Arden Santana, Crossland High School, Temple Hills, Maryland.
As You Like It 3.3
What's On for Today and Why
Students' ability to recognize ways Shakespeare creates and uses mood will augment their analysis of the text and help them in making performance choices.
This lesson will take two to three class periods.
What You Need
New Folger edition of As You Like It
What To Do
1. As a warm-up activity, ask students to think about their mood and to list ten adjectives that describe how they feel.
2. Facilitate a class discussion in which students share the results from their warm-up activity. Be sure to define "mood" as it relates to literature—the feeling a writer wants the reader to experience. (For a more formal definition, go to Dr. Kip Wheeler's online Dictionary of Literary Definitions .) Ask the students to name the different types of devices authors use to set mood—examples include imagery, descriptive words, figurative language, setting, and foreshadowing.
3. Divide students into groups of five or six and ask them to read Act three, Scene three of As You Like It. Instruct half of the groups to focus on Touchstone's character and the other half to focus on Jaques. Have the groups select words, phrases, lines, and/or other literary devices that reveal their character's mood.
4. Ask students to discuss how they could convey these verbal clues into their performance-facial expression, physical gesture, body language etc.
5. Ask students to perform the scene, paying particular attention to accurately conveying the mood they have determined for their character. After each performance, ask students to jot down their reactions.
6. Facilitate a class discussion of the similarities and differences between the performances. How frequently were groups able to convey a specific mood? Which elements of characterization were useful in conveying those moods?
7. As an optional extension, you may wish to have students write a journal entry or other more formal response paper in which they assess what they have learned.
How Did It Go?
Were students able to select words or devices that effectively conveyed mood? Were they able to convey that mood through performance of the scene? Were they able to synthesize what they had learned at the completion of the assignment?
If you used this lesson, we would like to hear how it went and about any adaptations you made to suit the needs of YOUR students.