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Macbeth GCSE – Complete teaching and revision resources

Key Stage



Years 10-11


Teaching resources

This download includes 20 lessons’ worth of material, including Powerpoints and supporting resources for each session. The lessons are designed to prepare students for the Shakespeare question in their GCSE English Literature exam.

In the exam students will be expected to:

  • Read, understand and respond to texts. Use textual references, including quotations, to support ideas
  • Analyse language, form and structure using the correct subject terminology
  • Show an understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written
  • Use a range of vocabulary for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar

You also get two lessons focused on academic reading.

Exploring big ideas in Macbeth

Use worksheets to explore the following topics from the play:

  • Ambition
  • Appearance vs reality
  • Gender
  • Guilt
  • Supernatural
  • Violence

These resources has been designed to help students consider the big ideas explored by Shakespeare in Macbeth. This will give students the chance to:

  • read, understand and respond to texts
  • maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response
  • use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations

Key extracts

Use the key extracts booklet to explore key parts of the text from Acts 1-5. The quotes are included, as well as suggested activities, or there’s a template to make your own extracts booklet.

Students can work their way through the booklet, reading important extracts from the play and completing the activities that follow.

The activities have been designed to help pupils understand the text as well as Shakespeare’s purpose, and there are also ‘Extra Challenge’ tasks for eager students.

Pupils should read through the extracts and highlight what they deem to be the most important quotations. They can then copy these onto flashcards and explain why they are important to know. How do Shakespeare’s language choices help him get his message across to an audience?

Students can also link each of the themes in the booklet to the context of Macbeth and explain why it was necessary for Shakespeare to include these ‘big ideas’ in his play.

Bite size revision

Help your students with the following GCSE Macbeth printable revision guides and activities:

  • Scene-by-scene bitesize revision activities
  • 100 questions sheet
  • Knowledge retention battleships game
  • Quotation drills
  • Thinking and linking grid
  • Thinking quilt

Also included is an Easter revision booklet.

Crucial characters

Included are character revision booklets for:

There are a number of ways that students can use this booklet to help with their revision for ‘Macbeth’.

Firstly, they could work through the included activities, considering what each character is like physically, emotionally and psychologically. There are knowledge retrieval questions to complete (with answers at the back).

Some of the exercises will help pupils to expand the vocabulary they use when writing about each character. There is a glossary at the back to help. Students are asked to link the character in question to other characters in the play, as well as the play’s themes.

Another way the booklet could be used is focusing on the quotations box. Pick a quotation and explain what is happening in the play when it’s said.

As well as completing the vocabulary exercises in the booklet, students might also want to take the words from the list for each character and explain how the character links to that word. It may be through something they say, their personality or something they do.

You’ll also find character adjectives sheet and a character connections worksheet included in the download. With the second of these, it’s up to students to think of the connections they can make between characters and explain them in as much detail as possible.

For example, there’s more to say about the connection between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth than just, ‘they are married.’

Stuart Pryke is an assistant principal (teaching and learning) and English teacher. Follow him on Twitter at @spryke2 or visit Browse great ideas to help with GCSE English Language revision.

GCSE – Complete teaching and revision resources
Macbeth GCSE – Complete teaching and revision resources

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