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Hands-on Shakespeare


Learn Shakespeare with Projects and Activities

We know that Shakespeare wrote drama to be performed in a theater not "literature" to be analyzed during language arts lessons. So reading his plays doesn't achieve the same effect as watching a performance.

But you can actually bring the theater home by acting out Shakespearean plays in your living room. Dress up and be actors, or use puppets instead.

Here are some ideas to add a fun element to your Shakespeare studies.


Shakespeare Paper Crafts - free printables for hands-on exploration

If you want to keep it simple with a minimum of preparation, puppets and paperdolls are great for narrating scenes from a Shakespearean play. When you add that hands-on approach, the learning sticks forever.

Make your own globe theater stage for your puppets.Be sure to visit the Virtual Globe Theater to see what it really looked like.

Enacting King Lear with Puppets

Enacting King Lear with Puppets

Enacting King Lear with Puppets

Masterpuppet Theater - The World of Shakespeare--at your Fingertips!

This set includes finger puppets and backdrops for narrating famous scenes from Shakespeare.

Masterpuppet Theater in Action

Great Characters from Shakespeare Paper Dolls

Reference the collection at Cleveland Press Shakespeare Photographs for inspiration if you choose to design your own Shakespeare paperdolls or dress up in character.

Need printable puppet templates? Visit Puppets for Narration for several links.

Acting Out Shakespeare's Plays - Making it Really Come Alive


If you want to go a bit deeper and get an even better taste of Shakespeare's theater, act out some scenes from the drama that you are studying.


1. Choose a play that you are familiar with and then select the favorite scene or scenes. Your children may even want to do a quick summary of the entire plot.

2. Create a simple script.

3. Plan costumes, props, and backdrops.

4. Rehearse and then give a show.

Scroll to Continue

Read how other homeschool families have produced Shakespeare performances:

Charlotte Mason Help

The Sleepover Shakespeare Society

Irresistible Shakespeare

This book gives six scenes to enact yourself.

As You Like It -- Re-enacted by Homeschoolers

Shakespeare for Kids - His Life and Times, 21 Activities (For Kids series)

The Play's the Thing Board Game


Shakespeare's Globe - An Interactive Pop-up Theatre

What an incredible tool for narrating back what you've just read or for creative play.

To see more pictures of it in action, visit To Shakespeare or Not to Shakespeare.

It seems this item is currently unavailable. I hope that it will be back in stock at Amazon soon.


Onnica on August 15, 2016:

I don't suppose that you have the PDF of the paper toy that you could send me. The link on the website is broken! I would love to have the paper toy. It is awesome!

Highlandview on October 30, 2013:

I love these ideas and I am going to use them this year with my middle school homeschoolers.

blessedmomto7 on February 26, 2013:

After reading the other Shakespeare lens, I had to come visit this one too. Great stuff!

Obscure_Treasures on December 07, 2011:

Hands-on Shakespeare seems to be really effective. Good job.

Shanir LM on July 07, 2011:

Nice lens :) great ways to get students engaged and interested :)

scrapnsew on April 17, 2011:

thanks for this info, I will be using this year!

cdevries on April 07, 2011:

Great Lens! Lots of good information and hands-on fun.

sandralynnsparks on February 14, 2011:

A hello from one "Hands On Shakespeare" to another! Rather like finding we've worn the same dress to a party, except we accessorized it differently! ;) Lovely lens!

lilgirllapbooker on December 22, 2010:

Lovely Lens as always! Really nice!

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on October 30, 2010:

Nice lens.

DecoratingEvents on October 28, 2010:

Jimmie this is a wonderful lens with valuable resources for teaching ours kids about Shakespeare. Leaving an Angel Blessing!

QueSea on October 16, 2010:

Wonderful lens. You bring so many elements together for your readers, it's a joy to behold....and a favorite too.

SpellOutloud on October 16, 2010:

Lots of wonderful examples of bringing Shakespeare to life!

KarenTBTEN on October 16, 2010:

Looks like a fun set of projects for learning Shakespeare. I've got it featured it on my social studies dioramas lens.

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on October 16, 2010:

I love Shakespeare, but my kids groan will I quote him or pull out his books. I need to try some of your ideas!: )

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