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7th Grade Shakespeare Web Exploration

posted Aug 19, 2014, 3:12 PM by Kim Stuart   [ updated Mar 31, 2015, 12:38 PM by Julie Alonso ]

Today’s goal is for you to become more familiar with the context of Julius Caesar, specifically with who Shakespeare was, what kinds of work he did, and where his plays were performed. This web exploration will help you accomplish this goal. Please follow all directions carefully.

Step #1

Create a Google doc entitled “Your Name Your Class, Shakespeare Webquest.” Share it with Mr Drabkin or Mr. de Carion.

So, if your name were John Smith and you were in 7B, your document would be called “John Smith 7B, Shakespeare Webquest.” Don’t forget to share!

Step #2

Now follow the directions on this site very carefully. You don't need to print, so long as you have shared and titled your Google Doc correctly.

Exploration #1: Who was William Shakespeare?

After viewing this video (please use headphones while watching the video!), write a short paragraph (approximately 5-8 sentences) that answers the following questions. You may answer these questions in any order you choose, but the answers must appear somewhere in your paragraph. Visit this World Book article if you need more information; you may need to enter a user ID (townschool1) and password (tiger).

  • Who was William Shakespeare?
  • What kinds of writing did he do?
  • Where was he born? Where did he work?
  • When did he live?
  • Why is he so famous? There have been plenty of other playwrights in history, so what’s so special about Shakespeare specifically?

Exploration #2: What was it like to go to school in Shakespeare’s England?

  1. Visit this website about education in Shakespeare’s era. How does an Elizabethan-era education compare to the education you’re getting at Town School?  Make a table comparing and contrasting the two. (To create a table in Google docs, click on  “Table” at the top of the screen, select “Insert a Table,” and make a 4x4 table.)  
  2. What kind of education did girls receive in Shakespeare’s time? How was it different from a boy’s education? Read this page to find out. Write 2-3 complete sentences to answer this question.

Exploration #3: Where were Shakespeare’s plays performed?

What can you tell me about the Globe Theatrewhere most of Shakespeare’s plays were performed? (Please use headphones while watching the video!) Write a bullet point list of ten facts that you found particularly interesting or surprising. For more information on the Globe, visit this World Book article.  You may need to enter a user ID (townschool1) and password (tiger).

Exploration #4: How did people talk in Shakespeare’s times? (Challenge! Work slowly and carefully on this one!)

  1. Watch this Ed Ted video on Shakespeare and his insults and then briefly answer each of the following questions.
    1. Why is fishmonger an insult?
    2. What’s up with biting your thumb? What’s so terrible about that?
    3. What’s a heartless hind?
  2. Read this guide to the English used in Shakespeare’s time, sometimes known as Elizabethan English, after the queen who was reigning. (It’s okay to skip ahead to page 6.) This short guide will teach you how to sound like a native speaker of Shakespearean English. Read through it slowly and carefully; it’s pretty tricky. Spend at least 5-10 minutes reading before you move onto the rest of this challenge. Once you’ve read all the way through the guide once (carefully!), try writing a brief speech (5-6 sentences) in Shakespearean English. Do your best to use as many of the tips in this guide as possible! 

All done? 

Just for fun, learn how to insult your friends (and enemies) with a Shakespearean flourish.  Click on either of the links below:

Once you have finished this web exploration, please check your document for grammar and spelling.  Double check that you have shared it with Mr. Drabkin or Mr. de Carion.