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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


Investigating Othello: Peeling Away Layers of Meaning

When reading Othello, students will naturally be drawn to the issue of race because our society still grapples with this issue today. But to focus just on race will keep readers from exploring the other issues in the play which, along with …


Antony vs. Brutus

Whenever my students arrive at longer speeches in Shakespeare, one or two intrepid actors inevitably take over the reading while the remainder of the class sits in silence, reading along passively. Therefore, it is the goal of this lesson plan to …


"Thou hast set me on the rack": A Dramatic Reading of Iago's Most Poisonous Lines
Because students often forget about the circumstances that make Othello particularly vulnerable to Iago by the end of the play, it's important to reexamine Iago's insidious influence before students begin reading Act 5. This dramatic reading …



Students will use online resources in order to examine patterns of imagery in Macbeth. By comparing these patterns to those of other Shakespeare plays, the students will draw conclusions about the different reasons Shakespeare uses imagery …


Playing Humanity: Comparing Shylock and Antonio

This lesson introduces students to the range of motivations and traits that make both Shylock and Antonio complex human beings with their own virtues and vices. Through close reading and performance of the conflict between the two in


When Fair is Foul: Paradox and Equivocation in Macbeth

In this lesson students will examine the role of paradox and equivocation in the Scottish play. The goal is for students to gain a greater appreciation of how Shakespeare— and his characters— manipulates words to give them multiple, …


Get Thee to Wife!

After reading Shakespeare's plays, students may wonder if all Elizabethan fathers were patriarchal dictators. In this lesson, students read and analyze sections from Charles Gibbon's 1591 A Work Worth the Reading to discover that the issue …


Twelfth Night-The Musical!
This activity allows students to reinterpret Act 2 of Twelfth Night as a musical, using contemporary songs. Students will discover the meaning of the text and the relationships between the characters.

This lesson will take 2 …


Dogberry: The Most Vigitant Lawman Ever

Dogberry and his companions provide gregarious humor in Much Ado About Nothing. By turning the watch into bumbling fools, Shakespeare pokes fun at the law.


The goal of this lesson is to help students interpret …


Lesson 10: True and Honorable Wives?

Today's lesson gives students an opportunity to examine the way Julius Caesar presents and handles issues of gender. Students will respond to and write about these issues in the play with their own, creative voices. The result will …


The Secret life of Minor Characters
Students performing the major roles in a Shakespeare scene have lines to speak and business to do and are usually more content, even with more lines to memorize, than the silent or minor participants in a scene. Students playing soldiers, lords, and …


Sonnet Performances: Shakespeare’s Sonnets as Scripts: Lesson 9 

Breaking a sonnet down into parts for different speakers and presenting it dramatically can help students to listen carefully to the language and hear different “voices” in the poem. In this lesson, small groups of 3-5 students work …


Figurative Language Alive: Balcony Scene Charades

This lesson plan is intended for a middle school group that will learn how Shakespeare uses figurative language and abstract comparison in the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. To this end, students will play figurative language …


The Bullying of Malvolio

This lesson explores Malvolio's behavior and treatment by having students first reflect on their own experiences with bullying. Teachers are reminded to stress that bullying is unacceptable behavior.



Relay Shakespeare: Sharing Hamlet’s Soliloquies

In this lesson, students will work in groups of four or five on a single soliloquy by Hamlet in order to

  1. experience how thoughts are discovered and how they build over the course of a soliloquy and;
  2. experience the …


M.C. Bard: Hip Hop and Shakespeare

Shakespeare's works and today’s hip hop songs use a variety of literary devices to explore universal themes. Both art forms use the language of their times and are meant to be enjoyed in performance.


In …


"I am not what I am"

This lesson asks students to explore their own curses and epithets, and uses the emotions generated to launch an introductory discussion of the language in Othello.


This activity can be completed in one class …


"A rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear:" original line or familiar find?

Today students will examine a primary source document from 1684 that includes many of the same lines found in Romeo's speech to Juliet in


"Sir, the people must have their voices": Giving Voice to the Voiceless

Students will:

  • Choose a character that has some direct effect on the action
  • Write  a monologue for an off stage character in the style of Shakespeare

This lesson will take 2 x 40 minute class …


What does a sonnet mean?

Students will read one of shakespeare's sonnets and discuss what it is about. The objective is for the students to engage with the text by visualizing it.

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