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"Showing the Picture": Character and Passage Illuminations in Twelfth Night

Teachers' Rating:
  2 ratings

Greg Wyatt, Twelfth Night

February 2012
Jamie Wong teaches English at Lincoln-Sudbury High School, Sudbury, MA

Plays/Scenes Covered
Twelfth Night,  1.1-5
What's On for Today and Why


By creating an illumination of the text, students will come to a greater understanding of a character or a speech from Act 1. They will choose images that illustrate the text, and use the photo story (Windows) or iMovie (Mac) program to create an audio and visual illumination. These two programs allow users to pair images with text, narration, and music.

What You Need

Folger edition of Twelfth Night
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts

Computer access

What To Do

1. Have students create a found poem portrait for a character from Act 1 of Twelfth Night, or select a key speech or passage to illuminate.Some examples would be Orsino's speech in 1.1.1-15, Viola's speech in 1.2.50-64, and Feste's speech in 1.5.40-51.


2. After selecting a block of text, students should use the program Photostory or iMovie to illustrate it.


3. Have students divide their text into sections. Each section will need a single image so students should have approximately 6-10 images. Have students enter their text into the program.


4. Demonstrate how to create images (using original photos) or upload images (suggest web resources) that they think best illuminate the text. Students should pay attention to the sense of mood or tone of their image.


5. Have students record a reading of their passage with their illumination.


6. Have students share their illuminations with each other and if possible project the illuminations on to a large screen.


7. Have students discuss why they chose specific images to illuminate their text. What criteria did they use for selection?

How Did It Go?

Did students demonstrate the ability to choose appropriate images to pair with the text? Were they able to explain and justify their choices? Did students give a thoughtful reading of the text to pair with the visuals? Did this exercise help them understand and engage with the text?


Extension: Students may come back to their illuminations later on in the play in order to see if the images they selected recur thoroughout the text. If students are able to print out one frame of their illumination, they could compose a collage in the classroom of images from the play.



This lesson can be used with many other scenes from Shakespeare and other literary texts.


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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1 Comment

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honey October 12, 2013 3:21 AM
  Common Core State Standards

There are no standards associated with this Lesson Plan.

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