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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


"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 …


A Guilty Gertrude: Performing Speaking and Silent Moments in Hamlet

In this lesson, students will examine Gertrude's behavior, lines and thoughts in a scene that is normally analyzed for what it reveals about Ophelia's madness. Students will have to synthesize what they know about Gertrude to perform her …


Bad Bard/Good Bard: Coming to Character through Preconceptions of Shakespearean Acting

Many students have varying preconceptions on what Shakespearean acting entails, likely a result of having seen a few to none of his plays. This lesson will look at character through “bad” and “good” Shakespearean acting in …


"Importing the Argument": Dis-Covering Hamlet’s Soliloquies

In this lesson, students will work actively and collaboratively on Hamlet’s major soliloquies to experience how they represent Hamlet discovering who he is and what he wants, what he questions, and what he concludes in real …


"In the round": Shakespeare Socratic Seminar

Students will:


Introducing the Ghost: Asking Questions and Finding Answers

Shakespeare introduces the Ghost in the first Act of the play and immediately raises questions: Who is he? Why is he here? Is he an illusion? What role will he play in shaping the events of the story?

This lesson seeks to find answers …


Lesson 14: Vox Populi: Brutus's Speech and the Response of the Plebeians


This exercise will teach students to identify two rhetorical strategies (ethos and audience appeals) and to analyze their effects in Brutus's speech in


"Let all of his complexion choose me so": Elizabethan Perceptions of Africans

This play will give students a glimpse into the early modern period’s negative perceptions and stereotypes of human beings of African descent. Students will use information from a primary source to interpret these elements in …


"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 …


Merely Players: Examining Authentic/Inauthentic Voices in monologues.

Day 1 of 3

Students will:

  • Explain the terms "authentic voice" and "inauthentic voice"
  • Connect these terms to their own lives
  • Examine multi-media depictions of super-heroes to discover how/what these characters …


Move It, Shakespeare!

We often carry on dialogues with each other while doing unrelated things. So why "do" Shakespeare by just standing and talking. This lesson encourages students to more natural speech, movement, and staging through reading Shakespeare dialogues …

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