Choosing a Play

LESSON #2: Choosing a Play


OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of collaboration by choosing a Shakespeare story to re-tell as a group.



  • The following comic:  Lesson 2.Cartoon Panel
  • Regular sized paper or craft supplies with which to make small posters.



“Take Action”: Which plays did your group choose to look at? Which one do you think that you would like your group to do? Why?


Lesson Plan:

Let students know that by the end of the day their group should have chosen a play to use for their re-telling.

  • Let them know that they have the option of changing it before they start rehearsing if they discover they don’t want to work with their original choice.


This is a good time to talk to them about how the creative process works.

  • Most students will have tons of ideas for a concept and want to jump ahead to planning a concept before reading the play as a group. While it is great that they have so many ideas, try to stop them from jumping ahead.
  • While it is great that they are having so many ideas, they can’t work on those ideas and be sure they will be effective until they know their play inside and out.


Project the following questions for them to consider while they work as a group to decide on their story.

  • Questions to ask about the plays you are looking at:
    • What do we like about this story?
    • Is it one that we could re-tell with the group that we have?
    • What ways could we re-tell this story? Can we come up with anything off the top of our head?


Let them know they have exactly ten-fifteen minutes to continue where they left off yesterday looking at multiple Shakespeare plays, discussing the stories, and choosing one. (Depending on the class they may not need that much time. When this was originally taught the groups in the class had decided within five minutes.)


Students need to have one decided on by the end of the time limit given to them.

  • NOTE: No two groups should have the same play. While students are discussing and choosing in groups it’ll be up to the teacher to bounce from group to group and confirm that no two groups are choosing the same play.


Once the time limit for choosing is up, bring students back together and explain to them what they are going to do next. Before the end of class, each group will need to work together to create a small poster (on a normal sized sheet of paper) that demonstrates what play they have chosen.

  • The poster should have the title of the play they have chosen very clearly and easy to see.
  • The poster needs to show some creativity.
  • They can draw pictures, create the title as word art, have some quotes from the play (if they can find some really quickly), ideas they are already having for how to present the story, etc.
  • Students should make sure the names of everyone in their group are listed on the back of their poster.


For groups who choose a play and finish their poster quickly: they should begin reading a version of the play as a group. (As mentioned in lesson #1.)

  • Explain that the first step in this process is getting to know the play and before they can come up with a concept they need to read the play.
  • They MUST begin with reading the play before doing anything else so that everyone in the group is familiar with the play.


Closure: Using magnets, have each group put their poster on the whiteboard for everyone to see clearly.  Take the last minute or two of class to allow everyone to view each other’s posters like a museum.

  • Assign students to read the version of the Shakespeare play they have access to at home if they weren’t able to read through an entire summary today! They will need to be familiar with it for tomorrow’s activities.