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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


Catching the Beat: Exploring the Function of Verse in Othello

In this lesson, students will examine the meter Shakespeare uses in the dialogue between Emilia and Desdemona. They will learn how to recognize changes in meter and then use their knowledge of these changes to explore each character's thought …


UNIT: Crafting a Character - The Making of Shylock

This unit on the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice offers a variety of opportunities to reflect on potrayals of the character—within the text, in performance, and through visual depiction. The activities in this unit …


Shakespeare Wall

This activity is designed to enable students to see a Shakespeare play both as a whole and as a series of scenes. It will get students who won't read or perform out of their seats, and it gets the play out of the …


Message in a Bottle

After reading the first four acts of The Tempest, students will choose one of the shipwrecked characters on the island and write a rescue message from the point of view of that character. The purpose of this activity is to allow students …


An Actor's View of Shakespeare

This lesson gives students the opportunity to look at characters from the point of view of a real actor. Students will investigate character motivation and how this impacts performance technique and delivery.


This …


And. . . Freeze!

Your students will be reading a short section of a scene very closely and developing tableaux as a start to the performance process. This method of jumping into the text was demonstrated by Calleen Sinnette-Jennings at the Folger's Teaching …


"Change slander to remorse": Unscripted Scenes

Many of Shakespeare's plays offer tantalizing tidbits of information that allude to scenes, moments, and responses that are not included within the specific text of the play. For example, in Measure for Measure, the Duke asks Isabella to …


Hamlet and the Pirates

Students will get a glimpse of what Hamlet encountered in the off-stage pirate attack, using 17th century primary sources and 21st century internet resources to get some context for Hamlet's adventures.


This lesson will …


Hark! The Sounds of Murder

In 2.2, the scene in which Duncan is murdered, Shakespeare chooses to have it reported by Macbeth... not represented on stage. …


Juliet vs. Laura:  Lesson 6 

Romeo and Juliet contains three sonnets: the Prologue, the shared sonnet at the ball scene in 1.5, and one at the start of Act 2. The first and third of these are essentially narratives. The second, which is shared by Romeo and Juliet, …


Lesson 21: Betrayal or Honest Mistake?

Julius Caesar hinges largely on the theme of betrayal. Students must wrestle with the questions that Brutus himself considers: Does loyalty come first to a friend, a superior, a nation, or the self? Is betrayal justified if it is …


"Living Art Through the Lines: Reading Shakespeare Through the Eye of the Artist" (Day 2 of 3)

Students will:

  • Use the aesthetic valuing skills they learned in Day 1 to analyze both Othello and Desdemona in 5 fine art visuals of Othello, 5.2
  • Use the knowledge (reading and analyzing an image) to …


MTV Othello

Songs are often overlooked in Shakespeare's plays; this lack of attention will be addressed by having students dramatize Desdemona's "Willow Song." Creating a choral reading, singing and performing the song, or staging a music video helps …


Nursery rhyme Shakespeare?

Most children are exposed to Nursery Rhymes and may be surprised to find out that Shakespeare uses the same meter in many of his plays. This meter is called tetrameter and consists of a verse line which has four …


Questions of Kingship in King Lear

This lesson takes an interdisciplinary, research-based approach to understanding King Lear in its cultural context. Students will use the Internet to access historical primary source materials on King James I of England and the title page …


Six Characters in Search of A Play Part 2: Tableau Revelations

Students will learn techniques for staging a scene, including the use of tableau, stance, stage movements, and voice. Students will develop an understanding of the character traits and motivations of the "Rude Mechanicals." Students will develop …


Spenser, Shakespeare, and the "Blazon":  Lesson 4 
Students will read and respond to a Shakespearean sonnet which is in the Petrarchan tradition but mocks its conventions. This lesson should begin to give them some ideas about why Shakespeare is revered more than other sonneteers.


Stop, Look and Listen: The Images Behind Shakespeare's Words (Day 3 of 3)

Students will:

  • Review Day 1 and Day 2 
  • Gather ideas based on analyzing …


The English Sonnet: Michael Drayton:  Lesson 3 
Students will examine a sonnet by one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries, Michael Drayton,  indebted to Petrarch, emphasizing the distress and turmoil of love. Drayton's sonnet, and the sonnet of Spenser’s assigned for the next …


The Twelve Fates of Twelfth Night

After finishing 2.2 of Twelfth Night, students will discuss the theme of "fate" in the play and attempt to determine the …

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