You don't have to start with Act 1, Scene 1 to teach Shakespeare. Shakespeare's plays are full of dramatic death lines that make an excellent introduction to Shakespeare's language.
In this exercise by middle school English teacher Leslie Kelly, students deliver the famous last words of various Shakespeare characters, from Romeo to Richard III. This lesson often works especially well with ESL/ELL students, although it may be used in any class.
"I originally used this activity the year I taught Shakespeare to both sophomore and junior English students, all of whom were native English speakers. I found it to be a particularly engaging and effective way to introduce both the drama and language of Shakespeare to those students who had not yet read his work," she says.
"The teaching methods that I employ when teaching ESL-dedicated classes are equally effective with the general population at this school."
Try it out! Get the Lesson Plan for "Famous Death Lines" here.
For more of our ESL/ELL lesson ideas, please click here.