This engaging and interesting lesson aims to improve students’ understanding of the context of the of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Some of the primary topics that are addressed are William Shakespeare himself, James I and superstition, witches and witchcraft, religion, mortality rates, and the theatre. This knowledge should enable students to make convincing links between the play and the events of the time. It is a vital lesson in any Macbeth theme that can be taught before, during, or after reading.
The lesson uses a range of tasks, that require students to be visual and interactive learners. It follows this learning journey:
- Understanding who William Shakespeare was, and remembering key details about his life;
- Identifying words and phrases that he coined that are still in use today;
- Taking part in a quiz about the some of the more basic key events and ideas of the time;
- Researching the key events of the time (e.g. witch-hunts and the ascension of James I as King) and understanding which ideas were prominent. (e.g. divine right and religion)
- Utilising speaking and listening skills in order to communicate gathered knowledge, and obtain knowledge from others.
- Evaluating the learning in the lesson.
All images in this resource are licensed for commercial use, and are cited on the final slide of the lesson presentation.