Shakespeare Lesson Plan: To Video or Not To Video? That is the Question!

Submitted by: Myla McCoy

Grade Levels: 9-12

In this multi-day lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 9-12, students use BrainPOP resources to explore the life and works of William Shakespeare. Students will choose a scene from Macbeth (or any Shakespearean play) and video record a modern-day version of a scene.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Explore the life and works of William Shakespeare.
  2. Choose a scene from Macbeth (or any Shakespearean play) and video record a modern-day version of a scene from Macbeth.

Materials:

  • Internet Access for BrainPOP
  • Copy of Macbeth in original text
  • Paper/pencil/pen or computer to create script
  • Video recording device
  • Relevant props

Vocabulary:

soliloquy, hallucinations, tyranny, prophecy

Preparation:

Depending on the size of the class, divide students into groups large or small enough to fit the needs of the chosen scene. Be sure the students are familiar with the context of the scene they have chosen.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Day 1 - Watch BrainPOP's movie William Shakespeare. Discuss the differences among tragedies, comedies, and the historical plays. Have the students complete the quiz at the end of the movie in pairs. The teacher may assign pairs or allow the students to choose a partner to with whom to complete the quiz. Have them print their results.
  2. Day 2 - Give students a list of scenes to choose from the Macbeth (or the Shakesperean play of your choice). Have each student read over the list of scenes to evaluate which one he/she will chose to "tranlate." See examples below for Macbeth: -Act 1: Lady Macbeth's Soliloquy -Act 1: Macbeth's Soliloquy -Act 1: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth's first argument (should they kill king) -Act 2: 2nd argument (the murder) -Act 2: Aftermath of murder -Act 3: Macbeth's instructions for 2nd murder -Act 3: Banquest scene -Act 4: Macbeth visits the witches -Act 5: Lady Macbeth's insanity -Act 5: Macbeth's desperation -Act 5: The Final Battle
  3. Days 3 and 4 - After each student has read and chosen a scene, allow time in class for them to begin to translate their scenes into modern text. They will also need this time to decide what each group member will need to complete the video. Feel free to shorten or lengthen the time in class needed to do this.
  4. Days 5 and 6 - Focus on creating or finding props and other items to enhance the set of the scene. encourage the student to be creative as opposed to buying traditional props. They can also used these days to practice their lines.
  5. Days 7 and 8 - Filming! Students can use time inside and outside of class to film scenes. Feel free to adjust the time as necessary.
  6. Day 9 - Presentation day! Each group will show his video to the class. The students will evaluate each video on his/her peer evaluation sheet.