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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


"I crave the law"
Students will:
  • Explore the complexities of Shylock (offensive collection of anti-Semetic stereotypes/complicated man driven to revenge) through pre-reading activities
  • Examine the conflicts, language, and the concept of the …


It's All In The Way You Say It

Often, young readers have difficulty understanding Shakespeare's meaning or context. Through a close study of three basic ideas students need to know before beginning to read any play—denotation, connotation, and …


"Living Art Through the Lines: Reading Shakespeare Through the Eye of the Artist" (Day 1)

Students will:

  • Explore the basic elements of art and principles of design
  • Use visual clues in art to analyze visual clues in performance
  • Interpret visual clues in a selection of fine art that correlate to …


Mistaken Identities, Misrepresentations, and Changes of Mind in Twelfth Night, Lesson 2 of 3

In this second of three lessons, students will apply and differentiate the terms Mistaken Identities, Misrepresentations, and Changes of Mind in the play by way of a scavenger hunt. When they find deception in the …


"Seeing things with parted eye."

Students will..

  • Reread a familiar section of Julius Caesar
  • Consider the text from the perspective of the speaker and the perspective of the characters on …


"To be or not to be" -- Appreciating the Language and Interpreting the Meaning of Hamlet's Soliloquy

This lesson introduces students to Hamlet's soliloquy, "To be or not to be" in which he questions himself and his need to act in avenging his father's death.  They will be encouraged to listen to the language and the sound and rhythm of the …


Two Sides of the Same Coin: Twins and Duplicity in The Comedy of Errors

 Duplicity in its earliest definition means doubleness, but today can mean acting in two ways. Although it often connotes deceitfulness, for this discussion it helps to look at it without judgement. It can be the difference between someone …


“Close Reading” of a Sonnet: Lesson 7 

Showing one line at a time of a sonnet, or any poem, demonstrates the way it accumulates meaning and prevents students from leaping ahead to the couplet to identify the “message” of the sonnet. Going slowly, students can focus on …


Can't Buy Me Love?

One of the reasons The Merchant of Venice  is so interesting—and so troublesome—is that characters in Venice cannot define human values such as justice, mercy, and love in anything other than economic terms. …


Guess that Play

As middle schoolers develop their critical thinking skills, they often struggle with the concept of "the main idea." They can recite everything that has happened in a story, but they have trouble deciding which actions or events are the most …


"On the Outside, Looking In": Introducing the Outsider theme in The Merchant of Venice

Students will:

  • Have the opportunity to "stage" a brief scenario as a silent scene
  • Safely experience an understanding of what it feels like to be an outsider
  • Work collaboratively in a low stakes (silent) …


Shakespeare's Sisters & Modern Sonnets:  Lesson 10 
The Shakespearean sonnet continues to influence writers today. Over five centuries, women writers and men writing about women have extended and transformed the sonnet to allow their voices to be heard. Students will understand that many different …


UNIT: She's a Lady...Or is She? Examining dress and behavior in As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice

In this unit, students will analyze the dress and behavior of Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Rosalind in As You Like It. Students will read a primary source to understand the expectations of women in the sixteenth century and …


Knock, Knock, or Whose Line is it anyway?

In life, people are asked to think quickly and without preparation on a daily basis. Improvisational acting can help students prepare for situations where they are called upon to "think fast". The exercises in this lesson allow students to …


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Students design and create photo albums that tell the story of the play. This involves some extra work, resources, and lots of class time, but the end result is worth it!


This lesson will take two to three class …


Enter Players: Constructing Character Connections in Hamlet

Because the names of Shakespeare's characters are unfamiliar to many students, and because students may be unfamiliar with reading and performing drama, this can lead to problems that interfere with comprehension.  By allowing students to …


Lesson 15: "Tear him for his bad verses:" Cinna the poet and Shakespeare's Sonnets. 

The "Cinna the Poet" scene captures the mob mentality of the Roman citizens who tear Cinna to pieces because one of the conspirators was also named Cinna. The mob does not care that this Cinna is a poet and not a conspirator: someone cries, "Tear …


"Such Affection Move": Finding Staging Clues in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Middle school students are often hesitant to perform Shakespeare. They tend towards two extremes: either they don't move at all, or they use overly-theatrical gestures that have little connection to the text.


This lesson …


Wordles, Wordles, Wordles: Pre-Reading for Hamlet Using Key Words

For many students, Shakespeare's language can be intimidating.  For English Language Learners (ELLs) this can be especially true. In an effort to make the language more approachable before reading, and allow students to make some predictions …


What is Hamlet thinking?

Act 2 reveals the complexity of Hamlet's character and the dilemma in which he finds himself. This three-part lesson utilizes a sequenced list of lines from important and descriptive passages that will help ELL/ESL students approach and explore …

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