Free Printable Shakespeare Memory Game

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Embark on an adventure into Shakespeare’s world with the exciting Shakespeare memory game printable.

Designed to make the exploration of Shakespeare’s world for younger children both fun and educational.

Featuring iconic imagery related to the Bard’s life, works, and the Elizabethan era, this printable game is perfect for introducing children to the richness of Shakespearean literature in an engaging and interactive way.

With its mix of learning and fun, this printable memory game guarantees hours of entertainment for everyone.

Shakespeare Memory Game, a free printable with illustrated cards depicting elements of Shakespeare's works, ready for cutting and playing,

**There may be affiliate links in this post. You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.**

Shakespeare memory game for young learners

Get ready for a fun twist on learning with our Shakespeare memory game! This game is perfect for young students in preschool through 1st grade, whether you’re in a classroom setting or learning from home.

Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

What you’ll need:

  • cardstock (it’s thicker and keeps the images from being seen through the paper, but if you only have regular paper, that’s okay too).
  • Scissors or a paper cutter.
  • A laminator (not a must, but it does help if you want the cards to last longer).

Setting up the game

To prepare for the game, you’ll need to download and print the game printable. It includes 12 unique Shakespeare-themed images on one page. Remember to set your printer to portrait mode. You’ll need to print the page twice to have pairs for matching.

Printed sheets of the 'Shakespeare Memory Game' with instructions and illustrations of Shakespeare-related items like the Globe Theater, a quill, and various characters for cutting and playing.

This game is free to use for personal or educational purposes. Look for the download link at the bottom of this post.

Printable 'Shakespeare Memory Game' layout with illustrated cards of Shakespearean themes like Hamlet, Globe Theater, and props, next to the book 'Hamlet - A Shakespeare Story' by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross.

Once printed, follow these steps:

  1. If you want, decorate the back of each card to make them even more special.
  2. Cut out the images. If you’re using regular paper, colored pencils or crayons are best to avoid ink from bleeding through.
  3. Laminating your cards will make them sturdy and durable, especially for eager little hands.
Blank sides of 'Shakespeare Memory Game' cards visible, with hand-drawn colorful swirls in various hues, arranged for a memory matching game.

How to play

After preparing your cards, you’ll have 24 in total. Shuffle them and place them face down. You can either arrange them in neat rows or spread them out randomly on the table.

Cutting out 'Shakespeare Memory Game' cards, featuring illustrations like Shakespeare, a quill, the Globe Theater, and a mask, with tools such as scissors and a paper cutter.
  • Organizing them in rows can make it easier for young players to remember the locations.
  • Players take turns flipping over two cards at a time, looking for pairs that match.
  • If a pair matches, they can keep the cards or just leave them face-up.
  • The game continues until all the pairs have been found. The player with the most pairs wins!

This Shakespeare memory game not only adds fun to learning but also introduces young students to the world of Shakespeare in a fun way. It’s great for developing memory skills and perfect for history, social studies, or language arts classes.

Part of a 'Shakespeare Memory Game' in progress, with cards showing colorful swirl patterns on one side and illustrations of a mask, Globe Theater, and Hamlet on the other.

Check out the best gifts for Shakespeare lovers of all ages!

Shakespeare vocabulary

Let’s dive into the stories behind the images on our memory game cards. Each one offers a unique snapshot of Shakespeare’s world, giving us a chance to learn something new and fascinating. Plus it is a great way of introducing Shakespeare to young children.

  • Female actor: Back in Shakespeare’s day, all the roles, including the women’s, were played by men. So when you see this card, imagine a man in elaborate costumes portraying famous heroines like Juliet or Lady Macbeth.
  • Hamlet: This card features a male actor holding a skull, representing one of the most famous scenes from “Hamlet.” It’s a moment where Hamlet reflects on life and death, showcasing Shakespeare’s deep insights into the human condition.
  • Globe theater: Picture a bustling, open-air theater where people from all walks of life came to see Shakespeare’s plays. This was the entertainment hotspot of its time, where stories came to life.
  • Hornbook: A tool for young learners, the hornbook was essentially a wooden board with a sheet of paper containing the alphabet, covered by a thin sheet of horn for protection. It was a staple in children’s education.
  • Inkwell: In an age before modern pens, an inkwell was a small jar filled with ink. Writers would dip their quills into it to write anything from letters to plays, making it an essential item for Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
  • Mask: Actors used masks to quickly change characters or emotions, crucial for storytelling in a time when costumes and props were limited. It’s a reminder of the creative ways stories were told on stage.
  • Playhouse stage: The central spot where all of Shakespeare’s dramas unfolded. With minimal scenery, the stage was a blank canvas transformed into different worlds by the actors’ performances and the audience’s imagination.
  • Apples to throw at audience: Audiences were much more interactive, sometimes showing their enjoyment (or lack thereof) by throwing apples or other items. The theater was a lively, communal experience.
  • Shakespeare: Considered the greatest playwright of the English language, this card shows Shakespeare, whose plays and poems have transcended time and continue to be celebrated worldwide.
  • William Shakespeare as a Boy: Before he became the iconic figure we know, Shakespeare was a boy, learning and growing, much like any student today. This card reminds us of his humble beginnings.
  • Shakespeare’s head: Often used to symbolize Shakespeare’s lasting legacy, this image represents his impact on literature and the arts, enduring through centuries.
  • Quill: The main writing tool of the era, made from a feather. This card represents the craft of writing in Shakespeare’s time, when each word was carefully inked by hand.

Older kids will love our free Shakespeare word scramble printable too!

Tips for downloading the free files

Below you will see a large sign-up box where you need to add your name and email address, and press I NEED THIS NOW!

Within minutes you will be sent the free PDF directly to your email address, so you can print it out and start using it immediately.

Sometimes emails get a little wonky, so if you can’t see it, please check your spam folder where I am sure it is hiding.

Download the free Shakespeare matching game

Make sure you choose the correct paper size and click on the shrink to fit button. All of our free printables for kids work better when printed on cardstock (this is the one we use and love.)

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