Greetings! We hope that the information and resources contained in these pages will help you to plan and deliver engaging lessons related to Shakespeare’s classic comedy, Twelfth Night. The ideas and activities we have suggested are compiled from our actual classroom experiences teaching this play, teaching other Shakespearean works, and brainstorming additional creative approaches. We have not created this content with any specific grade level in mind, nor have we presented the material in terms of strict timelines or unit calendars. Instead, we hope that you will borrow and/or modify any ideas that seem to fit into your classroom, teaching style, and time frame. In the interest of thorough coverage, we included more information than we would be able to share in a typical three- to four-week unit, understanding that each teacher will tailor lesson ideas to his or her individual needs.
- As an additional resource, we compiled the following list of all-purpose activities that can be adapted for use with Twelfth Night (or any Shakespeare play, for that matter) if you find yourself in need of supplementary material:
- Choose a quotation from a future part of the reading of the play. Write the individual words on separate 3x5 cards. Give the stack of cards to a group of students and have them arrange the words in the logical or correct order. Share with the class to hear the possible arrangements.
- Take a quotation from the play and assign emphasis to different words. Have the students read their quotation aloud and discuss how the emphasis on different words changes the meaning.
- Google a website of words and phrases derived from Shakespeare. Read them aloud to hear his contributions to everyday English language.
- Choose a scene and ask the students to swap the gender roles of the characters (rewrite the scene by changing male characters to females and vice versa). What social constructs of gender from the Renaissance do we still have today? What has changed? How does the scene change when genders are reversed?
- Find a modern song that has the same message as one in the play and present it to the class.
- Change the lyrics of one of Shakespeare’s songs to modern language with possible modern beats.
- Take a scene and modernize the setting and lines each character would say into a particular context (ie. the Sopranos, Sex in the City, Friends, Seinfeld, That 70’s Show, Monty Python etc.)
Good luck with Twelfth Night!