Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Teaching Resources
• Teach a Play

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

Teaching A Midsummer Night's Dream



Resources from Folger Education


This page contains resources for teaching A Midsummer Night's Dream, one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. Generations of readers have been fascinated by this romantic fantasy. Below you'll find links to resources from Folger Education that include activities, teaching modules, teaching tools, and more.



Teaching Modules


Folger Education offers teaching modules on Shakespeare's frequently taught plays, as well as modules on introducing Shakespeare. Try the modules below, or, for more modules for Midsummer, visit the Teaching Modules Archive.


"I Will Hear That Play" 
In this lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 3, 4, 8, 9, and 11. The lesson works well as a final project on A Midsummer Night's Dream as students consider how sound can influence a scene's meaning.

"Pyramus and Thisbe" 

In the lesson plan, you'll cover NCTE standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Using the tale of lovers Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid, students develop their own staging of the scene. This also works well as a bridge to other plays, such as Romeo and Juliet.

Teaching Tools

The Folger edition of A Midsummer Night's Dream 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.Request a desk copy of this edition from Simon & Schuster

 

Curriculum Guides lay out everything you need to teach this play for the first time: an introduction to the play, character connections, synopsis, teaching modules, suggested scenes for performance, fun facts, and familiar quotes.

Shakespeare Set Free , a groundbreaking curriculum on performance-based teaching, includes a unit on teaching Midsummer.

 

Other Resources

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.

 

Archived study guides from past Folger Theatre performances provide activities and discussion questions for students to consider before seeing a performance or as they rehearse scenes from this play.

 

 

Audio and Video Resources


Bill's Buddies, Folger Education's performance troupe, demonstrates performance-based teaching strategies in a series of short videos. Click on the links on the right to watch individual videos.

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.


Language

For many students today, reading Shakespeare's language can be a challenge. Things to pay attention to in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

  • unfamiliar words or words whose meanings have changed
  • unfamiliar word order
Some of Shakespeare's words are no longer used. For example, in the opening scenes, you'll find "mewed" (caged), "beteem" (grant, give), and "collied" (coal black). Words whose meanings have changed might be more problematic, such as "blood" used to mean "passion or feelings," and "well possessed" when we might say "wealthy." Both kinds of words are explained in notes in the Folger Editions.

Shakespeare uses language to build three dramatic spaces within the play: the classical Athens of Theseus and Hippolyta; the world of the workingmen; and finally, Fairyland ruled by Oberon and Titania. Ask your students to be attentive to how language shifts in each of these worlds.

In A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare often uses sentence structures that separate words that normally appear together, most often the subject and verb. This is often done to create a particular speech rhythm, or emphasize a certain word. Occasionally, words are ommitted to create iambic pentameter lines. Puns and wordplay are infrequently used in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

About the Play

A Midsummer Night's Dream was first printed as a quarto in 1600. In 1619, a slightly edited second quarto appeared. This second quarto was used as the printer's copy for the First Folio text of Shakespeare’s plays, printed in 1623.

To learn more, explore our Discover Shakespeare online resource, including the sections highlighted at right.
 
A Midsummer Night's Dream



From the Collection

A Midsummer Night's Dream Photo Gallery


How To


Living Iambic Pentameter



Tableaux Vivants



In The Shop

Folger Editions
Trade Paperback



Shakespeare Set Free Series



Learn More

Discover Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Works

Shakespeare's Life

Shakespeare's Theater


More

A Midsummer Night's Dream Crossword Puzzle

A Midsummer Night's Dream Crossword Puzzle Answer Key


Read the Play

Folger Digital Texts:
A Midsummer Night's Dream



Related Items

Curriculum Guide



Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623