“Take Action”: What time period do you think it might be interesting to set a Shakespeare play in?
Before class starts display the comic shown above on the projector. This will help them start to think about simplifying Shakespeare’s stories.
There are many of these three panel Shakespeare comments by the same artist. Any will work as long as the students are fairly familiar with the story. (When this was originally taught we had already taken time to talk about A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a class.)
Discuss the Take Action, what are some of the time periods that you put down?
Why do you think those time periods would be interesting for Shakespeare?
If someone put the modern time period, ask them how a man writing 500 years ago could really connect with them today?
NOTE: There IS some swearing and a tad bit of violence in this video link. For purposes of showing in class it must be edited.
This video presents a few different types of Shakespeare adaptations in movies.
Have them reflect on the video:
Which adaptations did you find interesting?
What made it interesting?
These are only a few of the adaptations that exist. Why do you think so many adaptations of Shakespeare’s work exist?
Their goal for this coming assignment is to create their own adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s plays. They can choose any of the plays that they wish. (If there are any restrictions on plays, let them know at this point.)
Give each student a copy of the “Shakespeare Re-Telling Instructions” and take time to go over the purpose and requirements of the assignment with them.
Have students choose their group.
If there has been previous group work in the class, invite them to mix it up and not work with the same people. If the instructor feels they can’t do that, assign them to groups.
For today students will only have time to get into groups and choose a few plays to look at as a group.
For now, students can just look at quick summaries if they are not sure which play they want to use but they will need to read a more fleshed out version of the story in a future class.
Options for resources in class:
If the school has Chromebooks in the classroom, student groups can grab one for their group to start looking for Shakespeare’s stories.
Depending on the school it may be an option to go to a computer lab or the library to find the summaries or stories.
If the drama classroom has versions of Shakespeare’s stories available for student use, that option would be best.
Closure: Bring all the students back together and explain that they are going to complete a journal entry. Have the following questions written on the board:
Why do you think that we are doing this with Shakespeare’s plays?
Why would we want to perform the stories of these plays without the original text?
What do we have to gain from this exercise?
Have students take out a blank piece of paper (and put their name on it!) and write their answers in complete sentences. They only need to write one paragraph, but they need to answer all three of the questions.