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Mistaken Identities, Misrepresentations, and Changes of Mind in Twelfth Night, Lesson 1 of 3

Teachers' Rating:
  1 rating

May 2010
Harvey Sadis recently retired from teaching second grade at Cascade Elementary School in Seattle, Washington

Plays/Scenes Covered

Twelfth Night, or What You Will

What's On for Today and Why

Students will come to understand and identify the terms, Mistaken Identities, Misrepresentations, and Changes of Mind as they exist in Twelfth Night.

What You Need

Folger edition of Twelfth Night (or What You Will)
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts

Resource Sheet #1

Teacher Resource #1
Twelfth Night
What To Do

After the class is well-acquainted with the story of the play and has had ample opportunity to listen and read the script, perhaps even before students are given parts to learn, the teacher writes three headings on the board: Mistaken Identities, Misrepresentations, and Changes of Mind.


The teacher defines and clarifies each of the headings with the class, giving an example of each from the script.  (See Resource Sheet #1 for definitions and examples of each heading).  Explain to the class that each example of a mistaken identity will inherently have elements of a misrepresentation and a change of mind (See Resource Sheet #1).


All of these deceptions in the script have causes, which should be entertained for discussion -- Why do you think s/he did that? Who was s/he trying to fool?  If you were a that character, what would you have done?


The teacher might also ask students to talk about a time when they pretended to be someone they were not, or felt that they had to misrepresent themselves to win a friend or impress family members.


The teacher might also ask students to talk about a time when they were firmly set on a point of view but became dislodged from that stance because of a friendship or the promise of some reward or eventual new friendship.

How Did It Go?

Were the students able to differentiate among the terms (Mistaken Identity, Misrepresentation, Change of Mind) and share examples as they are found in the script? Students might be asked to write about their findings or discuss them in class.

Were students able to identify an example of any of the three terms from their own lives?


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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  Common Core State Standards

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