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Add materials relating to the study of Shakespeare here:
Folger Shakespeare Library
This is a highly comprehensive site with a wealth of features for teachers teaching Shakespeare from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Included are lesson plans for every Shakespeare play, as well as digital images of rare manuscripts and documents for extension activities. The links for Teacher's Lounge, Primary Sources, and Study Guides are noted. For lesson plans on specific plays taught in high schools in DSBOne, see the links below.
In Search of Shakespeare
In 2004, PBS showed a documentary by the historian Michael Wood entitled
In Search of Shakespeare.
The documentary contains 4 episodes that span the whole of Shakespeare's life, with useful (and student-friendly) discussion of the plays. The accompanying website's "For Educators" link provides excellent resources, including lesson plans and a multimedia database. Of special interest is the "Teaching Shakespeare with Technology" page and the interactive "Playwright Game."
Produced by the University of Victoria, this site is a searchable database of all the plays and poems. Of special interest is "The Illuminated Text", a resource that offers a range of interactive tools which can "assist in the display, comparison, and exploration of Shakespeare's texts." I love this website for how it allows you to 'turn' through the pages of any edition of any play, as if you are in the early 17th century outside of St. Paul's Cathedral reading the book hot off the press. While you obviously will not use this edition to teach the play, this interactive tool enables teachers to demonstrate to students various issues about the history of the text and the ways in which texts were made and presented to Shakespeare's readers.
ENG 2DA - KLDCS - Romeo and Juliet Summative Tasks: Websites, Blogs and Vlogs, Oh My!
For a host of lessons that can help introduce Shakespeare in a variety of ways, see the following link to the Folger Shakespeare Library page:
Be sure to view the "Punch Shakespeare" video at the bottom of this page.
As You Like It
See the Folger Library list of lesson plans at the following link:
As You Like It
For a lengthy list of lesson plans on
which are enhanced with digital versions of Primary Sources (i.e. scanned documents from 17th century England), see the Folger Shakespeare Library site at the following link:
Hamlet Lesson Plans
This is the Introductory PowerPoint of a lesson I did for
From Soliloquy to Screen: A Study of Hamlet's Main Soliloquies and 4 Film Adaptations
." The slideshow establishes the general elements of film adaptation when directors like Zeffirelli or Branagh or Doran bring Shakespearean texts to the film screen. I invite anyone to view the show and provide feedback for improvement at
See the Folger Library list of lesson plans:
Macbeth Lesson Plans
Merchant of Venice:
See the Folger Library list of lesson plans:
Merchant of Venice Lesson Plans
In order to clarify the meaning of 'masquerade' to students, I do a class in which I compare 2 famous masquerade scenes as they appear in the film adaptations of Henry James'
The Wings of the Dove
(2008). I preface the viewing of the clips with a PowerPoint in which we examine the idea of the Venetian masque and learn the basic plot points of each novel. The exercise has proven highly beneficial for illustrating the dramatic function of the masque within the play. See PowerPoint below. Should anyone wish to contact me to provide feedback, please do so at
Love and Money.ppt
Midsummer Night's Dream:
See the Folger Shakespeare Library Lesson Plan archive:
Midsummer Lesson Plans
Romeo & Juliet:
When I have finished doing this play, I do a Shakespeare Storyboard lesson. The idea came out of the fact that I had a large empty space to cover, and that I wanted the students to feel a stronger connection to the characters and the physical process of staging a scene. The students participate in a series of tableaux exercises which are photographed, cropped, and posted on a large bulletin board on the back of my classroom wall. Following the prompts on each slide of the PowerPoint below, the group chooses various individuals to portray each of the Dramatis Personae. This exercise is done informally, and it is best to ask students to bring a prop that might be useful. When the pictures are cropped and posted, you or your students can write captions around each image that trace the storyline of the play. The result is a lifesize storyboard in which every student plays a part.
For the Folger Shakespeare Lesson Plans, go here:
Romeo and Juliet Lessons
Symbols in Romeo and Juliet - this Prezi is meant to help students begin analyzing and finding symbols in the play.
Summative Assignment - Students decide on three acts of the play. They have to complete each part of the chart, typically in class, and then communicate their analysis and critical / creative thinking using one or more types of media communication (blog, vlog, wiki, newspaper, virtual newspaper, podcast, texting transcript…)
ENG 2DA unit 1 summative.pdf
I use the checklist on the back of the assignment, both for the students to self-assess their progress, and for myself to evaluate the final product. I also refer to the Ontario Curriculum rubric to provide the final evaluation.
See the Folger Shakespeare Lesson Plans here:
Twelfth Night Lesson Plans
The short and humorous video below may be used as an icebreaker to any Shakespeare unit, or at the end, especially when students studying Shakespeare and film have learned who Kenneth Branagh is. Rowan Atkinson passes Shakespeare (played by Colin Firth) in a hallway and accidentally bumps into the famous playwright. Atkinson is dressed as a contemporary of Shakespeare's, but he is speaking from a modern viewpoint. Atkinson gets Shakespeare to autograph a piece of paper; Atkinson then punches Shakespeare, claiming that the assault is for all the pain and suffering which students over the next 400 years will endure because they will have to study Shakespeare's plays. So often, students express fear about getting through Shakespearean language; this video takes the initial pressure off.
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