5 Activities To Celebrate William Shakespeare’s Birthday Blog

5 Activities to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday

When was William Shakespeare’s birthday?

William Shakespeare was most likely born on April 23, 1564. According to History.com, he was baptized on April 26th, and traditionally, newborns were baptized 3 days after their birth date. This is why historians believe he was born on April 23rd, which is also presumed to be the date he died in 1616.

5 Activities to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday

Celebrate Shakepeare’s birthday with your students using these 5 fun Shakespeare activities from Flocabulary! Or, if you’d like, use these activities at your own birthday party! They’re educational, too. We’re not talking about Pin the Tail on Puck (though, that isn’t such a bad idea…).

Flocabulary’s 1,300+ standards-aligned, video-based lessons with activities support vocabulary acquisition and comprehension skills across K-12 subjects. These high-quality videos captivate students and create an impactful and memorable learning experience by harnessing the power of hip-hop music, visual art, storytelling, humor, drama, and poetry.

5 Activities to celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday Pinterest

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1. Before kicking off an activity, introduce students to William Shakespeare

Shakespeare lesson video to celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday

This lesson gives a shout-out to the original master of wordplay, William Shakespeare. The video introduces students to Shakespeare, describing his major accomplishments and the characteristics of his tragedies, comedies, and histories. It provides examples of the figurative language that peppers The Bard’s plays and the many words and phrases he coined.

2. Write a birthday Sonnet

Sonnet 18 lesson video to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday with students

Encourage students to write a sonnet about Shakespeare…in the Shakespearean sonnet form. Remind them to use iambic pentameter, as well as the ABAB / CDCD / EFEF / GG rhyming format. Listen to Flocabulary rap Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 over some beats.

For example, they can write:
To the man who wrote all those lovely plays,
I wish you the most happy of birthdays.

3. Write a birthday rap

Are Sonnets a little too formal for your students? Have them write an ode to the Bard in a more modern mode of rhyme: rap! Use Flocabulary’s Lyric Lab to create a rap using vocabulary words from our Shakespeare is Hip-Hop lesson video. This song includes words that students are likely to encounter on the SAT.

4. Write a birthday card using Ye, Thou, Thee, Thy, and Thine

Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream: Act 2, Scene 2 lesson video

These old-fashioned pronouns can be tough. First, teach students how to use thou, thee, thy, and others here. Then listen to Flocabulary’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Lullaby, which uses these words, and “translate” the lines to modern pronouns. Now students are ready to write their birthday cards and put their new and old words to use. “Dear Shakespeare, I hope thy birthday is going well…”

5. Eat food from your favorite play

Students have done a lot of writing so far at this party. Now it’s time to eat! Shakespeare included many references to food. So take some time perusing this great list of foods from Shakespeare’s plays, and prepare some of them for the class together. Perhaps you want some “great meals of beef and iron and steel” (Henry V), some “brown bread and garlic” (Measure for Measure), or “mutton and porridge” (Love’s Labour’s Lost)?

6. Play games from the Elizabethan Era

William Shakespeare's Hamlet: To Be or Not lesson video

After snacking on your mutton and porridge, play a game that was mentioned in one of Shakespeare’s plays. Shoot some archery that conjures this metaphor from Romeo and Juliet: “Shot thorough the ear with a love-song; the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy’s butt-shaft.” You could also play “Handy-Dandy” from King Lear, “Flap Dragon” from Henry IV, or “Hide Fox” from Hamlet.

Celebrate William Shakespeare’s birthday with Flocabulary’s activities

We’re so excited to see you use these tips in your classroom! These activities and video lessons will have your students engaged, focused, learning, and having fun. Bring Shakespeare into the classroom with a creative twist to celebrate him using these Flocabulary resources.

New to Flocabulary? Sign up for an account to access all of the activities and lessons mentioned in this blog post.