Much Ado About Nothing Discussion Questions and Final Essay
Performance Prompt Book Project
Prompt Book Performances
In this lesson, students will see what actually goes into a performance as they are cast in a Prompt Book scene.
- Read the lesson and student content.
- Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
- Assign students to Prompt Book Performance groups. Choose one director per group to stage his or her Prompt Book scene, with other group members as actors.
- Determine the amount of time that each group will have for its performance. Decide whether to abridge longer scenes.
Section 1: Final Peer Editing
- If appropriate, provide the grading rubric that you will use to evaluate essays to help students with peer editing.
- ELL: Using a rubric as a guide during peer editing can be especially helpful for ELLs, as it can give them the vocabulary with which to offer feedback.
In pairs, work on helping each other with your essays.
- Read each other’s essays for clarity, content beyond plot summary, and, of course, mechanics and grammar. It might help to use the grading rubric as you comment.
- When you’ve both given and received feedback, switch partners and repeat the exercise.
- Your final draft of this essay is due at the beginning of the next lesson.
Section 2: Prompt Book Performance Casting
- Place students in the teams and roles that you’ve selected for them on the basis of their Quick Writes from the previous lesson.
- Assign directors and actors for the Prompt Book Performances. Remind students that each group will stage the scene that the director mapped out in his or her Prompt Book. The directors will assign the specific roles. Make sure that there is an appropriate number of actors for each of the directors to use.
- Remind directors that they must cast the roles from the student actors they are given. Depending upon the scene, some girls may have to perform men’s roles. Remind them that during Shakespeare’s time, all roles were performed by men, so there are not a lot of women’s roles in his plays.
- Let students know how much time they’ll have for their performance. This will depend on the length of the class period and the number of groups. If any scenes need to be abridged, let the group know now.
- Allow them the rest of the period to rehearse.
- SWD: If you have students who would benefit from accommodations during this assignment, whether it’s a lighter load of lines, being allowed to create scenery instead of participating as an actor, or even creating a storyboard for a scene rather than a performance, now is the time to set expectations for them.
You’ve read the play, you’ve memorized lines, and now it’s time for an actual performance!
- Your teacher will place the class in performance groups to stage Prompt Book scenes.
- Everyone will be involved with this project, either as an actor or as a director. The directors will do the actual casting of the scene.
- You will have all of the next lesson to rehearse, and you will perform your scenes in two days.
- Don’t worry about memorizing the entire scene! You do not need to be “off book”: you can have the script in hand when you perform.
- You will be given the rest of this lesson and all of the next lesson to rehearse.
Section 3: Rehearsal Debrief
- Facilitate a conversation in which students comment on how their scenes are going.
- Use this time to check for understanding and address any outstanding questions.
Discuss with your class what you are finding as you begin rehearsals. This is the time to get your questions answered.
As you discuss, consider the following.
- How is preparing for a Prompt Book performance with a small cast different from memorizing lines by yourself?
- Do you think that these performances will make it easier to understand the action of the play? Why or why not?
- How are the roles of actor and director different in this exercise? What does being a good actor or director require?
Section 4: Performance Preparation
- Have students review their scenes. Actors should familiarize themselves with their roles. Directors need to think ahead for what they want in the way of props and costumes.
- Encourage students to take thorough notes to use in the next lesson, either using their Notebook or another method.
- If you have been cast as an actor, read over your part a few times so that you understand your character well.
- If you are the director of the scene, review your Prompt Book and think about what, if any, props or costumes you want.