Help Your Students Revise Shakespeare

How can you help your Students Revise Shakespeare?

Below we’ve chosen 9 top tips to help your students revise Shakespeare.

We know that William Shakespeare lived between 1564 and 1616.  To understand Shakespeare’s work, it’s important to have some background knowledge of him as a person.

Shakespeare is topic student can often struggle with and sometimes lack confidence approaching. To support your students, we have put together 9 top tips to help your students revise Shakespeare.


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The GCSE English Literature reading list has numerous plays on it and some exam boards even have a whole exam dedicated to Shakespeare’s works. Certainly, it’s important to have some effective revision tips to help your students succeed! So, in order to support your students with their Shakespeare studies, we caught up with one of our expert GCSE English tutors, Heather Holmes. Heather is a fantastic tutor, having been a teacher of English for almost 11 years, she is also an examiner for GCSE English Literature.

Here are Heather’s best tips and tricks for revising this famous author’s plays:

1. Use revision cards to help your students coordinate their revision.

Each revision card could contain quotes/key events for a single character or for a theme that runs within the text.


2. Use mindmaps to help your students revise using old exam paper questions.

Your students can just plan an answer in detail or plan an answer without your revision notes in front of them, to test their memory/knowledge, and then go back to their revision notes and add more detail to gradually build up their learning.


3.  Re-read the essays written in class.

Your students might want to practice these essays again by re-writing them based on the feedback from you.  Encourage your students to ask you to mark them to gain further feedback.


4. Make sure your students know the story inside out.

Re-read the texts again, and if there is a good film version, watch that too.


5. Make sure your students can spell all the characters’ names correctly.

This is a simple but important one!


6. Create a timeline for each text.

This will help your students to understand exactly what order everything happens in. Could your students make this more detailed by adding in key quotes to it to help strengthen your knowledge?


7. Write quotes on post-it notes and stick them around your classroom or encourage your student to stick them around their home.

By doing this your students will see them every day and begin to absorb them. This will make information easier to recall in an exam.


8. Investigate the context of the text, if it’s relevant to the question mark scheme.

This can be a great way to earn extra marks by demonstrating your students’ understanding of the context. BUT, your students MUST make sure it is relevant.


9. Did the writer leave anything out? Encourage your students to ask you for some example responses.

Reading other responses and model answers will help highlight what else your students could add to their answers and improve their own analytical skills.

You might have started off reading this blog thinking: “How can I help my students revise Shakespeare? But now, you have 9 new tips to incorporate into their revision process!

Check out our expert GCSE English language courses to support your students in their learning.