Activity Overview

A fun way for students to express their understanding of a story, its themes, and main characters, is to create a movie poster. As students read Hamlet, they may have a favorite stop on his journey or perhaps they enjoyed the entire story. Have students create a movie poster, complete with a title, casting, and an image that conveys important information from the story.

To make this a class assignment, consider giving each student a different act or character to focus on. When students complete their posters, they can be printed out and hung in the classroom. If you'd like to extend this to your entire Shakespeare unit, students can complete different posters for each play.

For additional templates to add to this assignment, check out our movie poster templates!

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a movie poster that evokes the theme, story, and other relevant information about Hamlet.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Create an image for your movie poster using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  3. Add any additional information, like a tagline, actors, directors, etc.
  4. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/9-10/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically


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

Movie Poster
Pretend that your book is being made into a blockbuster movie! Create a Movie Poster that showcases the setting, character and a chosen scene or overarching theme of the story. Include the title and author of the book as well as a catchy slogan and a "critic's review" informing the audience why they should go to see the movie and briefly describing the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Includes Title, Author, catchy slogan and a 1-3 sentence critic's review that accurately describes the story and why people should go to see the movie.
Missing one element of text.
Missing two or more elements of text.
Illustrations depict a scene or theme of the story with clear visuals including an appropriate scene, character, items, etc.
Illustrations depict a scene or theme from the story but are unclear or incomplete.
Illustrations do not depict a scene or theme from the story.

How To Encourage Brainstorming Ideas For the Movie Poster


Introduce Task

Teachers can begin by introducing the activity of creating a movie poster for Hamlet. They can also ask students what comes to mind when they think about this activity. Teachers can try to make this activity more engaging and exciting by giving students more decision power to lead the activity.


Individual Brainstorming

Ask the students to sit separately for 15 minutes and brainstorm ideas for making the posters. Students can take help from the internet or old movie posters that they already know of.


Group Brainstorming

Divide the students into groups and ask them to discuss their individual ideas amongst themselves and try to come up with more ideas as a group. The students can also build on each other’s ideas. Teachers should always be there to provide guidance and feedback.


Exercises for Divergent Thinking

Include divergent thinking exercises like "What if..." and "How might we..." statements to motivate students to think creatively. Teachers can also include open-ended questions in the discussions to promote engagement.


Introduce Mind Mapping

As a visual technique to arrange and expand ideas, introduce mind mapping. Encourage your pupils to make mind maps that link various plot points to possible poster ideas. Students can use Storyboard That to create these mind maps.

Frequently Asked Questions About Creating a Shakespearean Movie Poster for Hamlet

How can I make sure that the poster honors both Shakespeare's work and an individual’s originality?

You can add your own flair while still honoring the fundamentals of the play by harmoniously combining contemporary and historical themes and looking for original methods to express time-honored concepts. As a teacher, you can encourage the students to get inspiration from original works and blend it with their own creative ideas.

How can I incorporate the unique ideas in "Hamlet" into a single poster?

Consider concentrating on a main idea that speaks to you, such as vengeance, insanity, or mortality. Select the figurative language that expresses this theme and highlights significant characters or moments in the play to show its complexity and range of emotions. Students do not have to show each and every theme and concept on the poster, rather they can focus on one scene which they think plays the most important part in the story.

What color scheme should I pick for the poster?

Choose hues that reflect the atmosphere of "Hamlet". Such as deep blue shades are used to evoke sadness and reflection, regal golds imply desire and power, and sharp contrasts are used to represent tension and conflict. Teachers can give the students a brief introduction to the meaning of colors and moods associated with colors.

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