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Activity Overview


Shakespearean comedies usually contain elements such as irony, word play, and metaphors. Comedies also contain elements of love or lust, with obstacles that the lovers must overcome throughout the play. Mistaken identities are often used in both intentional and unintentional ways for comic relief. Additionally, a staple of the Shakespearean comedy is ending in a reunion or marriage(s). Finally, comedies contain complicated plots with twists that often keep the audience guessing what will happen next.

Having students create storyboards that depict the elements of this genre will help them to understand the comedy behind the play. It will also help them follow the multiple plots and interweaving of characters, while bringing the genre to life!


    When I did him at this advantage take, an ass’s noll I fixed on his head. Anon his Thisbe must be answered, and forth my [mimic] comes. When they him spy, as wild geese that the creeping fowler eye, or russet-pated choughs, many in sort, rising and cawing at the gun’s report, sever themselves and madly sweep the sky, so at his sight away his fellows fly, and, at our stamp, here o’er and o’er one falls.

    Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream

Comedic Elements of A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Love Obstacles Hermia's father tells her she must be with Demetrius even though she loves Lysander!
Mistaken Identities Puck mistakes Lysander for Demetrius, and Titania mistakes Bottom for a person (even though he looks like a donkey)
Plot Twists Hermia and Helena are split by jealousy. The men want to fight over someone neither of them loves. Titania is fooled by her own kind. But, it all works out in the end.
Marriage or Reunion In the end, Helena marries Demetrius, Hermia marries Lysander, and the Duke marries Hippolyta.


Using a template, students can quickly come up with their interpretations and create amazing storyboards that look like this:

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 11-12

Difficulty Level 5 (Advanced / Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Shakespearean Play Genres

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/W/11-12/1] Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies the elements of a comedy. Illustrate instances and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Create an image for an example that represents each element.
  3. Write a description of each of the examples.
  4. Save and submit your storyboard.



Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Shakespearean Comedy Genre Rubric
Create a Storyboard that outlines each of the 5 key components of a Shakespearean Comedy, and depict these elements in your Storyboard as we read through the play. For each depiction, you should have a description or quote underneath to support that your chosen scene or character is a match to the element being depicted in your art.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
27 Points
Beginning
22 Points
Try Again
17 Points
Elements of a Shakespearean Comedy Genre
The five common elements of the Shakespearean Comedy Genre are correctly identified and portrayed from the play. The quotes and/or explanations give context to the scene, and are accurate and appropriate to the elements being depicted.
4-5 common elements of the Shakespearean Comedy Genre are correctly identified and portrayed from the play. The quotes and/or explanations give context to the scene, and are mostly accurate for the elements being depicted.
2-3 common elements of the Shakespearean Comedy Genre are correctly identified and portrayed from the play. The quotes and/or explanations may be minimal or inaccurate for the elements being depicted.
1-2 common elements of the Shakespearean Comedy Genre are correctly identified and portrayed from the play. The quotes/and or explanations may be inaccurate, missing, or too limited to score.
Artistic Depictions
The art chosen to depict the scenes are historically appropriate to the play. It is evident that the student spent a lot of time, creativity, and effort into carefully crafting each artistic depiction.
The art chosen to depict the scenes should be historically appropriate, but there may be some liberties taken that distract from the assignment. It is evident that the student stayed on task and put time and effort into crafting each artistic depiction.
Most of the art chosen to depict the scenes are historically appropriate, but there are serious deviations that cause confusion or inaccuracies. The student may not have paid much attention to detail in crafting each depiction, and there may be evidence of rushing or limited effort.
Most of the art chosen to depict the scenes are historically inappropriate, missing, or too limited to score. It is evident that the student did not put a lot of time, effort, and creativity into crafting each artistic depiction.
English Conventions
Ideas and quotes are organized. Displays control of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Shows careful proofreading.
Ideas and quotes are organized. Contains few errors in grammar, usage and mechanics. Shows some proofreading.
Ideas and quotes are organized. Contains errors in grammar, usage and mechanics which interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.
Contains too many errors in grammar, usage and mechanics; (and/or) errors seriously interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.




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