Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks

Activity overview:

Queen Elizabeth I loves her treasure... learn a phrase from Shakespeare that is still in use today.

For the transcript click 'SHOW MORE'.

For activities and extra materials connected to this episode:

Shakespeare Speaks is a co-production by BBC Learning English and The Open University.

The year is 1599. William Shakespeare is at the palace of Queen Elizabeth I of England. The Queen has ordered Shakespeare to write another play.

Queen Elizabeth I
Mr Shakespeare. Tell me about my new play.

Your Majesty, The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy, in which Sir John Falstaff tries to trick two married ladies into giving him money behind their husbands' backs.

Queen Elizabeth I
Falstaff! Hahaha! He is such a wicked man... that's why I like him. Or maybe he reminds me of our dear friend Sir Walter Raleigh, who brings me treasure from around the world. Look at my pearls, taken from a Spanish ship by Raleigh and brought to me as a gift.

They are beautiful, your Majesty. Whoever could guess that such a creature, deep in the ocean, could contain the most beautiful, precious treasure: a pearl?!

Queen Elizabeth I
Yessss... to Raleigh, the whole world is an oyster... full of treasure, ready for the taking. By force if need be... he is not afraid to use the sword to bring me my treasure.

Mr Raleigh is your loyal servant, your Majesty, as am I.

Queen Elizabeth I
To Falstaff. What of his trickery?

Your Majesty, while Falstaff is trying to get money from the wives, his friend Pistol is trying to get money out of him!

Queen Elizabeth I
Hahaha! Does he get it?

Falstaff tells Pistol he won't give him a penny. Pistol becomes angry and says he'll get his sword and open up Falstaff's money bag - or any money bag he can find - like he's opening an oyster with a knife! It goes like this. I will not lend thee a penny...

Thomas Swann as Falstaff
I will not lend thee a penny.

Robert Harley as Pistol
Why, then the world's mine oyster.
Which I with sword will open.

Queen Elizabeth I
The world's mine oyster. It's full of money and treasure. Quite right, Mr Shakespeare, quite right.

We'll leave them there for now. The Merry Wives of Windsor was Shakespeare's only comedy to be set entirely in England, and it's considered to be his most realistic portrayal of the daily lives of ordinary people. Think of it as the original 'Real Housewives'. In Shakespeare's play, the phrase the world's mine oyster was used as a threat - but today, it has become the world's my oyster - or your oyster - and it describes situations that contain wonderful opportunities. Take US entrepreneur Chris Gardner, who wrote in his autobiography The Pursuit of Happyness:

Clip 1
The world is your oyster. It's up to you to find the pearls.

It can describe the opportunities that open up when you take risks, have money or learn new skills.

Clip 2
If you learn foreign languages, the world's your oyster.

Queen Elizabeth I
Mr Shakespeare: I am pleased. Your actors will perform this play for me.

To perform, or not to perform: I'll just do what she tells me.

Tagged under: shakespearespeaks,vocab,Inglê,lesson plan,anh,masterclass,ELT,queen elizabeth,idiom,oyster,영어,lesson planning,language lesson,English lesson,الإنجليزية,native English speaker,English ,animation,speak,cartoon,SHX400,Inglé,อังกฤษ,english video,British Broadcasting Corporation,英語,English,speaking native,shakespeare,authentic english,tutorial,BBC masterclass,BBC,bbc,learn english,bbclearningenglish,english,Official BBC, merry wives windsor,world

Find more lesson plans like this:

0.2 miles in Feet: How-to & Steps

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks on Google+ Share The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks on Twitter Share The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks on Facebook Pin The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks Email The world's mine oyster - Shakespeare Speaks

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.


Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking


Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices


Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome