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William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing


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Title: William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing

William Shakespeares Much Ado About Nothing

Picture taken from Folger Shakespeare
Library http//www.folger.edu/template.cfm?cid865
A Cyberlesson created by Leah Smith
  • You will need the following materials to complete
    this Cyberlesson
  • Computer
  • Your Reader Response Journal
  • A writing utensil
  • A copy of Much Ado About Nothing
  • Access to both the internet and a printer
  • Your imagination!
  • Are you ready to test your knowledge about
    Shakespeare and one
  • of his best comedies, Much Ado About

  • Last year, we read A Midsummer Nights Dream by
    William Shakespeare. This year, we will be
    reading another of his comedies, Much Ado About
  • Before we read and act out the play, we will
    refresh our minds with a little Shakespeare

Click on the door to the right to unlock the
magical world of Shakespeare!
Before Reading Shakespeares Verse
Shakespeare is known for his strange rhymes. If
you remember from last year, Shakespeare often
reversed the words and/or pronounced words
differently just to complete a rhyme pattern!
Look at the following sonnet below, one of his
most famous. In your Reader Response Journals,
do the following 1. Record the rhyme pattern 2.
What do you think Shakespeare is talking about?
Write YOUR interpretation of the sonnet below.
  • XVIII (Sonnet 18)
  • Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art
    more lovely and more temperate Rough winds do
    shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease
    hath all too short a date Sometime too hot the
    eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold
    complexion dimm'd, And every fair from fair
    sometime declines, By chance, or nature's
    changing course untrimm'd But thy eternal
    summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of
    that fair thou ow'st, Nor shall death brag thou
    wander'st in his shade, When in eternal lines to
    time thou grow'st, So long as men can breathe, or
    eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives
    life to thee.

Before Reading Shakespeares Verse 2
  • Did you know that Shakespeare even wrote his own
    epitaph in rhyming verse? Back in Shakespeares
    days, cemeteries were full, so many people dug up
    existing graves to bury their loved ones (they
    even went so far as to burn the bodies to hide
    the evidence). Shakespeare was terrified that
    this would happen to him when he died.
    Therefore, he took advantage of the fact that the
    English were very superstitious and religious.
    He wrote a curse on his tombstone.
  • Read his epitaph below.

Readers Response
  • What is the rhyme pattern for this epitaph?
  • What are your reactions to his epitaph?
  • Record your responses in your journals.

William Shakespeare
Create Your Own Epitaph! Now, create your own
epitaph! Using Microsoft Word, design your
tombstone and write your epitaph. It doesnt
have to be serious, but it must rhyme. Click
here to link to an on-line rhyming dictionary.
Click on the keyboard to link to Microsoft Word.
Good friend for Jesus' sake forbear To dig the
dust enclosed here Blest be the man that spares
these stones And cursed be he that moves my
Before Reading Shakespearean Insults
  • One of the reasons that Shakespeares comedies
    were so funny to the audience is because of the
    insults that the characters made to one another!
  • Though the insults sound a lot different than
    insults that you may be used to, many of them
    have the same meaning!
  • In Much Ado About Nothing, you will meet two
    characters, named Beatrice and Benedick. ALL
    THEY DO is argue and insult one another. When
    you read the play, we will be analyzing the
    language to determine what the characters are
    actually saying. For example, what are the
    characters below saying to one another? These
    are real Shakespearean insults. Take a guess in
    your Reader Response Journal.

Thine face is not worth sunbathing!
You show yourself highly fed and lowly taught!
Your turn! When does a teacher ALLOW you to
insult someone in the class? Click here to
explore some of Shakespeares many insults.
After you create some, choose five of the meanest
insults and copy them into your Reader Response
Journal. You will later be allowed to insult
someone in the class!
Before Reading Anticipation Guide
  • Print out the following slide. Mark each
    statement as true
  • or false. Discuss the statements with your
  • Men and women should marry persons of a similar
    social and economic status as themselves.
  • People choose with whom they will fall in love.
  • It is better not to marry than to marry and risk
    being cheated on by your spouse.
  • Most people can be trusted to be faithful in
  • Men are attracted to women who are assertive and
  • Jealousy in a romantic relationship is usually a
    sign the relationship has problems.
  • Because parents usually know what is best for
    their children when it comes to choosing a mate,
    children should go along with their parents'
    wishes in this regard.

Anticipation Guide taken from http//www.teacherv
While Reading Anticipation Guide
  • We will be acting out the entire play of Much Ado
    About Nothing. After each scene, the class will
    vote for the best actor and best actress, who
    will receive chance coupons!
  • As we read the play, please have your
    Anticipation Guide with you at all times. When
    we come to one of the statements listed in the
    Anticipation Guide, you will be asked to compare
    and contrast your answers with what really
    happens in the play.
  • We will resume this cyberlesson when we have
    finished the play.
  • Happy acting!

Click on the theater to advance to the After
Reading activities.
After Reading Do You Know Your Stuff?
  • Before you begin the following activities, lets
    make sure you understand the play. Below are the
    links to two interactive quizzes about Much Ado
    About Nothing. After you take each quiz, print
    out the results page so you have the answers, and
    record your scores in your Reader Response
  • QUIZ 1
  • QUIZ 2

After Reading Rate the Characters
  • While reading the play, you were exposed to many
    characters who changed along the way. For
    example, though you initially believed that
    Claudio was a romantic man, we soon learned that
    he is NOT who we thought he was. He gives up too
    easily, he is quick to judge, and he is even
    uncaring sometimes.
  • Below is a MORALITY METER. Rate the following
    characters from the play. Who is the most moral
    of the group? Who is the most immoral? Click on
    the meter (ruler) below to rate the characters!
    You will be sharing this with the class.

After Reading Changing Faces
  • While reading the book, we saw the characters
    changing as the story progressed. For example,
    Claudio continued to changethough we all thought
    he was a great character in the beginning, we
    soon saw that he gave up too easily and did a bad
    job of proving his love for Hero.
  • Based on what you now know about the characters,
    answer the following questions in your Reader
    Response Journals.
  • What character changed the most and why?
  • What character changed the least and why?
  • What character changed for the better and why?
  • What character changed for the worst and why?
  • Which character are you most like and why?
  • To help you make your decisions, you may use the
    text and/or SparkNotes.com.

After Reading Pick a Punishment!
  • At the end of the play, we know that Don John is
    guilty, but his punishment was never decided!
    Benedick said, Think not on him till tomorrow,
    Ill devise thee brave punishments for him.
  • During the Elizabethan Era, the punishments often
    involved torture, misery, and even painful death!
  • Your task
  • What do YOU think Don John is guilty of?
    Slander? Deception? Treason? Research the
    following websites.
  • Based on the information you read, devise an
    appropriate punishment for Don John. Make sure
    it fits the crime. For example, if you feel that
    Don John is only guilty of lying, he would
    probably not be beheaded and displayed on the
    London Bridge.
  • In your Reader Response Journals, write Don
    Johns crime and the punishment you created.
    Also, print out the information you found on the
    website to prove your point (and use as a
    rationale) during our discussion.

Beyond Reading Compare/Contrast
  • As you have already learned, the punishments in
    the Elizabethan Era were MUCH worse than those of
  • Using the following websites, research both the
    punishments of Elizabethan England and those of
    the U.S. today.

Crime and Punishment in the U.S.
Crime and Punishment in Elizabethan England
U.S. 2
U.S. 1
England 1
England 2
U.S. 3
U.S. 4
U.S. 5
England 3
  • Print out the following Venn Diagram. When you
    have finished, complete the Venn Diagram to
    compare and contrast the differences.

Beyond Reading More Shakespeare Please!
  • You have now successfully read two plays by
    William Shakespeare and are ready for your last
  • You have probably heard of several other plays by
    William Shakespeare. Some of you have even acted
    in Shakespearean productions.
  • Browse the internet to find information about
    other Shakespearean plays. Choose the one that
    you find to be the most interesting. It can be a
    comedy, history, or a tragedy.
  • You will then create a poster and present your
    poster and a summary of the play to the class.
    You must write the summary yourself! Be sure NOT
    to plagiarize from the internet!
  • Here are some websites that may be useful to you,
    but feel free to browse the web and discover
    other great sites as well!

Suggested sites
William Shakespeare presents HAMLET
Evaluation Cyberlesson Rubric
  • Websites
  • Rhyming dictionary www.rhymezone.com
  • Shakespearean Insults www.pangloss.com/seidel/Sha
  • Anticipation Guide http//www.teachervision.fen.c
  • Spark Notes http//www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare
  • Elizabethan Punishments http//www.william-shakes

  • http//www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/punish

  • http//www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/
  • U.S. crimes and punishments http//www.expertlaw.

  • http//ask.yahoo.com/20020111.html

  • http//www.ncpa.org/studies/s219/s

  • http//press-pubs.uchicago.edu/fou
  • Shakespeare Summaries http//www.sparknotes.com/s

  • http//absoluteshakespeare.com/guides/sum

  • http//www.field-of-themes.com/shakespeare/shakesu

  • http//www.bardweb.net/play
  • 2. Handouts
  • Create your own epitaph Created by Leah Smith
  • Anticipation Guide http//www.teachervision.fen.c
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