Folger Education offers lesson plans on Shakespeare's frequently taught plays, as well as lessons on introducing Shakespeare. Try the plans below, or, for more lesson plans on Macbeth, visit the Lesson Plans Archive.
"What are these?"
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 3, and 7. The lesson introduces students to the Weird Sisters and invites them to explore the roles they play in Macbeth.
"When Fair is Foul"
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 2, 3, and 6. The lesson is best used after students have read the entire play, and encourages students to consider how Shakespeare and his characters use language to give words multiple and complex meanings.
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 3, and 4. This interactive lesson is used to introduce students to the play by literally encompassing the major plot points in 32 seconds!
The Folger edition of Macbeth 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.
Shakespeare Set Free, a groundbreaking curriculum on performance-based teaching, includes a unit on teaching Macbeth.
Colorful Character Connections offer an at-a-glance map of character relationships, an introduction to the plot, and important quotes to look and listen for.
Audio and Video Resources
This short video is a step-by-step guide on how to use audio technology to introduce middle and high school students to Macbeth.
Insider's Guide: Macbeth
Introduce your students to this classic work with our Folger Insider's Guide podcast, as Folger Theatre artists, including co-directors Teller (the silent partner in Penn & Teller) and Aaron Posner and actors Eric Hissom, Kate Eastwood Norris, Ian Merrill Peakes, and Craig Wallace, talk Macbeth.
Macbeth Teacher's Guide
In our "Macbeth Teacher's Guide" podcast, Folger educators, all teaching the play in their classrooms, talk about sure-fire ways for successfully introducing students to one of Shakespeare's most popular plays in the Teacher's Edition podcast.
For many students today, reading Shakespeare's language can be a challenge. Things to pay attention to in Macbeth include words that are intentionally imprecise.
In Macbeth Shakespeare often uses words that are deliberately vague. For example, Macbeth's lines "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well / It were done quickly" (1.7.1-2) play with the verb "done" as well as an unnamed "it." In some cases, this vagueness might seem to be designed to cover up the darkness of the deed: in this case, the king's murder.
Opportunities to perform Shakespeare while learning Shakespeare can aid greatly in comprehension. To see performance-based education strategies for your classroom, check out our clips on YouTube here.
About the Play
Macbeth was first printed in the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays in 1623.
To learn more, explore our Discover Shakespeare online resource, including the sections highlighted at right.