How to celebrate? Shakespeare.org.uk have some suggestions, including a Romeo and Juliet speed dating session! Good luck with that, meanwhile, here are some less adventurous ideas from The Book Chook.
You could make April 23 your own Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Here are some hints:
Instead of you, say thou or thee
Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back’d toads.
Don’t waste time saying "it," just use the letter "t" (’tis, t’will, I’ll do’t).
When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
How about a dinner party with a Shakespearean theme? If your local butcher doesn't run to "Eye of newt, and toe of frog, Wool of bat, and tongue of dog..." try these renaissance recipes. You'll also find recipes from the 16th century culinary manuscript, A Propre new booke of Cokery (1545) at Gode Cookery. I quite like the sound of "To fry Beanes". Better still, why not sit with your kids and brainstorm connections, however tenuous, between Shakespeare and recipes you think your guests might enjoy. For example, looking at character names in A Midsummer Night's Dream might lead you to Black Bottom Pie. Reading recipes and writing up a menu are great ways to involve your kids in literacy.
The Bard's plays were written to be performed. Your kids might be inspired to put on their own version of one of the plays by this trailer for a Midsummer Night's Dream, performed by children.
I was intrigued by Students Inspired by Shakespeare, a video about Hobart Boulevard Elementary School (Central LA) where kids perform As You Like It.
At PaperToys, you can grab a pdf to construct your own Globe Theatre.
If you're interested in introducing Shakespeare to primary aged children, check out this animated video of The Taming of the Shrew (Part 1) from the BBC. You'll find links to other videos in this wonderful series at this Squidoo page.
Test your ability to recognize Will's words with PBS game, Which Words are Will's Words? The Book Chook, who prides herself on her vocabulary, now hangs her head in shame.
At Folger, you can colour pictures, navigate mazes, try your hand at crosswords, jigsaws and word searches about Shakespeare. You'll also find many teacher resources.
At Absolute Shakespeare, you'll find the bard's plays, sonnets and a wealth of other material.
Here are many Everyday Expressions from Shakepeare's plays.
Can you match these tabloid headlines to the correct play?
1. Moor murders missus.
2. Duke rescued from haunted isle.
3. Tragic double teen death.
Find answers and more headlines, plus link to whole articles based around the headers at 60 Second Shakespeare from the BBC.
(Stratford on Avon historic map 1902 above is in the Public Domain and is from Wikimedia Commons.)