Starting to Read The Manaechmi

Day 3: Starting to Read The Manaechmi


Objective: Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of how playwrights use the English language to create humor and meaning by raising the correct card at the correct time while reading The Manaechmi.


Materials Needed: Copies of The Manaechmi


Hook: Have the following written on the board:

  • Homophone
  • Rhyme
  • Alliteration
  • Portmanteau
  • Pun


Discussion: Ask the students which of these words they know

  • Rhyme – words that have the same ending sound
  • Pun – plays on words that are meant to be amusing
  • Alliteration – repeated beginning consonants
    • Ask the students to define the terms and give examples
  • Ask what they think a homophone is – look at the root words “homo” and “phone”
    • Words that sound the same but are not spelled the same
    • Such as: to, two, and too; their, there, and they’re
      • Ask students who don’t usually participate to define to, two and too (to is the preposition – I’m going TO the store, two is the number 2, and too is also or an over-abundance of something) and their, there, and they’re (their is belonging to them, there is a place, and they’re is the contraction of they and are)
    • Portmanteau – I’ll just tell you what this one is because let’s be honest, nobody knows.
      • Words that are combined to create a new word, not a contraction:
        • Brunch (breakfast and lunch)
        • Motel (motor hotel)
        • Smog (smoke fog)
          • Can you think of any others?


Transition: Have the students take out two pieces of paper

  • Cut/rip them in half
  • On one, write rhyme on the front and alliteration on the back
  • On the other, write portmanteau on the front and homophone on the back
    • This play is full of all of these things. When we read a line that fits into one of these categories, hold up the corresponding sign!
    • You’ll notice we don’t have one for puns – that’s because the only appropriate response to a pun is to groan or force a fake laugh.


Assessment: If time, assign parts and begin reading The Manaechmi.


Wrap-up: Are you ready for the homework assignment that will make your friends and family hate me? Make as many puns, portmanteau or homophones as possible before the next class period. Write down your best one-liners and bring them in next time!