A Midsummer Night’s Dream Five-Act Structure Graphic Organizer
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 11-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: The Five Act Play (Dramatic Structure)Common Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/3] Analyze the impact of the author’s choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed)
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact
[ELA-Literacy/RL/11-12/10] By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently
Students can create and show a storyboard that captures the concept of a Five Act Structure by making a six cell storyboard, like the one below. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the acts in order: Prologue, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.
Example A Midsummer Night’s Dream Five Act Structure
Act 1: Exposition or Prologue
The first cell contains the characters, period, setting, and background. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the exposition begins with a short speech by the Duke of Athens who is going to be married to the Queen of the Amazons.
Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour draws on apace. Four happy days bring in another moon. But oh, methinks how slow this old moon wanes! She lingers my desires, like to a stepdame or a dowager long withering out a young man’s revenue.
Act 1: Conflict
A love triangle: Hermia loves Lysander, but her father wants her to marry Demetrius, who is in love with her. Helena, Hermia’s friend, loves Demetrius, and the four end up running into the woods either with or after their respective love interests.
Act 2: Rising Action
Despite the faeries having their own plot, Puck tries to solve the humans' love triangle, but accidentally causes Lysander to fall in love with Helena. Then, while attempting to fix this, he makes Demetrius fall for Helena, too. Now everyone loves Helena, and no one loves Hermia.
Act 3: Climax
Everyone is lost in the woods and are fighting with each other. Puck gathers them together and reverses the spell on Lysander. In the morning, they wake up, and everyone is in love with the right person.
Act 4: Falling Action
The Duke, while riding in the forest, comes upon the lovers. After hearing their story, he invites them to be married during his wedding ceremony. Meanwhile, Queen Titania of the Fairies, who was enchanted to fall in love with a donkey-headed mortal, has her love spell reversed too.
Act 5: Denouement
In the end, all is well. The play about Pyramus and Thisbe is performed, and Puck ends the play by asking the audience to remember it all as if it were a dream!
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Create a visual plot diagram of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
- Separate the play into the Prologue/Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Denouement.
- Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the acts.
- Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)