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Needed: extension cord for the tape player.


(Attn: days and assignments may vary, depending upon Test Schedules, and time class takes to do activities. This is just a rough guide.)


Students need to bring their assigned NOVELS/BOOKS to class to read for SSR (Sustained Silent Reading) every day.


Introduction: Shakespeare Review. Possible UnitedStreamer Tragedy film.


Pass out Day One Packets before class. Get tape from Mrs. Johnson.


Find out who has read Macbeth, how many plays students have read by Shakespeare, what they know about Shakespeare. Use student role sheet and check off responses. Call on other students.


We see Act I, Scene I clip from the movie. (I watch the movie first...) Mrs. Johnston has this movie in her room. She also has the tape.


We read with the tape through Scene VII.


Student takes charge of tape, stops when he or she has a question. We follow with books. Last page: page 290.


Listen to Act I here ­ Scene I and II.

and here:


Students do Day I Activity (see handout) Macbeth Activity Day One.


Extra Activity: Group insults. Groups find each other and make up insults. Whoever has the most votes for best insult wins for the group. Group may get a prize from the prize bag for winning.


Extra activity: Watch part of Shakespeare tape about his life and times. Preview during Planning Period.




Plays/Scenes Covered from:

Macbeth 1.1 and 1.2.1-48


What’s On for Today and Why


In this lesson, students will emulate a key practice of Renaissance theater: doubling. The goal of this lesson is for students to experience—to see, hear, and feel—the differences between characters (especially supernatural versus royal) when students, as actors, have to take on more than one role. They will need to understand Shakespearean language, and will need to create distinctive personas so that the audience can differentiate between characters during presentation.


This lesson will take two 50-minute class periods (20-25 minutes for preparation and the rest of the time for presentation, questions and answers, and final discussion).


What To Do


1. Divide your class into groups of three.


2. Explain to the students that they will be presenting the first two scenes from Macbeth and that each of them will be playing two characters.


3. Ask the class to focus on distinctive physical characterizations and the differences in vocal quality (e.g., volume, tone, rate, inflection) between characters. Since the students will not have props, they must rely on unique movements or behavior for each character.


4. Give the class enough time to look over the scenes, determine meaning, and decide on casting and characterization. I would suggest giving them at least 20 minutes, more if you want characters to develop through repeated rehearsals.


5. Each group will present its scene to the rest of the class. Allow time for questions afterwards so that performers can defend the decisions that they made for each character. 6. After each group has performed, discuss the different choices as well as the similarities in each presentation. Try to determine which nuances of character are essential (if any), and which choices are left to the actor.


What You Need

New Folger edition of Macbeth


How Did It Go?

Assess this project by examining how fully the groups addressed the tasks set before them. Did their performances show a real distinction between characters? Were their choices informed by the text? Additionally, I would suggest a short response paper from each student which details the differences between the characters that he or she had to portray, along with an explanation of how those differences might affect the play as a whole. If the class has not yet read further in the play, you could also ask your students to predict the behavior of these characters throughout the rest of the play.





We collect Study Questions. Students turn in Study Questions from yesterday.


We try to meet in a big room ­ maybe the drama room? Ask.


Activity for today: “What’s Up with the Crime Scene?”

We do this before reading the text.

Activity is here:


We use Activity Sheets and complete the activity. We watch the groups perform.


MAKE-UP ACTIVITY: Students who are absent need to write a short script to turn in tomorrow.



We read Act II, pages 294-307.


Online reading is here:

and here:


SSR: 20 minutes reading of assigned novels today, if time.




1. Read through Act II. Do study questions in groups if there is time. Otherwise, do individually for tomorrow.


  1. Why did Lady Macbeth drink alcohol in Act II when she and her husband plan to kill the King? (page 296)


  1. Why did Lady Macbeth tell her husband to smear the grooms with blood? (p. 298)


  1. Why does Macbeth hear knocking before it happens? (p. 299)


  1. Where did Malcolm and Donalbain go, and why? (page 305)


  1. Does everyone believe that the grooms murdered the king?


2. Bring in three other questions for class for the class to answer next class period.


3. Also: bring crayons and markers to decorate a sheet of large paper tomorrow.


Day 3-4 Activity sheet


Plays/Scenes Covered

Macbeth 2.3.46-106


What’s On for Today and Why


Usually when you tell students that they will be reading Shakespeare, you hear, "I don't understand what he is sayin'." or "I don't understand what is going on!" This lesson will introduce students to Macbeth by having them act out the scene where Duncan's murder is discovered. The trick is that all of the stage directions and characters' names have been removed from the text. This activity will enable students to use dialogue only to discover the structure and format of a scene, understand language and plot, and formulate introductory decisions about characters in the play.


This activity will take one 90 minute block period.


What To Do


1. You will need lots of room. If your classroom is too small, try to arrange to take your students to the cafeteria or auditorium. Your students should come to class without having read the scene or otherwise been introduced to the play.


2. Hand the students copies of Macbeth 2.3 from which all the stage directions and characters' names have been removed. (Use the handout below.) Expect that once they get the scene in this form, you will hear, "What is this?" The scene will look like a series of lines; your students will not have any idea who is speaking or when. They will not be able to see where and when entrances and exits occur.


3. Divide the students into groups of five. Tell them that they have 20 minutes to figure out what is going on in the scene and how to stage it. The group must decide how many characters are needed, who says what and when, who enters and exits. (You may choose to tell them up front that the scene has five characters in it.) The lines must be divided up so that everyone in the group has a speaking part. No lines may be cut; the group's task is to assign all the lines and plan out every action in the scene.


4. Have each group stage its scene for the rest of the class. After all of the groups have performed their scenes, ask the students to discuss any patterns or consistencies they observed in how the characters' lines were assigned and how the scenes were staged.


5. At the end of class, hand out the text of Macbeth, have the students skim through the pages, read the character list, and ask any questions they might have in preparation for starting Macbeth the next day. 


What You Need

The New Folger edition of Macbeth


Handout of Macbeth 2.3


How Did It Go?

The most obvious way to check how well the students responded to the activity is by the number of "I know what's going on!"s that you heard in your classroom. Did the students begin to speculate about plot: who committed the murder and why? Did different and distinct character voices emerge from the way students divided up the lines? Could they begin to speculate about character and motivation? Are they engaged and ready to start the play?


Journal entry: How would the play have been changed if a real present-day detective had been at the scene the day after the King’s death?





We read questions from Act II today, then take a short quiz over the material. Hand in quiz.


Paraphrase of Act III: We read in class.


Macbeth knows that Banquo is suspicious of him. When Macbeth learns that Banquo and his son are riding, he sends men out to kill them. They are only half successful in their job, and Banquo’s son escapes. Meanwhile, at Macbeth’s ball, the seat for Banquo is empty (because he’s dead). In the empty seat, the ghost of Banquo appears, frightening Macbeth to death.


Macbeth also learns that King Duncan’s son Malcolm and Lord Macduff are attempting to kill him. Unsure of what to do, Macbeth visits the three witches again. The witches, along with the moon goddess Hecate, have planned what they will tell Macbeth in order to destroy him. They prepare a brew, singing "Double, double, toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble." When Macbeth arrives, they give him a false hope, telling him three things. First, beware of Macduff. Second, "none of woman born shall harm Macbeth." Third, Macbeth will not be conquered until Birnam wood comes to the hill of Dunsinane. They also tell Macbeth that Banquo’s descendents will become kings.


Macduff has left for England, so Macbeth sends people to kill his wife and children. In England, Macduff befriends the dead king’s son, after they are sure of the other’s loyalty.


Lady Macbeth has begun sleepwalking because her conscience weighs too heavily on herself. She tells about her crimes and the murder of the king, unaware that her doctor and waiting woman are watching her.

and here:



Act IV: second big witch’s scene. Play from movie? Find the part first.




Act V: Sleepwalking scene of Lady MacBeth


Play from tape. Stop when questions. Stop at Scene IV.


Start again from page 354. The speech everyone needs to know is on page 356. “Tomorrow, and tomorrow...” etc.


HOMEWORK: Students finish reading the play, Macbeth, from the book.


Also, they memorize this small Macbeth soliloquy from the play. (page 356) Students will have a week to memorize this.


Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day.

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.


We play the end of the play from the movie.


TODAY’S ACTIVITY: Character Mind Maps


Done in pairs. Everyone picks a character from the play. They will do a mind map about them.


See the activity sheet for today.




HOMEWORK: Students bring three questions they would like answered from the play. The class will answer several of the questions next class period.


Activity Sheet ­ Day 5-6 of Macbeth Unit


What’s On for Today and Why

Each student will focus closely on one character in the play and create a visual representation of that character's language, personality, motivation, and relationships. He or she will then use that visual piece as a jumping-off point for performance. This activity will take between three and five 45-minute class periods. It may done individually, in pairs, or in groups of three students.


What To Do


1. After the class has read the play, each student should identify a character to analyze and explore more fully. It's all right if more than one student choses the same character to work with—in fact, the lesson is more effective that way.


2. Ask students to brainstorm about their chosen character. They should identify personality traits, motivations, moods, actions, temperament, and any other significant aspects of the their characters.


3. Discuss the brainstorming results as a class; have each student explain his or her choices and the rationale behind them.


4. Give each student a large sheet of butcher paper or poster board.


(From the library ­ send students to get paper from there)


Ask the class to draw "Mind Maps" of their characters, using the material gathered from their brainstorming session to create a fuller conception of those characters. The maps should use non-linear connections; students are therefore encouraged to make up their own linking method—for example, a circle, a tree, a web, or some other visual symbol. The easiest way to do this map (which is therefore discouraged) is to draw a straight line, like a time-line, and have students note actions, important speeches, alterations in personality, key events, etc.


5. To keep the process centered on the text, ask your students to incorporate a minimum of three quotations either from or about their chosen characters.


6. It will probably take more than one class period to complete the Mind Maps. When they are done, ask students in turn to tape their maps to the wall, explaining as they do their choice of elements and quotes. As maps are posted, look for common threads, justifications for inclusion, and links among characters; an understanding of the whole play will emerge from these pieces. This process will take about one class period.


7. Finally, small groups will act out selections from the play. Groups should select and edit a portion of the text for performance. Their choices, about language, character, motivation, etc., should be informed by the Mind Maps. The students must use Shakespeare's original words (cuts are allowed); they are encouraged to insert blocking, stage directions, props, and external elements as needed. You may have students memorize selections, but they might also perform with scripts they make up for themselves.


8. Leave the Mind Maps on the wall for several days for reference.



What You Need

large pieces of paper, drawing materials


How Did It Go?

You may assess this lesson in stages--for example, at the completion of the brainstorming, or at completion of the larger, more complex Mind Map. Evaluation questions for this part of the assignment might include:


      Are the basic parameters of the assignment fulfilled?

      Is the assignment clearly and effectively organized?

      Are basic facts, events, and characterizations accurate?

      Is there evidence of student interpretation that goes beyond facts and surface detail, or is the assignment content sketchy and shallow?

      Is there solid support for analysis and assertions? Are there supporting quotes or key references from the play?


You might also want to ask the student audience to help evaluate the student performances. In any case, grades for effort and participation should weigh heavily in evaluation by the teacher.


Students should, in both their maps and performances, demonstrate a clear understanding of the text, relationships, plot, and staging elements.





Pairs continue to do work on their characters from yesterday. (45 minutes)


Groups work on activity, do acting out of scenes or rehearse scenes.


See Activity Sheet from Day Three.

and here:



MacBeth Quiz: We take five-10 questions from the class and answer them in a short quiz.


(15 minutes)


We watch Star Wars Macbeth, MacDuff Strikes Back! (30 minutes)

The link is here:

Star Wars Macbeth ­

McDuff Strikes Back!

Student movie ­ 17 minutes

Downloadable movie and trailers


Direct link to the movie is here:


Extra Credit Assignment (worth 100 points): students do a Character Resume for somebody in the play, Macbeth.


Instructions are here:


The extra credit assignment is due on __________________. (Write down due date ­ check with Mrs. Townsend).


20 minutes SSR reading today.


End-of-day Journal Entry:


What did I learn today?

How will I benefit from what I have learned?

(10 minutes)



IDEAS FOR END-OF-PLAY CELEBRATION: We bring a Scottish Feast to celebrate the new King and the restoration of justice to Scotland. Each person signs up for a different dish. We research Scottish food and bring in authentic dishes for that day.

(Sign up on signup sheet)

Two people bring drinks and cups. One person brings napkins and forks.




SEE THE CLASS WEB PAGES - 2007 (Intern pages)

SEE THE CLASS WEB PAGES - 2006 (Student teaching pages)


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