Lesson Plan Title : Shakespeare Said What?
Age Range: Grade 9 through Grade 12 (High School Level)
Overview and Purpose : The zany romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, can be difficult to follow. Students will be putting a modern twist on an already twisted play that was written and performed in the 1600's.
Objective: The student will be able to better understand Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing after translating it into modern language.
Copies of Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing
Divide the students into trios. Have the students choose a scene or soliloquy to translate into modern English. Encourage them to look up any unfamiliar words, stay as close to the meaning as possible, and to look for puns or other forms of humor.
When the students are finished, have them read the original scene and then their updated one. Discuss as a class if the changes added to or took away from Shakespeare's work.
As an added bonus, have students write and perform a movie trailer that uses their scene to advertise the play as a feature film. It can be performed in any style, from whimsical to epic. Let the students choose.