DTA | Unlocking Shakespeare's Text
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Unlocking Shakespeare's Text

Created by Anna Porter

Shakespeare’s text holds valuable tools that students can use to unlock and understand meaning. In this unit by Anna Porter, students explore how to use the tools of research, context, textual analysis, imagery and punctuation to help them unlock meaning in Shakespeare’s text. This unit is created for an Intermediate to Advanced drama class with a basic background in plot structure and acting technique.

Through this five lesson series, students will use journals, participate in class discussions, activities and performance to explore the tools used to unlock a text. Assessment tools include informal assessment as well as a final group presentation and performance.

Standards Addressed

Overview
The overview lays out the goals and objectives for the unit, as well as a materials list and lesson descriptions.
1: Approaching the Text
As a class, students will explore the tools of context, meaning of words, and imagery to unlock meaning in a Shakespearean text. Students will then use these tools to create a modern translation for their text. Students will also be introduced to resources and begin work on a monologue that they will continue to use throughout the unit.
Attachments
2: Imagery and Insults
Students will use insults and compliments to explore sound and imagery created in Shakespeare’s texts. Students will also practice this form, 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.
Attachments
3: Finding Emotion and Action in Text
Students will explore Outbursts, Action Words, and Emotion Words through structured activity and textual analysis.
Attachments
4: Punctuation
Students will learn the clues and meaning behind the punctuation that Shakespeare used. Students will also dissect, analyze, and color code examples. They will also use physical movement tied to specific punctuation to help them explore how it can communicate meaning in the text. Students will then apply this and analyze their performance script by examining their punctuation.
Attachments
5: Performance
Students will demonstrate their understanding of textual analysis, painting with words and imagery, and physicalizing punctuation by preparing and performing a staged reading of a Shakespearean monologue in a group presentation.
Attachments

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 8

TH:Pr4.1.8.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr4.1.HSI.a - Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cn11.1.HSI.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr5.1.HSII.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.b - Develop effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 7

TH:Pr6.1.7.a - Participate in rehearsals for a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding - Grade 7

TH:Cn11.2.7.a - Research and discuss how a playwright might have intended a drama/theatre work to be produced.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade 8

TH:Pr6.1.8.a - Perform a rehearsed drama/theatre work for an audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Cr3.1.HSI.b - Explore physical, vocal and physiological choices to develop a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant to a drama/theatre work.

Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work - Grade HS Proficient

TH:Pr6.1.HSI.a - Perform a scripted drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr3.1.HSII.b - Use research and script analysis to revise physical, vocal, and physiological choices impacting the believability and relevance of a drama/ theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade HS Advanced

TH:Cr3.1.HSIII.b - Synthesize ideas from research, script analysis, and context to create a performance that is believable, authentic, and relevant in a drama/theatre work.

Common Core

California VAPA Standards (2019)

8.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

8.TH:Pr4.b - Use various character objectives and tactics in a drama/theatre work to overcome an obstacle.

Prof.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Prof.TH:Pr4.a - Examine how character relationships assist in telling the story of a drama/theatre work.

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Prof.TH:Cn11.1 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Prof.TH.Cn11.1.a - Explore how cultural, global, and historic belief systems affect creative choices in a drama/theatre work.

Acc.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

Acc.TH:Pr5.a - Refine a range of acting skills to build a believable and sustainable drama/theatre performance.

7.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

67TH:Pr6 - Create through improvisation a drama/theatre work that will be shared with an audience.

7.TH:Cn11.2 Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

7.TH:Cn11.2.a - Research and discuss how a playwright might have intended a drama/theatre work to be produced.

8.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

8.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted scene from a drama/theatre work for an audience.

Prof.TH:Pr6 Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.

Prof.TH:Pr6 - Perform a rehearsed, scripted short drama/theatre work for a specific audience.

Florida Sunshine State Standards

Georgia Performance Standards - Theatre Arts

North Carolina Essential Standards

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.A - demonstrate safe use of the voice and body.

MS 117.211 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.A - identify and apply audience etiquette at all performances.

MS 117.212 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - demonstrate knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.315 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.C - offer and receive constructive criticism of peer performances.

HS 117.316 LII - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.C - offer and receive constructive criticism of peer performances.

Alberta, Canada

Theatre Studies Drama 30 (Early or Middle or Late drama)

4 - recognize dramatic structure of a play

Movement Level I - Beginning

17 - use movement to communicate non-verbally

Theatre Studies Level 1 - Beginning (performance analysis)

1 - demonstrate understanding of the need for analysis of the work of self and others

Theatre Studies Level II - Intermediate (Theatre History)

6 - show awareness of selected periods and playwrights

British Columbia (2018)

GRADE 9 - DRAMA - Connecting and expanding

Demonstrate respect for themselves, others, and the audience

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada

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