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English KS3: Shakespeare's Times and Theatre

Price: £39.95
Age Range: KS3

Young people settle into learning Shakespeare much more quickly when they have some context to the culture for which he was writing. Use these resources to explore the society of Shakespeare’s day. Lesson plans and worksheets include a good balance of material to engage both boys and girls in KS3 Shakespeare. Resources are suitable for Key Stage 3 and include lots of opportunities for extension work.

Topics include: Before permanent theatre; Shakespeare arrives in London; Physical difficulties of writing; Hobbies and sports; Travel and transport; Food and drink; Structure of the theatre; Boys in female roles; An actor's day; Audience behaviour; Costumes; Special effects.

The pack includes 25 web-based homeworks which can be set, completed and marked online using our Yacapaca assessment platform. List of homeworks (requires free Yacapaca membership).

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Size: 62 Pages
ISBN: 978 1 86025 408 6
Author(s): Sheila Walsh
Code: EKST
Popularity rank: 65

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Contents List



  • 7 BEFORE PERMANENT THEATRES KS3 students consider how the need for theatres first came about.
  • 9 THE THEATRE Students learn about the development of theatre in England, and the benefits this provided for actors.
  • 11 SHAKESPEARE ARRIVES IN LONDON Lesson plan helps students understand that Shakespeare was an ordinary person with dreams and ambitions, before he became a literary icon.
  • 13 QUILL, INK AND PARCHMENT Students come to understand some of the practical difficulties in Shakespeare's times by trying out traditional pen and ink techniques.
  • 15 HOBBIES AND SPORTS Worksheet helps students appreciate that people in the past did have some spare time during which they pursued various sports and hobbies.
  • 17 TRAVEL AND TRANSPORT Students investigate how people travelled around in a world without cars, bikes or aeroplanes.
  • 19 FOOD, DRINK, CUSHIONS AND NUTS Students find out about refreshments and seating in Elizabethan theatres, and how these differ from today.


  • 21 THE OUTSIDE OF THE THEATRE Students discover that theatres in Shakespeare's time had very basic facilities - and no toilets!
  • 23 THE INSIDE OF THE THEATRE Students will appreciate how it feels for an actor to go on stage in front of 2,000 people.
  • 25 THE STAGE Lesson plan gives students a good idea of what it was like in the Pit of the Globe Theatre.
  • 27 BACKSTAGE AND THE TIRING HOUSE Students learn about the part of the theatre that the audience doesn't see, and appreciate its contribution.
  • 29 A THEATRE MUSICIAN IN THE GALLERY Students learn about theatre musicians and their contribution to the performance.
  • 31 A CRAFTSMAN MAKES A PROP Students learn how the theatre provided employment for local tradesmen.
  • 33 FLYING THE FLAG Students learn how information can be conveyed non-verbally.


  • 35 TOM STUBBS JOINS THE GLOBE Students learn about actors and their training.
  • 37 TOM'S FIRST ROLE Students consider the problems faced by actors in cross gender roles.
  • 39 PLAYING A FEMALE ROLE Students learn how complicated women's costumes were in the 16th century, and have a chance to experiment with make-up.
  • 41 TOM'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY VISIT THE THEATRE Students consider how Tom might feel about his life as an actor.
  • 43 AN ACTOR'S DAY Students learn that actors were not entirely confined to performing within the theatre.
  • 45 AUDIENCE REACTION Worksheet helps students discover the ways that popular and unpopular actors were treated differently.
  • 47 LETTER HOME Students learn more about what Tom's life was like when he wasn't on stage.


  • 49 MEN'S COSTUMES Students learn about male clothing in the 16th century.
  • 51 DESIGN A MAN'S COSTUME Students learn how social class was conveyed through male dress.
  • 53 WOMEN'S COSTUMES Students learn about female clothing in the 16th century.
  • 55 DESIGN A WOMAN'S COSTUME Students learn how social class was conveyed through female dress.
  • 57 HATS, WIGS AND CLOAKS Students design costumes for some of Shakespeare's characters.
  • 59 HOW DO WE BRING MOONSHINE? Students learn how some special effects were created in Shakespeare's theatre.
  • 61 TRAPDOORS AND WINCHES Students learn which features of the theatre could be used for special effects.
  • 62 APPENDIX Figure outlines (for use with pages 49, 51, 53 and 55).