Shakespeare in Bits

Shakespeare’s greatest hits made more accessible, manageable

Learning rating

Community rating

Not yet reviewed

Privacy rating

Not yet rated
Expert evaluation by Common Sense

Grades

8–12

Subjects & Skills

Arts, English Language Arts

Price: Free to try
Platforms: Web

Pros: Effectively supports independent, group, and whole class work. Lesson plans extend learning.

Cons: Animation is a little outdated. Not all plays have the same features. Emerging readers could use support for summary and analysis.

Bottom Line: This is a great starting place for students to connect with these challenging texts.

How Can I Teach with This Tool?

Shakespeare in Bits is a website with interactive versions of several Shakespeare plays, including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Teachers can use this site as an intro and first reading of the plays. Given the interactive features built into the site include things like animation, voice audio, and highlighted text, Shakespeare in Bits can be a good way to build students’ confidence in analyzing the text (and maybe serving as the perfect emergency sub day plan!). 

Use the scene-by-scene lesson plans (available on select plays) to support independent, small group or whole class work, especially if access to tech isn't a concern. The lesson plans’ comprehension, text analysis, and character analysis could also be assigned as homework in a flipped classroom model, saving the critical thinking questions for whole discussion and the extension activities for small group and independent work. Older students and more confident readers could be challenged to create their own extension activities to demonstrate their ability to understand the play’s universal themes. Just be sure to round out your students’ study of the play by sharing videos of theatrical interpretations and movie versions so that they can more fully appreciate the various ways these plays can be interpreted and performed.

The site also features quizzes (for select lessons) that can be customized to focus on either a specific act or the whole play, assessing students’ grasp of the play’s vocabulary, key quotes, or general knowledge. You can select either all or one of the specific categories for each quiz or opt for a mix (i.e. some vocab, some quotes, and some general knowledge).

While most of the site’s content is accessible for all reading levels, expect to provide some of your own vocabulary support for emerging readers, younger students, and ELL students when assigning each scene’s Notes and Summary sections.

Learning Rating

Overall Rating
Engagement

The all-on-one-screen combo of animation, audio, and highlighted text makes the work accessible without being too distracting or overdone. Summaries fix any confusion.

Pedagogy

Each play comes with thorough summaries, text and character analysis, and discussion of themes and imagery. Lesson plans encourage critical thinking. Quizzes focus on vocab, quotes, or general knowledge.

Support

The audio, subtitles, and highlighted text offer a great few steps toward complete accessibility, but more support is needed for playback as well as the summaries and analyses.

Community Rating

No one has reviewed this tool yet. Be the first to share your thoughts.

Write a review

Privacy Rating

This tool has not yet been rated by our privacy team. Learn more about our privacy ratings