The Life and Times of William Shakespeare!

Author: Caroline Tanner Sydney
DescriptionThis is a webquest that will help students learn about William Shakespeare and the time period in which he lived.
Grade Level 9-12
Curriculum English / Language Arts

Introduction

By researching his  life and the society in which he lived students will gain an appreciation of the environment in which Shakespeare's plays were written and therefore a better understanding of the plays themselves.

Tasks

Today you will be researching online the life and times of one of the most well-known  authors of all time - William Shakespeare. Working in pairs, you will follow the instructions on the process page answering the questions on the handout by following the links provided to the appropriate websites and pages. You will have the entire lesson for this task which is to be completed for home work if necessary.As you research this topic I want you to keep in mind the differences between the audience of Shakespeare's time and you, the audience of today, considering how these differences affect your reaction to the play. We will discuss these ideas in our next lesson.

Process

Let's get started! Shakespeare's Life Click here to answer these questions. 1. How much do we know about Shakespeare's life? Why? 2. Where was Shakespeare born? 3. What date was he born on? 4. Did Shakespeare ever get married? If so, to whom? 5. Shakespeare established himself as an ____________ and _________________ 6. What day did he die? What is unusual about this date? 7. What did he leave his wife in his will?   Religion Click here  http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/religion-elizabethan-england.htm to answer these questions8. What were the two major religions in Elizabethan England?9. Who dictated the favoured religion?10. Which Monarchs reigned during this time? When?11. Which religion did each Monarch believe in?12. How did each Monarch treat those who did not follow their favoured religion? 13. Why did Queen Elizabeth I ban all performances of religious plays and stories? http://www.musesrealm.net/writings/shakespeareengland.ht Elizabethan Period Click here http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-period.htm to answer these questions 14. What was the Elizabethan Period?15. When was this period?16. What was the most significant invention of this time and why?17. What did this lead to a renewed interest in?18. During this period, what were unexplained events blamed on?19. Why were people of this period superstitious?  20. What were the four humours and what were they associated with? http://classweb.gmu.edu/rnanian/humours.html Click here http://www.elizabethan-era.org.uk/elizabethan-clothing.htm to answer this question21. How was Elizabethan class structure maintained? 22. What was the Chain of Being and what did it uphold? Click here   http://schoolworkhelper.net/2010/08/the-chain-of-being-shakespeare/                    23. What is the Rotae Fortuna?    Click http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/1535026                                                    Education Click here  http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/boys.html  24. What did education depend on? 25. What was the main purpose of schooling? 26. Why were students taught Latin?                             27. What were girls from wealthy families educated in? Click here http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/Library/SLT/ideas/girls.html  29. Why were courses in university conducted in Latin? Click here http://elizabethan.org/compendium/54.html Elizabethan Theatre Click here to answer these questions. 30. What was the general feeling towards plays during this period in time? 31. What was the name of the first theatre? 32. What was the name of them most famous theatre? 33. What happened to this theatre? 34. Where did people sit or not sit? 35. When did they have performances? Why? 36. How many women performed in these plays? 37. what did the audience do if they didn't like the performance?  Shakespeare's Influence Click here http://www.musesrealm.net/writings/shakespeareengland.html to answer these questions 38. What does Shakespeare's work provide reference for? 39. What were Shakespeare's histories a tribute to? 40. What was Shakespeare attempting to do with these tributes? Click here to answer these questions. 41. How many words did Shakespeare invent? 42. Give an example of a word or phrase we have gotten from Shakespeare. 43. Name one poet who was influenced by Shakespeare. Click here for more words or phrases from Shakespeare. Write down two that you know and explain what they mean. We all know that Shakespeare's language is a little different from ours--hey, it was written a few hundred years ago. Click on this link to be insulted "professionally." (which we will see plenty of in the play)!  

Evaluation
  Score
Total Score:
  9-10 7-8 5-6 1-4 Score
Student has answered all questions thoroughly, correctly and in complete sentences. Student has answered most questions thoroughly, correctly and in complete sentences. Student has answered around half of the questions thoroughly, correctly and in complete sentences. Student has answered very few questions thoroughly, correctly and in complete sentences. %25
Student wrote well organized paragraphs with obvious topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences. The introductory paragraph includes an excellent thesis statement and the concluding paragraph does not overly repeat itself. Student wrote mostly well organized paragraphs with somewhat obvious topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences. The introductory paragraph includes a thesis statement and the concluding paragraph does not overly repeat itself. Student wrote somewhat organized paragraphs, but is missing one or two of the following: topic sentences, supporting details and/or concluding sentences. The introductory paragraph includes a thesis statement although it could be clearer and the concluding paragraph is present. Student wrote incomplete or disorganized paragraphs lacking clear topic sentences, supporting details and concluding sentences. The thesis statement, introductory and concluding paragraphs are missing or written poorly. %25
Student wrote the paragraphs using clear, thorough and correct detail. They have demonstrated superior knowledge of the material. Student wrote the paragraphs using somewhat clear, thorough and correct detail. They have demonstrated adequate knowledge of the material. Student sometimes wrote the paragraphs using clear, thorough and correct detail. They have demonstrated slightly less than adequate knowledge of the material. Student wrote paragraphs that were not clear, thorough and/or contained many errors. They have demonstrated minimal knowledge of the material %25
Students makes only one or no obvious grammatical mistakes. Students makes only two or more obvious grammatical mistakes. Students makes three or four grammatical mistakes.grammatical mistakes. Student makes multiple grammatical errors. %25
Total Score: %100

Conclusion

Now that you are familiar with the context of Shakespeare's works - the environment in which they were written - you will have a better understanding of the meaning behind his words as we work through his play "Romeo and Juliet".Hope you enjoyed the webquest! 

Teachers Page

I use this as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet.  I hope it is helpful for you!