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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


"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 …


"For I Can Speak Against the Thing I Say"-An Antithesis Scavenger Hunt

Antithesis is a feature of Shakespeare's writing where a word, image, thought, or phrase is balanced by an opposite word, image, thought, or phrase. Students will examine Shakespeare's use of antithesis in his verse and prose in order to discover …


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 …


"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 …


"You should not have believed me": Multiple Readings of Hamlet

One of the most engaging discussions to have about the play Hamlet concerns the sanity of Hamlet and Ophelia: Is Hamlet truly mad or just feigning madness? Does Ophelia commit suicide or drown by accident? This lesson introduces students …


Lesson 23

"Good Words are Better than Bad Strokes"

Working in groups as either Antony's or Brutus' campaign teams, students will determine how they wish to represent their own and their opponent's camps visually and with audio. Using


Parenting 101

Students will examine Romeo and Juliet in the context of three excerpts from The Office of Christian Parents: Shewing How Children Are To Be Gouerned throughout All Ages and Times of Their Life. These excerpts deal with instructions …


Illuminating Macbeth

Students will perform a close reading of a soliloquy or monologue and construct an illuminated text using Photostory that demonstrates …


Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's Tortured Sonnets

Today, students will read four of Shakespeare's sonnets that can be read from either Macbeth's or Lady Macbeth's point of view. Students will analyze the sonnets and determine whose point of view is being expressed and support their decision with …


The Trial of Iago: "To you. . . remains the censure of this hellish villian"

Students will analyze text and utilize outside resources to determine Iago's fate, which is not addressed by Shakespeare in the play. They will then present their findings in an organized "trial" scenario. Since students will be researching …


Mixing it up with Romeo and Juliet

Having students create a soundtrack for the play, by picking one song to represent each scene, can help them make personal connections to the plot as well as get them motivated to more fully understand the …


"’Tis Something, Nothing": Motive Hunting With Iago
In this lesson, students will focus on Iago's motives in order to understand the cause of his villainy: allegorical evil or event-motivated revenge. Students will examine and perform a number of scenes in order to arrive at their conclusions through …


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 …


"The World's Asleep": But Not Your Classroom

Students will get an introduction to King Lear by manipulating some of his lines and analyzing them for signs of the character's …


Plotting the Prologue: Romeo and Juliet

Students will explore performing the plot outline and prologue to Romeo and Juliet as a pre-reading activity. Through movement and vocal work, students will work in groups to create a brief presentation of the prologue to clarify meaning, get …


Conspiracy after the Storm: Editing Dual murder plots in Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Students will edit 2.1 and 3.2 of The Tempest as if they were filming a documentary. The scenes deal primarily with the conspiracy plots on Prospero's island. Students will need to keep Shakespeare's language intact, as well as the sense …


"Now, unto thy bones, goodnight."

After reading 5.1.297, the teacher will lead a discussion about the meaning of "epitaph" and the ways in which we remember …


"Who is it that can tell me who I am?":

Performances of Lear's Speeches

The themes of love, transformation, redemption, and forgiveness are central to King Lear and to Lear's relationships with his daughters. Asking students to read, analyze, and perform two of Lear's speeches—one from the beginning of …


Lesson 09: Would the real Portia please stand up?

Students will explore the subtext of the two scenes in which Portia appears, to compare the language she uses with her husband Brutus in


"O Beware, Sir, of Jealousy:" Passion and Jealousy in Othello and the Sonnets

Students sometimes have a difficult time understanding the difference between Othello's jealousy and his passion. As a pre-reading activity, students will examine these ideas by creating tableaux ("living pictures") to examine the difference …

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