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Using Tableaux Vivants in Much Ado About Nothing

Teachers' Rating:
  4 ratings

Much Ado About Nothing

March 2010
Robin Spring teaches at Northgate High School, Walnut Creek, CA

Plays/Scenes Covered
Much Ado About Nothing 2.2
What's On for Today and Why

The students will be introduced to a performance-based technique that encourages them to engage the text and find the essential meaning in the language.


Although this activity is based on one specific scene it would be most effective if students were familiar with the whole play. However, the technique could be applied to any play.

This lesson would take 1-2  45minute class periods.

Shakespearean Snapshot Handout
What To Do

1. Read the scene together and discuss the key elements in terms of character revelation and action.


2.Divide students into groups of 5.


3.Have students identify 10 key phrases from the scene.


2.Explain the concept of Tableaux Vivants

  • technique for bringing pictures to life
  • students will compose themselves into frozen statues
  • as each student comes to life they will speak a key line of text and then re-freeze
  • all students will freeze briefly between each student's lines
  • the movements of the group end with another set of frozen statues, expressing the line physically,reflecting the outcome of their words or actions
  • each group will give an opening and closing statement (see Handout on Shakespearean Snapshots)

2. Explain that each student must say at least one line and must speak and move.


3. Allow students time to rehearse


4. Have each group present their tableau and discuss the following questions:

  • What do the selected lines reveal about character, motivation etc?
  • What criteria were used when selecting text?
  • How were physical poses selected?
  • How effective were they in conveying the lines?
  • How does this scene relate to the one previous and following?










How Did It Go?
How well did the students understand the scene? Did their tableaux effectively convey the meaning of the scene? Did they become more comfortable with the language as a result of this activity?

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.

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3 CommentsOldest | Newest

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  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
How To

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