Discover writing activities and ways into teaching literacy, inspired by Michael Morpurgo's Tales from Shakespeare

A boy in a paper crown reads from a script in front of his classmates
Photo by Rob Freeman © RSC Browse and license our images

Created in collaboration with Jan Anderson, an RSC Associate School teacher from Springhead Primary School, these resource packs offer brilliant ways into teaching writing outcomes as part of your study of Shakespeare at KS1-3. For suggestions on how to adapt activities for remote and home learning please take a look at the suggestions on this page. 

Adapting Rehearsal Room Approaches for Home Learning

Following years of working with young people and teachers we know that the best writing is produced as a result of working actively with Shakespeare's text and language, as actors do in a rehearsal room. However, we also realise that remote learning means that many of the activities in these packs will need to be adapted.

Below are some suggestions for how to do this, which we hope are helpful.

  • Freeze frames and still images - many of the exercises involving freeze frames and images can still be done online in a remote session by asking pupils to create their own statues, or to collect objects that represent a word or character and share them on screen. If the lesson is not being held online, but tasks are being set and completed remotely, you might also encourage pupils to make their freeze frames with toys or family members and photograph them to submit. Whenever you asking pupils to share images or convey something visually on screen it can also help to ask other pupils to turn off their cameras. 
  • Performances and group work - with older pupils, much of the group work in these resources can be completed in breakout groups online. This depends on the method your school is using to deliver lessons, but can also be a great way for pupils to rehearse readings of the scenes or text they are working on. As they can't perform together, it is also a good idea to ask groups to divide the lines between them and then create movements or gestures to help convey their individual line. This means pupils can still share creative work, and think collectively about the imagery in the words. Challenging pupils to create short films and storyboards for scenes that they then present together can also help them to think in similar ways.  
  • Text scraps and extracts - several activities in these resources require you to lay out text or lines from the play on the floor, asking pupils to write on them and add to them and imagine the worlds they describe. This can also be done by sharing these lines on screen, and asking pupils to annotate them together (if this function is available to you), or to do this independently or in groups so you can then share good examples. Introducing short extracts in this way is important for younger pupils, building up their awareness and confidence around Shakespeare's text.  

Ask Michael

In these films, actor Nadi Kemp-Sayfi asks Michael Morpurgo questions sent in from schools. Watch below to find out his thoughts on Shakespeare and how he gets the best out of his writing.

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