William Shakespeare / After Reading / /

Critical Events

Working in groups to prepare an oral news report about the death of William Shakespeare.

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from William Shakespeare series

Required reading: Whole book

Text potential

  • Narrative features: Plot: chronological order

Strategies used

  • Comprehension: Summarising


Creating a news report requires readers to take information from the book and recreate it in a different format. They will need to use their summarising skills to pick out the most significant events from the life of Shakespeare.

Teacher’s Note: The writing opportunity, Shakespeare: His Life, follows on well from the learning in this session.


  • Copies of the Flow Map, one per group and enlarged to at least A3. 
  • Copies of Shakespeare, at least one per pair. 
  • Access to the news report about the death of Judith Kerr (or another well-known writer)


If William Shakespeare had been alive in this century, his death would undoubtedly have been reported on the television news. Begin by sharing a report about the death of a well-known figure (see resources below)

You may have a different clip you would like to use for a different person. Watch the report once to get the gist of the content and the second time to consider what kind of information the report contains. Some of the features are:

  • Their age when they died and what caused their death.
  • Significant events in their life.
  • Why they will be remembered
  • Quotes from people who knew them

Organise the class into groups of 4. Distribute enlarged copies of the Flow Map. Ask the groups to decide on a heading for each of the three large boxes. 

The groups will need to work collaboratively to find information from the book to enter into the Flow Map. The smaller boxes below can contain subheadings about the main headings. 

The groups will then use their notes to create a script for their news story. Alternatively, they could present the news story from the notes. Each member of the group could take a different section. 

Different group members could go into role to provide quotes about Shakespeare. They could look at pages 17-18 to find some less flattering quotes about him.  

The reports could be recorded or presented directly to the rest of the class. If possible, share the presentations with other classes and/or parents. 

Final reflection

  • Which was the most difficult aspect of this task? 
  • How did you decide which events of Shakespeare’s life were most significant
  • Did any other groups choose to focus on different events? 

Key vocabulary

headings, sub-headings, significant


You Tube

Report about the death of Judith Kerr, well-loved writer of the Mog series.

Visit resource


Report on the death of Judith Kerr, well-loved writer of the Mog series.

Visit resource

Flow Map

Flow Map


Sam Keeley

Formerly a teacher and local authority advisory teacher, Sam now works with Just Imagine as an English consultant and manager of the year 6 Reading Gladiators programme.

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