Twelfth Night

Key Stage 4 & 5

Teachers' Notes

A Guide to using Teachers' Notes [KS4 & 5]

This online resource for Twelfth Night provides a range of engaging classroom activities that reflect the National Curriculum for English, Drama and Art and Design. These notes will guide teachers through the website and suggest activities which will show students how the director and the cast create the world of the play.

English and Drama
The activities are offered to support delivery of the English Programme of Study for speaking and listening, reading and writing. The Progression Statements indicate the progression in knowledge, understanding and skills in five areas of study:

- Character and motivation

- The language of the text

- Ideas, themes and issues

- The text in performance

- Historical and social context




Each character has their own page with a profile, photographs and commentsabout them from other perspectives. There is an article on Malvolio, Olivia’s steward, looking at his personality and views.

The Backstage Blog provides fascinating insights into how the cast, working with the director and other professionals, add flesh and bones to the characters. These approaches can be transferred to the classroom and will help pupils to think about how the characters interact with one another, what they want and what they do to achieve their aims.

Other activities can be found in the Character and Motivation section in the Teachers Notes. This is available to download from the Supporting Documents list on the right. 



The Tools button in the three selected scenes on the Language page provide definitions of the literary techniques Shakespeare used, as well as edits the director has made to the script. Examples of the techniques are highlighted and students can find others as they read through the scenes.

Activities to develop understanding of the language of the play can be found in Language of the Text worksheet, available to download from the Supporting Documents list on the right. There is also an article by Giles Block on the language of the play.



Activities to develop understanding of the themes are available to download from the Supporting Documents list on the right. There is also an article by Dr Farah Karim Cooper on the themes and ideas in the play that speak to a 21st Century audience.

The Week by Week pages take students through the whole process of building a production from designing the mood boards for the play, to designing a set, creating costumes and writing a review for the play. Each week students are offered an opportunity to emulate the work of the production team and the chance to have their work uploaded onto the site. The activities, which are written by the creative team, support the delivery of the programmes of study for Art and Design.

The Backstage Blog charts the progress the cast make in developing their characters, their voice skills and their understanding of the demands of working on the Globe stage. Rehearsal techniques are described within the Week by Week and Interviews sections, and actors comment on how these approaches give them insights into their characters and help them perform their parts.

Activities to further develop an understanding of the text and the staging of text can be found in the Text in Performance worksheet, available to download from the Supporting Documents list on the right.


Globe Education Online

We have many resources for Shakespeare on our website, including a large archive of previous Globe productions and interviews with actors. Information can also be found about workshops, lectures and other events run by Globe Education.



Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank Online

In addition to this resource for Twelfth Night, we also have an online resource to accompany each of the previous Playing Shakespeare productions, including Romeo and Juliet a A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice and Othello.



Shakespeare’s Globe 360

This free app allows students to stand inside and explore a 360-degree photo-real virtual version of the famous ‘Wooden O’ theatre. Shakespeare’s Globe 360 uses augmented reality to digitally recreate a fully interactive Globe Theatre, the space for which Shakespeare wrote most of his plays. Hotspots reveal dynamic content, providing all the information students need to learn more about this unique building, past and present, with videos from Globe scholars and images from previous stage productions.



Globe Education Shakespeare Publications

These Globe Education editions of MacbethA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo and Juliet include actor and director views and many stunning photographs, in addition to a clear play text and glossary. Furthermore the online version (dynamic learning) offers the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s plays interactively, through video clips and script machines.

Globe Education Shakespeare titles are now available from the iTunes store in an interactive iBook version, with video and audio as well as the glossary, context, activities, and exam support of the paper versions.

Visit or click here to be taken to the iTunes store for the iBook edition.

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