Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the William Shakespeare Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic William Shakespeare, and supports the standard of analyzing Shakespeare’s impact on English literature. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students: 

  • What is a play you’ve read or seen that you’ve enjoyed? What did you enjoy about it?
  • What makes reading a play different from reading a novel or short story?


  • Read aloud the description on the William Shakespeare topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE

Students express what they learned about William Shakespeare while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

    • Make-a-Movie: Make a movie that answers this question: What was it like to watch a play at the Globe Theater? (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
    • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map identifying common themes from Shakespearean literature and explaining why they are still relevant today. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
    • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit with symbols and figures representing Shakespeare’s life’s work. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)
    • Primary Source: Examine an excerpt from Shakespeare’s will and cite evidence to answer accompanying questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Evaluate content presented in diverse formats)


Apply: Students complete the William Shakespeare Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the William Shakespeare Quiz


Famous Authors and Books Unit: Continue to build understanding around famous authors and literature with more BrainPOP topics.

Time Zone X: William Shakespeare: Challenge students to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Sortify Writers: Players sort famous writers by attributes, such as poet, nonfiction, playwright, and more in this categorizing game.

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments