparation. True, there are a myriad of resources out there, but how long will it take you to find the right ones to use with your class? Well, we are here to help. In this short article, we have collected the best websites with information and resources to help you prepare a lesson on Shakespeare that your students will not soon forget!

Helen Cherkasov

Ready-to-use lessons and materials

If you are short on time, you could start with our ready-to-use resources for Scuola Secondaria di Primo e Secondo grado. Looking for more? The British Council, in partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company, has put together the Shakespeare Lives downloadabe schools’ pack. The pack highlights the key issues, themes and ideas from Shakespeare’s plays and invites you to explore them with your class and see how they apply to your students’ lives today. For further exciting resources straight from the source, why not visit the Education section of the Shakespeare's Globe Theatre website, which provides fun and informative resources for teachers and students, along with interesting activities for 5-11 year old native speakers that could easily be used with older EFL students. The Discovery Space section of the same website has wonderful resources for current and previous productions, including video clips and social network pages for characters in the plays. You can also find inspiration for your lessons with ready-to-use lesson plans on William Shakespeare Lesson Plans, worksheets on Downloadable Shakespeare Worksheets activities for younger students on Kids Love Shakespeare and activities for teenagers on Lessons for teaching Shakespeare to Teens. This last website also offers many other UK culture topics that you could use to inspire your students throughout the year.

Ideas and Resources

If you have a bit more time to prepare your lesson, you can find tips, links and some very good reasons why you should teach Shakespeare to learners of English in this article from the British Council, while this interesting blog by an international EFL teacher will tell you about 5 Ways to Use Shakespeare in ELT. Fun and informative resources for kids and for Shakespeare beginners can be found on Shakespeare for Kids. For advice and ideas on triggering your students’ interest even more, read this article and visit Chestnut ESL/EFL on Shakespeare for stimulating visual aids and other resources. And for a really modern look at the bard and his works, visit No Sweat Shakespeare, a website full of facts, useful information and much more for students of all ages.

Shakespeare’s words and phrases

You will be surprised to discover how many words and phrases widely used today were invented by Shakespeare! But let’s face it, sometimes Shakespearean language is hard to understand even for mother-tongue English speakers. That’s when No Fear Shakespeare will save the day! This website puts Shakespeare’s language from selected plays side by side with modern English, to help you decipher and easily summarize it for your students.

More information

Admit it, now you are really getting excited about teaching Shakespeare! If you did not find enough information at the above links, here are a few more websites that you may want to explore.

  • The Shakespeare birthplace trust welcomes visitors from the world over to Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate Shakespeare by providing a global cultural meeting place for sharing and understanding his works.
  • OpenSource Shakespeare is a great free website containing the bard’s complete works, for scholars and Shakespeare lovers alike.
  • Internet Shakespeare publishes high quality, free materials on Shakespeare’s life and works.
  • The Folger Shakespeare Library provides information on Shakespeare’s life, his works and much more.
  • The Shakespeare Resource Center collects links from all over the web to help you find information on William Shakespeare.
  • Shakespeare400 is a consortium of leading cultural, creative and educational organisations, coordinated by King’s College London, which was created to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016. Its aim is to celebrate the legacy of Shakespeare throughout this quatercentenary year through a connected series of public performances, exhibitions and creative activities in London and beyond.
  • The Shakespeare Schools Festival is the largest youth drama festival in the UK and the world, offering students from all backgrounds the opportunity to perform Shakespeare on their local professional stage.
  • Top 10 Shakespeare books for children. In this articleShakespeare Stories author Andrew Matthews picks out his 10 favourite Shakespeare books for kids and prepares us for dealing with the challenges of adapting Shakespeare's plays for children.

Shakespeare Graded Readers

Speaking of books, have you tried using our graded readers? These simplified books take Shakespeare’s most famous works and make them accessible to students in a language that is easy to understand for learners of English at different levels. Choose one for your class today and embark with your students on a wonderful journey of discovering the world of Shakespeare!

Level 2 (Elementary – CEFR Level A1)

Level 3 (Pre-Intermediate – CEFR Level A2)

Level 4 (Intermediate – CEFR Level B1)

Level 5 (Upper Intermediate – CEFR Level B2)