Young woman and man behind tree branch, with skull.

Books & Apps

Primary School

A couple of charming books to introduce Shakespeare to a young audience:

William Shakespeare & the Globe by Aliki (Harper Collins, 1999)

The Boy the Bear, the Baron, the Bard by Gregory Rogers (Allen & Unwin, 2008)

The National Archives: Shakespeare Unclassified by Nick Hunter (Bloomsbury, 2016). This is a basic introduction to Shakespeare and his period, but supported by excellent images of original documents. I do wish they had done a better job of labelling clearly when the pictures are of later, imagined artwork Рit may be obvious to an adult, but will not be to children.

Teaching ideas to use with younger children:

Beginning Shakespeare 4-11 by Joe Winston and Miles Tandy (Routledge, 2012)

Stepping into Shakespeare by Rex Gibson (Cambridge UP, 2000)

Secondary School

Shakespeare’s Language by Rex Gibson (Cambridge UP, 1997)

Teaching Shakespeare by Rex Gibson (yes, this guy is the bomb) (Cambridge UP, 1998)

Instant Shakespeare by Louis Fantasia (Ivan R. Dee, 2002)

There is a great selection of Manga Shakespeare titles.


There are countless Shakespeare-related apps on the market, but most appear quite hastily thrown together, and limited in what they do. Most of the larger publication houses are working on annotated, digitalised copies of the plays and poems, that are yet to be released. The insult generators are always amusing.

Shakespeare Pro is a clearly laid-out and easily navigable complete works.

Shakespeare’s Globe 360 gives a brilliant interactive and informative tour of the rebuilt Bankside Globe theatre.

Pollock’s Toy Theatre gives you the chance to move little cut out figures from A Midsummer Night’s Dream around a pretend stage while recording dialogue. It’s silly, but adorable.

Starting Shakespeare, from the Bell Shakespeare Company is limited but has a few appealing activities relating to Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Yorick offers searchable Shakespeare monologues, designed mainly for actors, but useful for teachers, too.

The Folger Luminary Shakespeare Anthology has seven plays available so far. They will cost you a tenner a pop, but include a stack of resources and very soundly researched annotations.

Shakespeare in Bits is expensive, but offers a comprehensive teaching approach, with breakdowns, annotations, audio and questions. Worth looking at if you can persuade your school to fund the purchase.

More in-depth examinations of the teaching of Shakespeare

Teaching Shakespeare Beyond the Centre: Australasian Perspectives edited by Kate Flaherty, Penny Gay, Liam Semler (Palgrave, 2013)

Transforming the Teaching of Shakespeare with the Royal Shakespeare Company by Joe Winston (Arden Shakespeare, 2015)

Suggestions are welcome to