4 Shakespeare Plays To Teach This Year

William Shakespeare died more than 400 years ago, but his plays still resonate today. Most of the themes from Shakespeare’s (at least) 37 plays can be found in modern literature today and even reflect modern concerns of today’s youth. Here are 4 Shakespeare plays to teach this year and the resources to help you share them with your secondary students.


Othello, the title character of Shakespeare’s tragedy, is a rare person of color in 17th-century literature. Bringing diversity into your classic literature curriculum is so important.

The themes of the dangers of jealousy and racial prejudice are also present in this story that could easily have been a television soap opera with secret marriages, accusations of adultery, murder, and drama. Your students will be on the edge of their seats!

Speaking of on-screen drama, Othello pairs well with the movie, O, after reading the play. Check out my handout to use with the movie O and everything you need to teach Othello from character charts, Shakespearian background, task cards, writing assignments, projects for the play, and more in this Othello bundle.

The Taming of the Shrew

Sibling rivalry, as well as issues surrounding marriage and gender equity, are at the forefront of this Shakespearian comedy. Your students will love the interplay between the seemingly sweet agreeable Bianca as opposed to her sister Katherine, the “shrew”.

Differentiate instruction for struggling readers with scene by scene summaries of the play along with movie handouts to go with the play. One of the favorite modern adaptations is 10 Things I Hate About You.

Prepare your students for culminating tests and essays with this all-inclusive bundle for The Taming of the Shrew


To be or not to be? Should you teach Hamlet this year? With these awesome Hamlet resources, the answer is definitely YES! Hamlet has themes that focus on revenge and action v. inaction.

One activity I love to use with my advanced readers during Hamlet is a mock trial when Hamlet goes on trial for the murder of Polonius. Of course, there are many movie adaptations of Hamlet that you can use after the play.I've used this play with both regular 12th graders and with AP Literature students.


Ask 10 English teachers, and more than half will probably say that Macbeth is their favorite Shakespeare play to read and teach. Despite the violence and “double, double toil and trouble”, Macbeth teaches about fate and ambition.

The characters in Macbeth are layered and complicated, which is why I’ve included characterization webs and maps in the Macbeth unit bundle. Incorporate games like Macbeth bingo, task cards and more!

These 4 Shakespeare plays to teach this year should be on your list because of the modern themes, media connections, and in-depth analysis opportunities. Stretch your students’ understandings of classic literature with my Ultimate Shakespeare Package including these four and other Shakespeare plays you can teach this year!

Here's another blog post I wrote about Shakespeare's Birthday which most people believe is April 23rd.

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