About lacimetta

English teacher, mum, blogger, interested in Web 2.0 and its impact on learning, education & literature.

3M 400 years of William Shakespeare

2016 commemorates 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare. Therefore he’s being celebrated all over the world! We must join the celebration and partecipate by doing something creative. First it’s important to start knowing the Bard.

LESSON 1: Approximate time 1 hour.


If you’ve asked yourself the question. “Why do we have to study Shalespeare?” here you’ll find some answers. Why study Shakespeare?

  • CHOOSE 3 REASONS write them in your notebook or copy them using EVERNOTE ( a virtual notebook) and bring them to class.

Here’s some links on W. Shakespeare http://absoluteshakespeare.com/index.htm or this one http://www.enotes.com/topics/william-shakespeare  From the beginning you’ll see there are TOO MANY TOPICS, related sites and too much info and you’ll feel … totally LOST ! Don’t worry, it’s normal! In order to help you cope with that feeling I have selected some links that will make you save time without feeling overwhelmed. You can plunge into the ocean if you feel like but let’s start surfing the lake! :) Here are my suggestions:

1) Watch Shakespeare ‘s short biography. It gives the key events of Shakespeare’s life and work.

2) Watch a BBC video and do the activities  below. Click here:Shakespeare

3) Have  a look at the houses where he lived: beautiful Images of his properties in Stratford Upon Avon

****************************************************************************** END PART 1


I would like to start this second part of the post by sharing with you the magazine Gallant Gossip  created by a class of mine some years ago. I’m still so proud of it! Originally it was just printed as a booklet of paper like the copy I showed you in class. Then I created the on-line version. Reading it is a must as it will inspire you all for our next creative writing activity that, as for now, I want to keep secret. I’ll bring some copies in class.

Gallant Gossip by Laura Cimetta

2) Photos of the Globe theatre: http://www.wfu.edu/~tedforrl/shakespeare/globe.htm and if you like take a virtual tour of it. (The virtual tour requires the free Quicktime plugin for your browser but you can download it from page). It’s like being inside the theatre during a show! If you’ve got an iPad you can download the app and visit all sections of it. The app is free but to access all areas is 0.99€.

2) If you want to have an idea of how many theatres there were in London look at this beautiful map of all Elizabethan theatres: 

3) In the future, after studying some of his works, should you doubt about the existence of Shakespeare as the dramatist who wrote Shakespeare’s plays read this: How We Know That Shakespeare Wrote Shakespeare: The Historical Facts. There’s also a movie Anonymous that claims he didn’t write his plays.

7) Thanks to the beautiful Interactive folio of Romeo & Juliet, you can read his comedy, have explained the difficult words and also listen to it :)

To end this post with a laugh watch this funny Video about Shakespeare’s language :)

Last but not least, for the MUSIC LOVERS this website offers you Shakespeare’s works through music. 

Let’s end this post with Shakespeare’s … dating tips so that you can get ready for your St. valentine’s day :) If you register you can also do the activities (multiple choice ex. ) on the video here. Enjoy!


  1.  a list of the 13 words you didn’t know were invented by Shakespeare!
  2. 60 second Shakespeare’s plays
  3. Interactive Shakespeare
  4. Tudor’s dressing game


4M: William Blake 1757-1827

Next Monday we’re starting to read one of the greatest poets and artists: WILLIAM BLAKE. To introduce the author and spend our “precious time in class” reading his poems I’m asking you to do the first part of this post, step by step.


NEWTON http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/blake-newton-n05058

No other poet could better embody the pure essence of Creativity, the fight against the injustices of his time and the constant wish to balance & blend the OPPOSITE FORCES of life in a PERENNIAL QUEST  FOR HARMONY which will be one of main themes running through our syllabus.  I’ve found a TV documentary you may find interesting. In order to help you while listening, I’ve created some True/False questions with EDPUZZLE. SIGN IN ( = register as a Student; you can choose also as Google/Gmail if you like)  so that I can track your work in the class I’ve already created. 

Since Blake’s message according to the documentary was: EMBRACE A WORLD OF CREATIVITY I’ve chosen this second video animation, highly visual.

You can see his paintings at this BBC Website. They’re stunning and highly impressive. Some of them refer to Dante’s Divina Commedia and you’ll find them familiar 😉

The last video is an animation. Sheila Graber was Commissioned by the Tate Gallery to create a movie for their 1977 Blake Exhibition. She was even invited down into the Sculpture Hall where she actually made the movie in public view – thus demonstrating how animation on cel ( a transparent sheet of celluloid or similar film material that can be drawn on, used in the production of cartoonsis actually done. It follows “The Poets” journey from Heaven to Hell and back… showing that, as Blake said, “Energy is Eternal delight and whether we create of destroy-it’s the same energy.”

Now I hope you’ll be ready and eager to know more about this great artist and read together in class some of his poems.


SESSION 2:  Here’s the poem The Lamb from Songs of Innocence we read in class

Here’s Tyger Tyger from The Songs of Experience

In the next video by the British Library Michael Phillips demonstrates William Blake’s printing process, explaining how it relates to his work as a poet and artist. Filmed at Morley College, London.

TRIVIA & EXPANSION: I guess you don’t know who Patty Smith is, you’re definitely too young but she’s an icon of rock culture like Bob Dylan. I went to her concert in Bologna when I was your age and she was in Italy performing a few months ago. Here she reads ‘The Tyger’ during a benefit concert for the museum Wadsworth Atheneum on October 20, 2011.

If you’re a fan of the crime series The Mentalist Blake was even quoted in one of its episodes :)

TASK: COMMENT How did you like that animation for such a complex poet as William Blake? Does it suit his work? Which of the two poems The Lamb & The Tyger did you like best and why?