|This page contains resources for teaching Much Ado About Nothing, one of Shakespeare's more popular comedies. Below you'll find links to resources from Folger Education that include activities, lesson plans, teaching tools, photos from a Folger Theatre production of the play, and more. |
|Lesson Plans |
Folger Education offers lesson plans on Shakespeare's frequently taught plays, as well as lessons on introducing Shakespeare. Try the plan below, or, for more lesson plans for Much Ado About Nothing, visit the Lesson Plans Archive.
"Change Slander to Remorse"
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 3, 4, 6, and 11. The lesson is based on Act 4, scene 1, after Hero faints following Claudio's accusations. Students work in groups to prepare scenes imagining what Hero is actually doing while feigning her own death.
The Folger edition of Much Ado About Nothing includes facing-page notes and illustrations throughout the play; background information on the play, Shakespeare's life, theater, and times; notes on unfamiliar language, or words that meant something different in Shakespeare's day; and a scholarly assessment of the play in light of today's interests and concerns.
Seeing Shakespeare performed, or performing Shakespeare, can help students feel confident reading and understanding Shakespeare's language. To see performance-based education strategies for your classroom, check out our clips on YouTube here.
Every major character in Much Ado About Nothing has his or her own way of playing with, elaborating on, or misusing language. Two of the most intriguing are Benedick and Beatrice, famous for their witty verbal spats. Dogberry the constable constantly misuses language, and provides another well-known example of how speech functions as a way to reveal character.
For many students today, reading Shakespeare's language can be a challenge. Things to pay attention to in Much Ado About Nothing:
Folger Editions contain notes on unfamiliar words, or words whose meanings have changed since Shakespeare's day. In Much Ado About Nothing Shakespeare often uses sentence structures that separate words that normally appear together. This is often done to create a particular speech rhythm, or emphasize a certain word.
- unfamiliar words or words whose meanings have changed
- unfamiliar word order
About the Play
Much Ado About Nothing was first printed in 1600 as a quarto. Surviving copies of the quarto are exceptional for the contrast between the correctness of the dialogue with the obvious errors and ambiguities in the stage directions!
To learn more, explore our Discover Shakespeare online resource, including the sections highlighted at right.
From the Collection
Much Ado About Nothing Photo Gallery
Read the Play
Folger Digital Texts:
Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado Activities, Part 1
Much Ado Activities, Part 2
Much Ado About Nothing Crossword Puzzle
Much Ado Crossword Puzzle Answer Key
Hero and Claudio Actor Interview