Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teaching Modules
Teaching Modules Archive

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Shakespeare Storyboard: Pre-Reading the Play

Teachers' Rating:
  12 ratings

December 2011

Adapted from a lesson by

Lucy Tyson, Director of Education,

The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Philadelphia, PA


Plays/Scenes Covered

This lesson can be used as a pre-reading activity for any of Shakespeare's plays.


Covers Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening in grades 3-5

What's On for Today and Why

In this lesson students will explore and understand the plot outline of one of Shakespeare’s plays using tableaux and making a storyboard. By exploring actions of the characters in dynamic points of the play, students will have an increased understanding of the events of the play. They will also be introduced to some of the language of the text.


This lesson will take 2-3 sessions to complete.

What You Need

Plot Cards for your Selected Play (example attached)

Abridged Shakespeare Play


Cardboard or Poster Board

Decorative Items


Macbeth Example Plot Cards
What To Do

Preparation: Have at least 10 dynamic plot chunks from your selected play written out or typed on separate cards. (For an example, see attached documents). Do not number the cards. Using a line of text from the play that correlates to each story chunk, create caption strips for the storyboard. Make name tags for each character represented. 

1. Tell students the title of the play and have them guess what the play is about. What genre of play it might be? Comedy, Tragedy, Historical? Describe to your students the characters of the play, personality, background, etc.

2. Break students into groups. Give each group 1-2 story chunk cards, or whatever number is necessary to cover the play.

3. Assign characters to students within each group, or have students decide who will represent each character. If it is a large class there may be several students representing the same character in the various groups. Distribute the name tags of the characters for the students to wear during their presentation.

4. Have students create and rehearse a tableau or frozen dramatic image of their story chunk. Once rehearsed, have students create the tableau and take a photo. Do not have the students show their tableau in the actual plot sequence.

5. Print out the pictures and spread them out, out of sequence, but with text caption underneath the appropriate picture. Allow the class to decide which order they believe the pictures fit into to tell the story of the play. Students may act out their predicted story sequence in brief scenes, each ending in a tableau.

6. Read the play with your students. We recommend using an abridged text (that uses Shakespeare's language) with elementary students.


7. After reading the play students should be able to confirm or correct the plot sequence for the storyboard. Mount the pictures and captions in sequence on cardboard or poster board. Have students decorate their new storyboard.


Adaptations and  Extensions:

For a smaller group, assign one role to each student. Create a character board by taking their pictures wearing the character name tags in a pose that represents that character.

Or, in place of name tags, try having students where a scarf, or hat ,or another simple costume piece to represent their characters.


Try presenting your storyboard in a PowerPoint presentation. Have the students record voice-overs for the lines that caption each scene. Coach the students to add expression and inflection in their voice work wherever necessary. You may also use comic book or story board software such as Comic Life or Photo Story to create your storyboard.

How Did It Go?

Were students able to connect with the characters and make predictions about the plot?


Did students engage with the story by creating images of the plot?


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.

Login or register to post comments.

129 CommentsOldest | Newest

TicketsAtWork.com is the exclusive corporate benefits program for the Universal Orlando® Resort and is also the corporate benefits provider for many companies featured on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list. hammad aamir January 31, 2015 12:00 AM

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have.
Teufel Gutschein
ahmed January 29, 2015 11:23 PM

Are you looking for international property investors from around the globe, including China? It may sound too good to be true, but it isn't...We make it happen daily. chiese real estate
hammad aamir January 29, 2015 5:11 AM

Click for information
hammad aamir January 29, 2015 4:49 AM

Robert Peers' ideas about combining accounting, legal and financial services are a result of his eclectic interests and experiences. About rob peers calgary
hammad aamir January 29, 2015 3:49 AM

That is always a conundrum with Anabolic RX24. You should put Anabolic RX24 to work for you now, because it won't be here forever. Fitness Kickboxing
muneer January 29, 2015 3:27 AM

Amazing Post , very well job done. Awesome font and text and realy well written.... Thank you ... it's really cool blog. London best escorts
hammad aamir January 29, 2015 12:44 AM

SMA Lofts has been established since 1996, trading continuously since then. To date, we have completed over 1550 Lofts in and around the London area. loft conversions
hammad aamir January 27, 2015 7:06 AM

We trust you will take the time to browse the site and would hope that you will be assured of the comprehensive and thorough way we approach all projects from the outset. loft conversions london
hammad aamir January 27, 2015 6:35 AM

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. network real estate
hammad aamir January 27, 2015 2:52 AM

View More
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.
Learn More

Elementary Teaching Tips

Elementary Shakespeare Teaching Modules and Techniques for Younger Students

Teacher Talk

Believe and Move Elementary Enthusiasm for Shakespeare

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623