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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


Bloody Business

Students will focus on word frequencies in Macbeth to understand how Shakespeare uses a word or particular group of words in each play that form a web through which he invites his audiences to associate various meanings. Students will …


"Divinity of hell!": Soliloquies, Cutting and Computers

Students struggle with soliloquies—the language is poetically rich and dense, and they often complain, "Why can't Shakespeare just get to the point?" This lesson sets students loose on the language and gives them permission to cut …


Examining redemption in Fences and King Lear

Students will investigate and perform the final scenes of King Lear and Fences to analyze how the authors use the tragic characters’ demises to convey a certain view of the world. Students will use performance …


Exploring Rhythm in Richard III

Students will examine meter and experiment with pauses in the dialogue between Lady Anne and Richard in 1.2, in order to analyze how rhythm affects meaning and tone. This lesson will take approximately 50 minutes.


"For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings"

After hearing sonnets read, students will pick one to which they have a strong reaction-favorable or unfavorable. They will choose one which contains words/phrases that strike them emotionally, visually and can be represented by images. Visual …


I want to believe: Astrologers and Sceptics in King Lear

How much did an Elizabethan audience want to believe in destiny?  To what degree was astrology an accepted science, and how was it used in everyday life? It is tempting to consider Shakespeare’s audience a gullible lot, not exposed to …


Interviewing the Players

Having students act out scenes or portions of scenes is a powerful tool in persuading them to look closely at Shakespeare's words. The following lesson plan begins with this assumption, but then moves on to ensure that students both understand …


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

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


"Not her Fool, but her corrupter of words"-- a Twelfth Night Festival

Students will edit and perform selected scenes from Twelfth Night in order to analyze Feste, the Fool. Students will give two performances: they will perform the scenes once in their entirety, after which the class will …


Nothing to Lear but Lear Himself

In this introductory lesson, students will read a scene from King Lear and decide collaboratively how best to present it. In doing so, they will begin to understand the scenes and the play from multiple perspectives. This lesson is based …


Power Lines: Tracing power in relationships throughout The Merchant of Venice

Students will:

  • Examine how power is used in relationships
  • Examine the connections between power and money
  • Enact situations similar to those in the play

This lesson will take 2 x 40 minute …


Puzzling through the order of things in Twelfth Night
Unless your students are from another planet, at least a few of them will be wary of the Bard's serpentine language. It is not uncommon for students to be afraid of reading Shakespeare. This lesson takes a small section of the play and mixes it …


Shakespeare the Player: Illustrating Elizabethan Theatre through A Midsummer Night's Dream

In this activity, you and your students will explore Elizabethan stage practices as the rustic yet enthusiastic amateur actors from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. While it's not necessary to teach Shakespeare's biography …


Some Have Greatness Thrust Upon Them: Found Monologues for Minor Characters

Too often, we get distracted by the protagonist of the play and ignore how the plot and the protagonist can be affected by the less central characters. This lesson helps students focus in on a minor character and really explore his/her voice and …


Speak (and Show) the Speech, I Pray You”—

Often times, the more students consider the physical performance elements of a Shakespearean text, the less they consider the literary and rhetorical devices contained within the text on the page. In many cases, students can identify these …


"Strike a Pose:" Music and Vogueing in The Winter's Tale

In this lesson, students will reduce Act 3 into lines, images and songs which will help them navigate the many moods of The Winter's Tale in this lynchpin act. The lesson culminates in a performance for the class. It works best after …


The Art of Poetry: The Lunatic, The Lover, and the Poet

This lesson plan asks students to reflect on their attitudes toward creative inspiration and poetry. They will compare these contemporary attitudes with those of George Puttenham, an author from Shakespeare's day who wrote The Arte of English …


The Bullies and The Bullied: The World of Othello
In this lesson, students will approach Shakespeare's Othello through the lens of bullying—a modern-day adolescent problem of which students may have first-hand experience. By drawing on their own understanding of bullying and on …


"Then Begins a Journey in my Head": Hamlet, Tourist of the Mind

In this lesson, students will discover, through performance, that each speech - whether in dialogue or in soliloquy - is, in itself, a psychical journey.


Characters speak to …


Trickery and Foolery in King Lear

One of the definitions of a fool is “one who is easily duped.” The most obvious manifestation of this definition fool in King Lear is Gloucester, but in a way, all of the characters are duped, one way or another. This lesson …

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