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Play mapping Shakespeare's plays

Teachers' Rating:
  4 ratings

Comedy and Tragedy masks

May 2012
Danette Long teaches English at Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

Plays/Scenes Covered

Any Shakespeare play.

What's On for Today and Why

Students will create a play map as either an introduction to a play or a review activity after reading a play. Students will work cooperatively in groups to discuss which events should be included on the play map, why they should be included, and how they will depict those events. Finally, students will share their maps with the class giving explanations and justifications for their choices.

This lesson will take place apporximately 2 x 90 minute block schedule class periods or 3-4 regular class periods.

What You Need

Folger edition of any play your students are studying

Supplies of pens, paper, stickers etc

Access to computers and internet if required.

Scanned images of sample playmaps.

Optional:Copies of Shakespeare Set Free ( A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet) and Shakespeare Set Free (Othello, Twelfth Night)

Play maps
What To Do

1. Explain to students that the objective for this lesson is to create a comprehensive play map of a play that depicts the most important events, characters and relationships in the play. Stick figures, written names with connecting lines to show relationships, etc, are perfectly acceptable. It is not necessary to identify the events by act and scene unless the students feel it is helpful.


2. Show students sample play maps of  A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Othello in text books or from scanned images.


3. Break students into groups of 3-5 depending on class size. Have each group discuss what they consider to be the most significant events in the selected play.


4. Ask students to consider how these events should be represented on their group map. Encourage creativity provided that the objectives of the activity are met. Students may create the maps by hand or use Word, Publisher, or other appropriate software.


5. Have each group present their map and provide a rationale for their choices of what they included and what they left out.



How Did It Go?

Were students able to create a play map that included the most significant events in the play? Were students able to work collaboratively within their groups? Were the groups able to justify their choices of depicted events?


Students could create play maps for other plays and also for other genre-novels, etc.


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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