To be or not to be. That is the question. – a Workshop for Groups


Collar Creations

Design your own Shakespearean Collar

Method /

To prepare:

  • Cut a selection of A3 paper in half lengthways so you have long strips of paper to fold.

To begin:

  • Have the playlist ‘Shakespeare’ playing in the background to set the tone.
  • As the group sit / settle down ask if they would like to have a go at making a Shakespearean collar! It can help if you have a few examples to show them.
  • Fold the paper in concertina all the way to the end, you can leave about 3 or 4 cm for each fold.
  • Whilst the paper is folded then you can cut into it or use a hole punch to make patterns in it!
  • Repeat this with a few pieces of paper. When you have a few, staple them together at the ends.
  • You will now have made your Shakespearean collar! Try it on and use a paper clip to hold it together.
  • If you don’t want to make a collar for your neck then you could make a smaller one to wear on your wrist.
  • When everyone has finished making their collars, have a look at the different designs the group has made!
  • What different patterns are there? Would anyone like to wear one? Can you imagine wearing this as part of your day to day clothing?
Example of finished collar
Example of finished collar

What you will need /
  • A3 paper - white
  • Hole punch
  • Stapler
  • Paper clips
  • Scissors
Downloads available /
Playlist available /

Warm Up

Arm, Leg and Body Shake

Shake out to warm up your body

Method /

  • E xplain that you are going to warm up your bodies
  • All together, stretch your left hand out and count down from 10 to 1 whilst shaking it about. Then, do the same with your right hand
  • Next with your legs and feet, give them a shuffle and tap your feet whilst counting down from 10 to 1.
  • Repeat the activity but counting from 5 each time and then 3 and then 1.
  • Finally, give your whole body a shake and a wiggle whistle giving a big cheer!
What you will need /
Downloads available /


Shakespeare’s Plays

Look at the titles of Shakespeare's plays and talk about them

Method /

  • Explain to the group that you are going to have a look at the titles of plays by William Shakespeare. Instroduce the idea that he wrote lots of plays in different genres,and you are going see if you can tell which play is from what genre.
  • Using the list of play titles, go through them one at a time and ask the group what they think the play might be about just from the title.
  • Questions to ask: What might this play be about? Does it sound like a comedy play? Do you think it is about royalty? Do you think the play is about one person? Where might it be set?
  • When you have discussed the play title, reveal to the group which genre it is from! You can also tell them the brief synopsis of the play and see if you were right about it.
What you will need /
  • A copy of the Play Titles
  • A copy of the Play Synopsis
Downloads available /

Main Activity

Sonnet 18 - Poetry Reading

Read a sonnet and talk about it

Method /

  • Hand each member of the group a copy of the poem ‘Sonnet 18 - Shall I Compare Thee To A Summers Day’.
  • Begin the activity by reading through the poem all together as a group.
  • Once you have finished, ask the group if anyone would like to have a go at reading aloud to the group. You could also try going around the circle with each person reading a line.
  • When you have finished, you can have a discussion about the poem.

Questions to ask:

  • How do you feel about this poem?
  • Are there any phrases that you like?
  • What is the mood of the poem?
  • Does the poem rhyme?
  • Are there any words or phrases that people don’t like?
  • Who do you think Shakespeare comparing to a Summers day?
  • Would you compare someone to a season?


  • Ask the group to think about how they would compare someone to a summers day.
  • What things do a summers day remind them of? Blue sky? The smell of flowers? Birds singing? Record these responses on paper.
  • Looking at all the things they think of a summers day, have a go at using these to describe a person.
  • For example: Your eyes are as blue as the sky, You smell like flowers, Your voice is like a bird singing.
  • When you have finished, read your writing aloud to the group. Can you think of a title for your creative writing?

What you will need /
  • A copy of the poem ‘Sonnet 18 - Shall I Compare Thee To A Summers Day’ for each group member
  • Pen and paper to record responses
Downloads available /

Main Activity

Famous Shakespearean Quotes

Look at lines from Shakespeare and talk about them

Method /

  • Begin by explaining to the group that you are going to have a look at some famous quotes from Shakespeares plays.
  • You can hand out copies of the quotes if you wish, or just use one for your own reference.
  • Go through the list of quotes one at a time reading them aloud to the group.
  • Then explain that you are going to add movements to go with each quote.
  • Go through the list again and invite the group to give an action or movement response. Anything goes - there is no right or wrong!
  • Then, explain that you are going to call out a quote and everybody needs to do the associated action or movement as quickly as possible.
  • As you say each quote give time for everybody in the group to join in. When everybody is doing it try another.
  • When you have had a go of being leader see if anybody else in the group would like to have a go at
What you will need /
  • A copy of the famous quotes list
Downloads available /

Warm Down

Pass the Clap - Warm Down

Gentle activity to end a session

Method /

  • Pass a clap around the circle to end the session.
  • You could pick a piece of gentle themed music to accompany the clap going round.
  • When it has been round in both directions end with a round of applause, and thank the group for taking part.
What you will need /
Downloads available /
Playlist available /