William Shakespeare Lesson for Kids: Facts & Biography

Instructor: Christine Quist

Christine has taught 4th-5th grade, has worked as a Paraprofessional for Adult Learners, and has a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction for Elementary Education.

Have you ever been 'in a pickle' or on what seemed like 'a wild goose chase'? These phrases come from the plays of the famous poet and writer William Shakespeare. Learn more about Shakespeare in this lesson.

Shakespeare's Life

William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in England. That's about 450 years ago! Shakespeare was a playwright, or a person who writes plays, and he is known for writing more than 30 plays and more than 150 sonnets, a type of poem. Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. John was a merchant who sold leather products. William had two older sisters and three younger brothers. It is believed that he went to school in Stratford, England, a town only 100 miles from London, England. In school, he learned reading, writing, and literature.

The Flower Portrait, donated by the Flower family
William Shakespeare

When he was 18 years old, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. They had a daughter named Susanna and twins named Hamnet and Judith, a boy and a girl.

When William Shakespeare was about 28 years old, he was earning a living as an actor and a playwright in London. Around that time, Shakespeare became a manager of a company of actors who put on plays, known as the Lord Chamberlain's Men.

When he was about 35 years old, Shakespeare built a theater for his plays. It was called the Globe. A few years later Shakespeare purchased some other pieces of land that created an income for him. He became a businessman who had enough money to live on while he had plenty of time to write plays!

More than 300 years later, the Globe was reconstructed and re-created to look like the original theater. It opened in 1997 and features Shakespeare's plays.

The Globe Theater Reconstructed
Globe Theater

William Shakespeare was said to have died on or around his birthday in April of 1616. The life of Shakespeare is a bit of a mystery since there are many years where there are historical records about him. Some people believe Shakespeare did not even write the plays, and he was just given credit for them. Maybe you will be the one to find the proof.

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