Indira Chakrabarti teaches English at James Logan High School, Union City, CA.
Much Ado About Nothing, 1.1, 5.1, 5.3 and Shakespeare's epitaph.
What's On for Today and Why
After reading 5.1.297, the teacher will lead a discussion about the meaning of "epitaph" and the ways in which we remember those who are no longer with us and the ways they might like us to remember them. The objective is a final project wherein students will create an epitaph for Hero or a scrapbook of her life created by Claudio to present to Leonato. Students will use specific words and images to create a digital scrapbook, which could be accompanied with original music or soundtrack.
This lesson will take 4 x 50 minute class periods.
What You Need
Folger edition of Much Ado About Nothing
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts
Access to Photostory 3 (PC) or iMovie/ GarageBand (Mac)
Access to Youtube
Shakespeare's epitaph 1 no text
Shakespeare's epitaph 2 with text
Shakespeare's epitaph 3 with text and music
Tribute to Hero 1(Teacher sample)
Tribute to Hero 2 (Teacher sample)
Tribute to Hero 3 (Teacher sample)
Much Ado Handout
What To Do
1. Have students read 5.1, stopping at line 297 to discuss the word epitaph .
2. Show students Shakespeare's epitaph (1)without text and have them suggest words that may accompany the images on the film.
3. Make a list of these suggestions and have students discuss word choices: Which ones are positive? Which ones are negative? How were words selected?
4. Show students the text of the epitaph printed on 12 cards in small sections but in random order.
5. Have students piece together the epitaph in the right order and choose a representative to read out the epitaph, paying attention to rhyme and meter. Repeat as necessary.
6. Show students Shakespeare's epitaph (2) with text. Discuss the choice of images.
7. Show students Shakespeare's epitaph (3) with reading of text. Discuss the differences among the 3 versions.
For homework, have students create a 4 line epitaph in iambic pentameter, much like Shakespeare's.
1. Read 1.1, noting all the lines in which Claudio refers to Hero.
2. Have students isolate words and images to be used in creating a scrapbook to be given to Leonato.
3. Have students circle words that define Hero in Claudio's eyes and note ideas for translation to visual image.
4. Have students write a clear explanation of the words they chose, their meanings, and why the visual is appropriate.
5. If students decide to create a soundtrack-music or original song-discuss what would be appropriate and why.
6. Encourage students to consider Claudio's motivation, tone, and point of view in creating this scrapbook and what he might want Leonato to understand as a result.
(In computer lab or at home)
1. Have students create a digital scrapbook by finding images to accompany the words/phrases used to describe Hero.
NOTE: Students must find images that are relevant to the time period and geography.
1. Have students share their scrapbooks on "A Tribute to Hero" day.
2. Share teacher examples-versions with and without text.
How Did It Go?
Did students perform readings of Shakespeare's epitaph to visual representations of their own and learn to assign shifts in speaking tone based on words linked to the images used in their epitaphs?
Did students learn to research images and symbols that are time period specific and attach meaning to words linked to perceptions of character?
Did students create original epitaphs using technology as well as the language of Shakespeare?
Did students demonstrate skills and knowledge of ways in which the dead are honored in their own cultures?
Students could create a scoring rubric to evaluate the project.
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.