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Shakespeare Performance

Created by Anna Porter

In this unit by Anna Porter, students are introduced to the works of Shakespeare and explore how to bring a character to life in a monologue performance. Students are also introduced to the tools to help them unlock meaning in Shakespeare’s text. Through this eleven lesson series, students will participate in class discussions, activities and performance. Assessment tools include informal assessment, submission of textual analysis work and a final performance.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview covers the materials used in the unit, along with a detailed list of lessons and assessment tools.
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1: Introduction to Shakespeare
Students will take a pre-quiz on some of Shakespeare’s plays, then find 5 things they did not already know about Shakespeare during a group discussion and presentation. This lesson includes a presentation for students to introduce Shakespeare and his time period.
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2: Selecting Material
Students will select a monologue to use in this performance unit during the class period. They will also work in groups to create an entertaining and educational performance based off of a plot summary for one of Shakespeare’s plays.
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3: Approaching the Text
As a class, students will explore context, the meaning of words, and imagery used to unlock meaning in a Shakespearean text. Students will use these tools to create a modern translation for their own text. Students are also introduced to resources and will become familiar with their story through doing the Actor’s Homework.
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4: Paint with Words: Imagery and Insults
Students will use insults and compliments to explore sound and imagery in Shakespeare’s texts. Students will also participate in a choral reading, then create a short scenario where they must use their voice and body to bring Shakespeare’s imagery to life to achieve a specific emotional response.
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5: Finding Emotion and Action in the Text
Students will explore emotional outbursts, action words, and emotion words by doing a structured activity and textual analysis.
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6: Punctuation
Students will dissect, analyze, and color code punctuation examples. Students will use physical movement that is tied to specific punctuation to help them explore how it can communicate meaning in the text. Students will then apply this and analyze their monologue by examining the punctuation.
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7: Preparing a Character for Performance Part One - Tools, Objectives, Tactics
Students use their Actor’s Homework Sheet to create a personal word list to explore their character. They will also identify how they will use voice and body to bring their character to life. Finally, students review character objective and tactics in order to create an objective statement with three active tactics they will use with their monologue.
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8: Preparing a Character for Performance Part Two - Laban's Efforts
Students explore and play with Laban’s Efforts, then select efforts to use in their monologue.
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9: Performing a Monologue with Focus and Stage Pictures
Students will review how to use stage pictures that communicate character, story, and emotion to help them create appropriate blocking for their performance. Students will create an appropriate focus for their character to look at while performing their monologue.
10: Memorization Quiz and Preview
Students will take a memorization quiz and perform for their peers. Students will also critique each other based on what they have worked on during this unit.
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11: Performance
Students will demonstrate their understanding of textual analysis, painting with words and imagery, creating a character, and preparing a monologue by performing a Shakespearean monologue and reflecting on their experience.
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Standards Addressed

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