Unit or lesson plan content
- Begin with an introduction to Shakespeare in the form
of a class discussion.
- What do you know about Shakespeare?
- What have you read by Shakespeare? Was it easy or difficult?
- Why do so many people find Shakespeare difficult?
- Why do you think he is so well respected that his plays
are on every high school reading list? And most Universities
offer several courses just on his works?
- What is the difference between tragedy and comedy?
- What is a universal story?
- Have students continue to think about the book by instructing
them to look at the cover, read the back of the book, skim
through it etc.
- What can you guess about the play by looking at the
- What makes you want to read it? What questions do you
- What makes you not want to read it? Is this something
you can overcome?
- Homework assignment - Journal Write: What are your views
on love and marriage? How do you view the roles of women
and men in love relationships? Who should ask whom to get
married? Out on a date? Is love necessary for marriage?
Discuss these responses briefly with the class (10 min)
This can be done at the beginning of class the following
- Brief discussion of Journal Write. (5 min)
- Define Sexism-Students should look up several definitions
and share them with the whole class. Post the best definition
on the wall and leave up for the duration of the project.
- Students are assigned to small groups to research the
way that women have been treated at several stages in history
and make a presentation to the class on their findings.
pdf file. Take students to the library to complete
this research and have the librarian assist students in
their research. Go over methods of determining reliability
and perspective on the Internet.
- It should take two days to research and plan and one day
to present. During the presentation students should complete
their note chart
pdf file . During their research this is the guide
that they will use to take notes on their groups assigned
- Homework: Choose a time period and issue that you
feel strongly about and write a petition or letter to an
authority figure arguing about this issue. Use strong persuasive
writing techniques to write a strong argument about the
rights of women in history. (due in three days)
- An alternative to this project that seems to cover similar
objectives is a lesson plan called "The Good and
the Badde: Are Stereotypes a Perfect Fit?" This
lesson can be found on the Folger Institute website. Teaching
Shakespeare: Lesson Plan
- Read act 1.1 aloud, assign parts to students. Discuss
the language as a whole class. Make sure they understand
that they dont have to understand every word to understand
the play. That the language is difficult for everyone, even
the teacher and that they need only try to understand the
main ideas. "Start
pdf file Activity is an option for small groups.
- Complete the Two Sisters
pdf file activity. Alternatively students can read
aloud and the teacher can lead a class discussion of the
issues that come up in the play.
- Homework: Journal Write: What kind of guy is Petruchio?
How do you know?
- Students should read Act 1.2 in small groups and then
complete the activities on Act
- Homework: Journal Write: Is this a sexist play?
How do you know?
- In very small groups (2-3) make a character chart-Whos
who in Padua
pdf file Who is pretending to be whom and who is
in love with whom? This should be a visual chart and the
best one will be photocopied and distributed to the entire
class. The others should be posted on the bulletin board
to give students more visual help in understanding the play.
A teacher created Answer
pdf fileis provided. Student
- Homework: If you were making a new film production of
Taming of the Shrew who would you cast as Kate? Bianca?
Petruchio? Lucentio? Why? Say something about these characters
that shows who they are.
- Discuss casting choices for the characters with the class.
Who would you cast as Kate? Bianca? Petruchio? Why? Give
a short quiz on Act 1.
- Read act 2 aloud in class or listen to the audiocassettes.
Discuss the scene as you go to check for understanding and
- Homework: Assign journal write: Does Kate envy Bianca?
What do you make of their relationship?
- Character Study Assignment
pdf file in small groups. I write the names of the
main characters on index cards and then pass them out to
students at random to assure that each character has a chart
and to form groups. This also works well when assigning
this as a homework assignment and is done individually rather
than in small groups.
- Student work example pictures:
- Students analyze a character and create a visual to better
understand that characters motivations and actions. As students
read have them collect further quotes that illustrate the
character and post them on the charts, which should be hung
around the room for the duration of the class study.
- Read the rest of Act 2 with tapes & discuss. Complete
questions on Act 2.
- Homework: Complete questions review act 2
- Start class with a short quiz
on Act 2.
- Give promptbook
pdf file and pages lines
pdf fie and have them make promptbooks and draw the
stage for the meeting of Kate and Use. There is a detailed
pdf file for this assignment.
- Homework journal write: Do Kate and Petruchio belong together?
Explain. The next day have students respond aloud to this.
- Show film version of Act 2.1, discuss how Zefferelli choose
to show this scene. How is it similar/different from their
- What elements of this scene could not be shown on a
- What is left out? Do you miss it?
- What is added? Is it helpful?
- How is his version similar to your promptbook pages?
How is it different?
- Have them read Act 3.1 if time or for homework.
- Have a student summarize the scene and then have students
read 3.2 in small groups and complete the activities.
- Womens Lib
pdf file Activity as a whole class.
- Homework Journal Write: Is this play sexist? Explain.
- Quiz on Act 2 & 3.
- Show the film for act 4.1 and read along with the book.
Have students mark in pencil (lightly) what lines are left
out of the film. Discuss why directors cut the script and
what they think is lost in doing this.
- Discuss Petruchios behavior.
- Homework: have students read the scene over again and
write their observations in their journals.
- Read act 4.2 aloud and discuss questions
pdf file in small groups.
- Homework: Read Act 4.3
- Read Act 4.3 Discuss what Kate is thinking in this scene
and why she is so quiet.
- How does Petruchio twist Kates words around to frustrate
her? Read 4.4 and assign questions
- Read 4.4 aloud and complete journal write Is Kate
tamed? Discuss this. Discussion
questions Act 4.4
pdf file. If time have students read Act 4.5 aloud
and complete questions,
pdf file or the questions can be used for homework.
Day 18 & 19
- Read 5.1 5.2 and discuss. Assign students to read
to the end of the play and write what they think of the
- Discuss Kates last speech, Is this play sexist?
What would you leave the audience with at the end?
- Quiz on Act 5
- Show the final scene of the film and assign the interpretive
- Handout "Is This
pdf filefrom: Fynes-Clinton and Perry Mills, Ed.,
The Taming of the Shrew, Cambridge University Press, 1984.
- Discuss the scene and revisit the question of is this
- Hand out the Staging
pdf file worksheet from Fynes-Clinton and Perry Mills,
Ed., The Taming of the Shrew, Cambridge University Press,
- Assign Groups and complete the performance
- Students should use video equipment to perform present
these scenes and should be instructed to use the Internet
to conduct research the costumes and language style of the
time period they choose to perform.