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Message in a Bottle

Teachers' Rating:
  12 ratings

Paul Vincent Woodroffe. The Tempest. Caliban. II, 2. Watercolor and ink drawing, ca. 1908.

April 2008
Christina Porter teaches English at Revere High School in Revere, Massachusetts.

Plays/Scenes Covered
The Tempest Acts 1-4
What's On for Today and Why

After reading the first four acts of The Tempest, students will choose one of the shipwrecked characters on the island and write a rescue message from the point of view of that character. The purpose of this activity is to allow students to explore the events of the play from the vantage point of a specific character.


This lesson should take one or two class periods.

What You Need

Folger edition of The Tempest
Available in Folger print edition and Folger Digital Texts

Handout #1 (Pre-writing)
Handout #2 (Rubric)
What To Do

1. Ask students to choose a character that was shipwrecked on the island after reading Act 4. Explain that they will be writing a "message in a bottle" letter from this character detailing his/her experiences on the island and pleading for rescue.


2. Distribute the Pre-Writing Handout to the class. This sheet is designed to allow students to go back in the text and collect information about their character that will be included in the letter.


3. Distribute the Rubric Handout for the assignment and review it with the class so that they are aware of what is expected of them for this assignment.


4. Have students write their letters.


5. Ask for volunteers to share their work with the class.

How Did It Go?
Use the grading rubric to assess student learning.

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.

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  Common Core State Standards

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