Outlines and Concepts

LESSON #6: Outlines and Concepts


OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to demonstrate their understanding of how to incorporate a concept with a story by creating an outline of their group’s retold story.



  • The following meme (displayed at the beginning of class):  Lesson 6.Meme




“Take Action”: What are three important plot points in your play?


Lesson Plan:

Remind students, referring to the meme above, that their performance doesn’t need to be completely the same as their Shakespeare story as long as the same idea and the same theme is there. Help them remember the video shown on the first day of the unit. One of the movies included was “The Lion King” which is considerably different from the original story of Hamlet. The idea is to get the essence of the story. (Take an opportunity to discuss what the essence of a story might mean if they don’t seem to understand. Connect the idea back to the theme.)


Now that students have written a basic outline of their story, they are ready to really dig in and start creating their own version.

  • Return the outlines they completed yesterday.
  • By the end of today they should have done the following:
    • On a piece of paper write down the names of every group member and the name of your play (or what you are naming the adaptation).
    • Next, write down the theme of the play and the concept you have chosen.
    • Take the outline you created yesterday and (on the same paper you’ve just started) create a nice LEGIBLE outline of your version of the play using your chosen concept. You will turn this in at the end of class.
    • Cast the show. Keep in mind how few people there are in your group and cast accordingly.
      • During the casting process you may need to cut out some characters that you find may be less important for your version of the story.


Closure: Five minutes before the end of class have students turn in their outlines and come back to their seats. Talk them through how the next few days are going to go. The next two days will consist of stations they will rotate through to help them prepare their performance. The day following will be a day where they need to rehearse everything they have worked out thus far so they can run through their performance as many times as possible. There will be a preview day for another group to watch and give feedback, one day of tweaking, and then the performance days!

  • At this point some students may be worrying a lot about the short amount of time they have to rehearse. Make sure they understand that the point of this exercise is less about having a perfect performance and more about introducing everyone in the class to a variety of plays and learning how applicable Shakespeare’s works can be. They are allowed to have notes in their hands, they are allowed to improvise a little, it can be a bit different every time they perform it (while keeping within the time limit), and the performance can be rough. But the story needs to be there. They will have plenty more to memorize later in the semester, for now just have fun with this and create the best performance you can in the short amount of time.