Green Tree Schools Award Shakespeare Challenge

Can you find all the woodland plants featured in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream? (Photo: Ben Lee / WTML)

We’ve teamed up with The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, organisers of Shakespeare Week, to create a challenge all about the mysterious, fantastical world of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Although Shakespeare Week falls between 12-18 March 2018, you can do this activity at any time of year. Just make sure you explore the play and the characters in class before going on a woodland walk.

Take a walk in the woods

Lots of plants pop up in the play. Look out for them using our Shakespeare ID Sheet (PDF 0.8MB). Can you find any plants and trees that look magical? Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for signs of fairies…

  Where might fairies be sleeping or hiding?
  What would they use to make a fairy house or bed?
  What does the ground feel like? Is it soft enough to sleep on?
  Where do you think Titania would sleep?
  Which plants might Puck choose to make spells with?

Find a clearing and create a woodland theatre. Make seats and stools from natural objects like logs and rocks, then tell your own stories and fairy tales. Remember to send us your photos! Quote some of Shakespeare’s famous lines from the play – like those below. They describe the woodland setting where Titania sleeps:

  I know a bank where the wild thyme blows
  Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
  Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine
  With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine
  There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
  Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight

  [Act II Scene I, A Midsummer Night’s Dream]

Use your senses and explore your woodland setting. Collect all the words and phrases that describe it, then write them down so you can explore them back in the classroom.

Back at school

Now it’s time to create a display all about A Midsummer Night’s Dream! Use all the words and descriptions you collected, photos and drawings of the woodland plants you found (especially those Shakespeare mentions), quotes from the play and photos and illustrations from your visit. You can always use your trip to the woods and knowledge of the play to write some Shakespeare-inspired poetry or descriptive passages. Try themes like magical plants, fairies, an enchanted wood, plants, trees and flowers.

How to get your points

Email your photos, videos, stories and illustrations to learning@woodlandtrust.org.uk

Once we receive it, we’ll add your two points to your Green Tree Schools Award account (usually within two weeks).

You can also post your pics, stories and drawings to:

The Learning Team
Woodland Trust
Kempton Way
Grantham NG31 6LL

And remember to include your school name and address so we can add your points!

You can find more Shakespeare resources at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Shakespeare Week.   

> Download our Shakespeare ID Sheet (PDF 0.8MB)

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