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Highest Rated Teaching Modules

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Highest Rated Teaching Modules


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 …


Juliet vs. Laura:  Lesson 6 

Romeo and Juliet contains three sonnets: the Prologue, the shared sonnet at the ball scene in 1.5, and one at the start of Act 2. The first and third of these are essentially narratives. The second, which is shared by Romeo and Juliet, …


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 …


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 …


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

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