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Lesson Plan

Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama

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Book Report Alternative: Characters for Hire! Studying Character in Drama

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Haley Fishburn Moore

Hopkinsville, Kentucky


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • gain knowledge of the historical and social context surrounding the setting of the chosen play.

  • apply information from other characters, noting the context in which the character is speaking and the reliability of the character, to discover additional information about their chosen character.

  • compile disparate and/or unconnected information about the chosen character into a coherent format (the resume).

  • learn appropriate resume techniques.

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Session One

  1. Explain to students that they will be preparing a resume for one of the characters in the drama they have just read.

  2. Discuss resumes, perhaps using the Resume Generator Student Interactive as a guide. Be sure to cover questions such as the following:

    • What is a resume?

    • Why are resumes used?

    • What information does a resume convey?

    • How is a resume typically organized?
  3. Discuss with students whether this is an individual or cooperative assignment and proceed accordingly.

  4. Have students (in groups or on their own) choose a character to investigate and jot down preliminary notes they can recall about their characters.

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Session Two

  1. Begin the session by reminding students of the activity and sharing the Character Resume Rubric. Answer any questions students may have.

  2. Introduce students to the resources available for research on their characters, relying on both print and Internet materials. Direct students to the Shakespeare and Resume Writing Web Resources you bookmarked and provide a brief overview of each to guide students' use of the sites.

  3. If desired, use the Writing Resumes for Fictional Characters student interactive to highlight the requirements of character resumes.

  4. Give students the session to do background research to discover such information as the customary education of a Roman official or the type of women's education available for the time period when the play takes place.

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Session Three

  1. Discuss the difference between direct and implied information presented in the drama. To provide an example without exploring a character that students are using for their projects, you might talk about what is directly stated about the setting of a play and what is implied by the characters' comments and the stage directions.

  2. To prepare students for their search through the text, remind them of the notation system typically used for Shakespearean plays: act in uppercase Roman numbers, scene in lowercase Roman numbers, and lines in Arabic numbers (e.g., III.ii.3-6).

  3. Have students explore the text for supporting information, direct and implied, making note of what they find using the notation system.

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Session Four

  1. At this point, students have gathered enough information to create a draft of the character's resume.

  2. By searching the U.S. Government Job Announcements site, students can choose a job for which their character is qualified.

  3. By the end of this session, ask students to revise their draft into a final resume, tailoring the resume to meet the job description provided in the vacancy announcement.

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