15+ worksheets on Shakespeare for your ELA classroom - (2022)

So, you’re teaching Shakespeare and want some worksheets? You’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to show you over fifteen worksheets on Shakespeare.

The worksheets range from interesting Shakespeare facts, worksheets for introducing Shakespeare, worksheets about his poetry, and worksheets about his plays.

We also have fun Shakespeare activities that you can sprinkle through your lessons like magic fairy dust, enlivening your little sprites, elves, pixies, imps, gremlins, goblins, and pucks.

Introducing Shakespeare worksheets

Introducing Shakespeare can be a struggle if you don’t have a plan of attack.

Not only do you need to familiarize your students with the time period, social mores, and Shakespeare himself, but you also need to reduce the fear that many students hold about reading and understanding Shakespeare.

While I don’t have an introducing Shakespeare lesson plan for you today, I can tell you my favorite way to start: a Shakespearean insults lesson. You can read here to find out why and here to find out how).

This Shakespearean insults lesson is great because you can use it to introduce Shakespeare’s language in a fun, non-confronting way through an insult battle.

It can be used digitally on devices, or it can be printed out and used as a worksheet on Shakespeare’s language.

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Another great worksheet on Shakespeare the man, is this one that accompanies the Crash Course Theater and Drama video about Shakespeare’s early life. The video and worksheets on Shakespeare cover

  • his early life
  • what quartos are
  • how the First Folio was created
  • whether Shakespeare’s plays support the idea of the divine right of kings, and gives background information/plot of Richard III
  • it also has teacher notes so that you can help students if needed

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This worksheet on Shakespeare accompanies the Crash Course Theater and Drama video on Shakespeare’s tragedies and covers

  • how Elizabethan acting companies were organized and how they performed
  • similarities and differences between Shakespeare’s tragedies and Greek tragedies
  • how Shakespearean tragic heroes were different from Greek tragic heroes
  • and the plot of King Lear
  • it also has teacher notes

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This worksheet on Shakespeare accompanies the Crash Course Theater and Drama episode about Shakespeare’s comedies and romances. Together they cover

  • what constitutes a comedy
  • Shakespeare’s heroines
  • the ‘unfunny’ comedies with an exploration of Cymbeline
  • it also has teacher notes

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If you like the look of all three of those worksheets on Shakespeare, you might like to buy them as a bundle.

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Another great way to introduce Shakespeare is to use this worksheet by Laura Randazzo. The worksheet is an ‘Author Bio’ graphic organizer that students use to research Shakespeare.

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You can use this worksheet in a variety of ways, including as an

  • an individual-pair-group activity where students work individually, then in pairs, then in groups
  • a homework activity
  • or as an emergency lesson when you’re away

Another worksheet that introduces Shakspeare is this bundle by The Supported Teacher. The bundle includes

  • a presentation about William Shakespeare’s background and historical context
  • a collaborative mini-research project about the time period
  • an activity that addresses the four major challenges to understanding Shakespeare’s language.

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The final worksheet on Shakespeare that we have today is this one by Literature Daydreams. Included in the introduction to Shakespeare activities are

  • a Shakespeare research trail with 10 stations and a 2-page student worksheet
  • a presentation on Shakespeare’s England
  • 27 KWL worksheets on Shakespeare’s England

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Another great option for introducing Shakespeare is to sign up with your email to get this free worksheet with interesting Shakespeare facts.

Easy ways to use this worksheet or poster are as

  • gallery walk with other Shakespeare images, quotes, or information
  • as a homework activity to ‘check the facts’ – students could check the accuracy, add on to the facts, or choose their favorite fact to research further
  • as an example of a poster students could make

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Shakespeare’s poetry

Once you’ve introduced Shakespeare you are probably going to want some worksheets on Shakespeare’s poetry or plays.

The first set of worksheets on Shakespeare’s poetry is this one that accompanies the Crash Course Literature video on Shakespeare’s sonnets 18, 116, and 130.

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The video and worksheet cover

  • what a sonnet is
  • what historians know about Shakespeare’s sonnets
  • interpretation of sonnets 18, 116, and 130

If you’re wanting to spend more time looking at Shakespeare’s sonnets, you might like worksheets like this one by Inquiring Mind of the English Teacher Kind.

The worksheet covers ‘Sonnet 130’ and in completing the worksheet students will

  • Read for literal and interpretive comprehension
  • Apply knowledge of the setting, characterization, conflict, and literary devices
  • Determine the rhyme scheme and overall tone of the poem
  • Be better prepared to engage in collaborative discussions about poetry
  • Develop improved reading stamina

The teacher-author also has other sonnet worksheets available in their store if you are searching for different sonnets.

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Shakespeare’s plays

If you have more time in your curriculum to cover Shakespeare, you might like to study a play. Today we have worksheets on Shakespeare’s plays including Macbeth, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet.

These worksheets on Macbeth accompany the Crash Course Literature videos on the play. Together they cover

  • major plot points of Shakespeare’s play
  • the historical sources Shakespeare used and how he altered them
  • evidence suggesting the play may have had other authors’ input
  • themes such as predestination, free will and fate, and how the text explores ambivalence and equivocation
  • Macbeth’s evolution from hero to anti-hero
  • whether or not ambition was Macbeth’s downfall
  • the construction of masculinity and femininity in the play
  • and how the Macbeths transform throughout the play.

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These worksheets on Hamlet also accompany the Crash Course Literature videos on the play. Together they cover

  • the historical context of the text
  • major plot points of the play
  • the major questions the text elicits readers to ask
  • themes such as death, revenge, and conscience
  • the power dynamics of the text
  • whether or not Ophelia was mad
  • how Hamlet views Gertrude’s marriage
  • how much power Gertrude had
  • whether or not Hamlet is heroic

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If you’re teaching Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, you might like these worksheets to accompany the Crash Course Literature videos on the play. Together they cover

  • the basic plot of the play
  • the origins of the play
  • changes Shakespeare made to the original story
  • iambic pentameter
  • how Shakespearean plays were originally staged
  • whether or not the couple were in love or lust
  • the tradition of courtly love
  • the complexities Shakespeare introduces into the story
  • various interpretations of different parts of the play.

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If you’re wanting to save some serious cash, and have loved all of the Crash Course worksheets, you might want to check out my Shakespeare mega bundle that covers his life, the genres of his plays, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, selected Sonnets, and a fun Shakespearean insults lesson.

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Fun Shakespeare activities

Now, finally, we’re up to the magical fairy dust of fun Shakespearean activities that you can sprinkle throughout your lessons.

These activities will hold your sprites, pixies, imps, goblins, gremlins, and pucks at bay for a lesson or two.

First up is this William Shakespeare collaboration poster by Art with Jenny K. The finished project is a great way to decorate your classroom, and an easy lesson to set if you’re away or your kids just need a break.

The activity can be run at various levels

  • coloring for younger grades
  • drawing for older students/art students

The poster can also be extended for fast finishers and older students with activities included in the download, such as unscrambling the drawing.

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Another great option for fun activities for teaching Shakespeare is this one by Teacher Resource Force.

In the activity, students are encouraged to develop a growth mindset using these zen doodle coloring pages with quotes by Shakespeare.

The activity has seven worksheets of Shakespeare quotes that students can choose from. The activity is great for

  • ‘down days’ when half of the class is missing for one reason or another
  • when you’re class needs a reset
  • for homework
  • for days when you’re away

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An added bonus is that the posters can be displayed in your classroom once students are finished.

Another great resource for teaching Shakespeare is this bell ringer bundle by The Daring English Teacher.

The activities include a total of thirty bell ringers, do-nows, and writing prompts. Each bell ringer includes a growth mindset-inspired quote and brief writing response.

The bell-ringers include a variety of CCSS-strand writing prompts: argumentative, informational, and narrative.

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Finally, the last worksheet on Shakespeare we have today is this set of Shakespeare word search puzzles by Puzzles to print.

These puzzles are great for early finishers, fun activities, and to review what you’ve covered in class. In the bundle are a

  • a Shakespeare biographical word search
  • Hamlet word search
  • Julius Caesar word search
  • King Lear word search
  • Macbeth word search
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream word search
  • Othello word search
  • Romeo and Juliet word search
  • The Taming of the Shrew word search

Each puzzle covers at least 25 vocabulary words and an answer key is included.

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Other Shakespeare posts you might like:

Now, if you’ve made it this far into the post, you are probably keen to learn more about teaching Shakespeare. Some other blog posts that you might find helpful include:

  • Worried about teaching Shakespeare? How to make it fun + easy
  • 5 awesome free resources to teach Shakespeare
  • Fun, engaging, and easy Shakespearean insults lesson you have to try
  • 12 excellent teaching resources for Macbeth – make Macbeth easy
  • 13 easy, engaging lessons for Romeo and Juliet
  • Teaching Shakespeare in high school: 7 easy tips

You can also sign up for a freebie poster with interesting facts on Shakespeare.

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