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The Bard: Shakespeare Up Close (Curriki)


Overview: Students will choose a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays and re-enact the scene in a modern setting. This re-enactment will be recorded using digital video. Students will add commentary to the video. Throughout this commentary, they will discuss why they chose the scene, its importance to the overall play, and reasons why they chose to modernize the scene as they did.

Technology Integration: Video Production


Prerequisite Experience: Students will use a digital video camera and editing software.


Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Review Digital Video training videos from Nortel LearniT • Video Production,

Estimated Time for Completion: Three to four weeks (three to five hours per week)


Materials: Internet-ready computer with video-editing software; digital video camera.


Project: Students will tape and edit a digital video based upon a scene from a Shakespearean play.


Time Management TipsStudents will work in groups of three or four to complete this project.


Assessment: A rubric will be used to evaluate the digital video based upon planning, technical quality of the video, and an understanding of the storyline.



Stand in front of one of your friends.  

Put your hands on your hips.

And … deliver one of these insults at your friend as if you really mean it.

•    Thou poisonous hasty-witted filthy rogue!
•    Thou loggerheaded rude-growing serpents-egg!
•    Thou overwheening folly-fallen bear-whelp!
•    Thou errant bat-fowling hugger-mugger!
•    You yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am if like a crab you could go backward.
•    Thou roguish onion-eyed pigeon-egg!
•    Confusion now hath made his masterpiece!

You’ve just delivered a Shakespearean insult to your friend.  Shakespeare’s insults were often clever and funny.

Try to create and deliver your own insult in the style of one of Shakespeare’s insults.  
William Shakespeare is one of the most respected playwrights of all time.  His words roll off your tongue, though you may not understand what they mean.  If he couldn’t find the right word, he would often make one up.  

As you can see, some of his best invented words were used as insults.
You and your team will choose a scene from one of Shakespeare’s plays.  You’ll modernize the setting and create costumes to depict the new setting.  You’ll rehearse, perform and videotape this scene.


1.  To complete this project you’ll need a computer with a word processor, a digital camera and digital video editing software.

2.  Before you begin your research, you may want to review this Nortel LearniT training video:
•    Video Production

3.  Watch one of Shakespeare’s plays to get a better understanding of his works.

4.  Continue to learn more about William Shakespeare and his works through research.  Some Web sites to begin your research are listed here: 

Shakespearean Insult Generator

Insult kit

Insult dictionary

Shakespeare’s Biography



Absolute Shakespeare

Shakespeare Resource Center

The Internet Public Library – Shakespeare Bookshelf


1.  Work as a team with three or four other people.  Share what you’ve learned about William Shakespeare and his writings.

2.  With your team mates, decide upon a play and scene that you will modernize, reenact, and film.  Decide if you want to perform one of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, or tragedies.

3.  Read and analyze the scene.  Discuss the important points of this scene and how you plan to modernize the setting.

4.  Determine jobs and roles.

5.  Design the set and background.  Brainstorm ideas for costumes.

6.  Work to memorize lines.

7.  Rehearse the scene.


1.  Film your scene.

2.  After filming is complete, work as a team to edit the video.

3.  Include commentary from the actors.  Discuss:
•    why you chose this scene
•    why you chose to modernize the scene as you did
•    what is the importance of this scene to the rest of the play

4.  Add music if it will add to the storytelling.

5.  Be sure to include credits for all group members and identify their roles.

6.  Edit your tape to create a 5-minute video.

7.  Share your tape with others.


An evaluation rubric has been attached as a Word document.


Consider some of these ideas for extensions:

1.  Convert your digital video into another format.  Share your performance through MP3 players or on a school Web site. 

2.  Perform your scene for others.  Travel to other schools, after-school centers, or nursing homes to perform your modernized scene.

3.  Create or visit a Renaissance festival to find out more about the food, culture, and world in which Shakespeare lived.

Required Attachments:



It is an open educational content from Nortellearnit published on Curriki (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0).

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Fecha publicación: 10.12.2015

Se respeta la licencia original del recurso.



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