Picking a play/characters and doing an analysis


Students will demonstrate their understanding of costuming characters by coming up with a costume rendering for a Shakespearean character of their choosing.


Materials Needed

– Drawing materials and Body form pages for all the students
– As many of Shakespeare’s plays as you can get your hands on
– Copy of Assignment & Rubric for each student  Shakespearean Costume Assignment & Rubric
– The 1960’s version of “Romeo and Juliet” and the “Romeo+Juliet” version. They are available online at:
o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y9Vd4tGPi0&feature=related
o http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UfUd03qOxE&feature=related
– Equipment to play the movies on.


Lesson Directions


Anticipatory Set/Hook

Have the 1960s movie playing as everyone is entering class. Have it in a scene with lots of costumes, such as the masked dance. As everyone is coming in to class make sure the attention is focused on the scene, after the bell rings let the movie play for a few more minutes. Then switch movies and put in the modern version on the same scene. After letting the film play for long enough that the students get a good idea of the costumes shut it off and open the floor up to responses.



Step 1: Discussion. They saw the same characters from Shakespeare communicated in very different ways. Talk about similarities and differences between the two. Discuss the different ways to approach the same characters. Talk about the things that were effective about both.

Key Points to hit: There is more than one way of interpreting a character and endless possibilities for how you can costume them. Same characteristics-different clothes.


Step 2: Instruction. Explain to the students that they each need to pick a character from a Shakespearean play and create one costume design for that character. They need to analyze their chosen character and justify their costuming choices. The rendering they make needs have some serious effort put into it. It needs to be completely colored and make reference to the kinds of fabrics that would be used in constructing the costume. There are no time period restrictions on the character- they can have them be whenever they want. Remind them of the movie clips and encourage them to think of a few different options before settling on the one they will commit to. They are going to be presenting their finished product to the class so they need to be prepared to answer questions about it. In their presentation they need to explain their character, the choices they made and be able to explain why they made those choices referencing areas such as color, lines etc. Pass out to each student a copy of the rubric that will be used for grading the assignment and answer any questions they may have about it. Tell them that today is the only class time they will get to work on the assignment so they should use it wisely.


Step 3: Choosing a play and getting to work. Also hint to them if they choose from a play they are already familiar with the assignment will be easier, but they can choose anyone they want. The rest of the class period will be devoted to the students choosing a character and working on their designs. During this time float around the classroom answering questions, offering help and encouraging slackers. Encourage students to discuss with each other and get feedback on their ideas, a fresh pair of eyes is always helpful.


Closure: A few minutes before the bell rings have the students put away the drawing materials and plays. As they are getting ready to leave remind them they are sharing their designs in the next class period and need to be ready.



The students can get participation/citizenship points for being on task and using their time wisely.