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Lesson Plan

All's Well that Sells Well: A Creative Introduction to Shakespeare

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All's Well that Sells Well: A Creative Introduction to Shakespeare

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

Patsy Hamby

Patsy Hamby

Dallas, Georgia


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



After taking a virtual tour of The Globe Theater in Elizabethan London, students use graphic organizers to compare attending a performance at The Globe to attending a current professional production (such as a play on Broadway) or to viewing a movie at a local theater. They discuss the similarities and differences in the theaters and imagine what types of products might have been advertised in Elizabethan time, if The Globe showed commercials before the play like modern movie theaters do. They then work collaboratively in small groups to create a commercial advertisement geared toward an Elizabethan audience to promote one of today's products or conveniences. This activity helps students better understand the Elizabethan times and Elizabethan theater audiences, as well as persuasive advertising techniques.

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ReadWriteThink Notetaker: Students can use this online tool to take notes and organize them into an outline format.

Venn Diagram: Students can use this online tool to compare any two items, including theater experiences.

Theater Comparison Instructions and Resources: This resource gives students full instructions for an activity comparing theaters in Shakespearean times with modern theaters and includes useful Websites for research.

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In Opening Texts: Using Writing to Teach Literature, Kathleen Andrasick writes that effective teaching strategies reduce "the distance between students and texts via processes of personal and active engagement," thereby helping them to "imaginatively link themselves with other authors and their writing" (130). This introductory activity helps students to create connections to Shakespeare and his audiences and to generate an "aesthetic response" to his "artistic creation" (130).

Andrasick's approach aligns with advice put forth by Delia DeCourcey, et al., in their NCTE publication, Teaching Romeo and Juliet: A Differentiated Approach, in which they stress that "[a]ll students should feel part of a community of learners...[and a variety of assignments should] address students' needs for belonging as well as personal learning styles" (1). Combining online research, persuasion, creative writing, and performance, this activity certainly provides a variety of learning opportunities essential for engaging a wide variety of learners in an exploration of a play by Shakespeare.

Further Reading

Andrasick, Kathleen Dudden. 1990. Opening Texts: Using Writing to Teach Literature. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


DeCourcey, Deila, Lyn Fairchild, and Robin Follet. 2007. Teaching Romeo and Juliet: A Differentiated Approach. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

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