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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


Much Ado About Illumination

This lesson will help students engage with Shakespeare's language in several ways. First, they will gain a stronger understanding of Benedick's character in relation to events in the play as well as changes in Claudio. Students will also …


Multiple Texts, Multiple Editions

King Lear exists in two distinct versions, a quarto edition from 1608 and the First Folio of 1623. Here, students will compare Lear's last speech in the two texts, evaluate the two different versions, and edit the speech …


"Olivia, May I....?" Using movement to analyze Cesario's suit in Twelfth Night.

A key plot twist occurs at the end of Act 1, Scene 5, when Olivia falls in love with Viola, disguised as Cesario. In this …


Paparazzi Shakespeare: Ophelia’s Madness Revealed!

This is a multi-part lesson that has students study Opehlia’s mad scene (Act 4, Scene 5) through a variety of lenses: performance, social media, and writing.


Your class will …


Pause - What did you say?

In Shakespeare's iambic pentameter, when two characters share a line, the characters say the lines quickly without a pause in the speech. However, the rhythm and meter of iambic pentameter may not be carried through the characters' lines. When …


Petrarch, Father of the Sonnet:  Lesson 2 

This lesson offers an introduction to Petrarch (1304-1374) and the influence he had on sonnet writing in the 16th and 17th centuries and beyond. It provides a context for understanding how Shakespeare made use of both  “Petrarchan …


Screwing Courage in Macbeth


This lesson is designed to engage students with the text and examine the motivations behind the behavior of characters as they seek to accomplish their goals. The lesson begins with some basic acting exercises designed …


Shakespeare Sound Out: Building Atmosphere 

Based on the language and environment created with words in song and rhyme, students will determine the type of mood that is being set within scenes from Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Students will …


Shakespeare, the 900-pound Guerilla: or Performing Scenes for Unsuspecting Audiences

In groups, students will produce and perform a scene by Shakespeare as a piece of guerilla theater: in other words, they will perform in a public setting, in front of an unsuspecting audience. Performances do not need to be "perfect" as this …


"Showing the Picture": Character and Passage Illuminations in Twelfth Night


By creating an illumination of the text, students will come to a greater understanding of a character or a speech from


Text Map: the Structure of Shakespearean Drama

Many middle and even high school students in American classrooms, for a variety of reasons, are unfamiliar with the basic structure of dramatic literature. Familiarity with the structure of a particular text will increase comprehension …


"To Show Virtue Her Own Feature," Insider's Guide to Hamlet: Ophelia’s Madness

The class will break into five groups of equal numbers to create a photographic "Illustrated Ophelia" series, similar to the tradition of editions of the Complete Works, primarily in the 19th. c., where drawings were used to …


Twelfth Night: What's so funny?

This activity tries to focus students' attention on the comic elements of Twelfth Night by drawing parallels to examples of humor in popular culture. After brainstorming and analyzing modern examples of humor, they use their results to …


When...Then...So... Sonnet 29

In this lesson, students will explore Shakespeare's Sonnet 29. Students will also create an original poem, loosely based on the sonnet covered, using a "when" / "then" / "so" structure in order to describe a change in emotional …


Lesson 11:Cutting Antony's speeches: "I am meek and gentle with these butchers"

This lesson will allow students to identify Mark Antony's scheming brilliance which is couched in his three major speeches in the second half of


Star-Crossed Scramble

Students will explore the idea of star-crossed lovers and create their own unique combinations of star-crossed pairs to enhance their understanding of  Romeo and Juliet. This activity will allow students to better understand the …


Performing Sonnets

Poetry can seem difficult on the page, but it comes alive in performance—think of the popularity of slams, freestyles, and "dis" sessions. By working on a Shakespearean sonnet in pairs by performing just one or two lines, and …


Reader's Theater, King Lear, and the Language of Gesture

Reader's Theater is a performance technique that can allow students to delve into a text in a different way from reading, staging, or viewing a scene. Its preplanned and choreographed movements, often stylized, can work on a symbolic as well as a …


Character Found Poems: Investigating Language in Twelfth Night

  The language that Shakespearean characters use is key to understanding their motivations, preoccupations, and desires. In this lesson, students will analyze and review the characters after reading Act 1 of Twelfth Night by creating a …


Shakespeare's Secret Weddings: Historical Context in Performance

This lesson builds on student knowledge/experience of modern romance to provide a historical context for the clandestine (secret) marriages in Shakespearean texts, and asks students to synthesize the modern and historical understanding for …

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