Lesson plans and teaching ideas

For introductory, background and other resources, try Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age. For links to other plays, try the Shakespeare Main Page.

Sponsored Link

Hamlet eNotes Curriculum Plan

  • Individual daily lessons covering an entire unit
  • Traditional one-hour schedules with a clear sequence of activities
  • Cross-curriculum activities
  • Vocabulary enrichment
  • Homework assignments
  • Exams with answer keys

Hamlet eNotes Lesson Plan
A thorough unit plan, featuring activities, quizzes, tests, and more. Also includes the complete eNotes to the play.

Hamlet on Film Lesson Plan
Each lesson plan includes an introductory unit on Shakespeare on Film. These lesson plans are designed to be used in conjunction with the watching of a film version of the play. Each lesson plans covers 3-4 popular versions of the play and contains daily lessons, with discussion questions and answers, activities, and handouts.

Teacher Guide to Hamlet by William Shakespeare
How might students use storyboards to demonstrate and to extend their learning? Check the resources here. Includes plot diagram and summary, essential questions, conflict analysis, themes, motifs, and symbols, Aristotelian elements of the tragic hero, character maps, vocabulary, more. Note: Storyboard That helps sponsor this site.

60-Second Shakespeare
On this page, a tabloid-style summary of the play from the BBC. Follow links to learn how your students can produce something similar.

Cartoon Summary
The play in 48 cartoons.

CliffsNotes Hamlet video
The play in a 7-minute cartoon updated for contemporary audiences. Includes introduction of major themes. A great pre-reading activity!

Comparing Film Adaptations
Strategies for engaging students using clips from more than one film version. Includes a handout; Adobe Reader or compatible application required for access to the handout.

Enter Ophelia: Stage Directions, Promptbooks, and Film
This standards-based lesson focuses on 4.5.1-224. Students examine a variety of stagings of the scene using film and promptbooks (available at this site). They consider the causes and effects of the different versions.

Emulating Shakespeare: To Snooze or not to Snooze
Many artists study their craft by imitating the masters. In this lesson, students reproduce the pattern of one of Shakespeare's soliloquies, but use their own ideas and words to replace the character's. This "emulation" is not a paraphrase or parody, but a unique composition inspired by the form of the original.

Folger on the Ramparts
Students use online resources to plan the staging of a scene.

The Great Shakespeare Experiment
Using the first 11 lines from Hamlet, students become comfortable with Shakespearean language and develop "an appreciation for the role of the actor in interpreting a text by making choices."

A Guilty Gertrude
In this lesson, students will examine Gertrude's behavior, lines and thoughts in a scene that is normally analyzed for what it reveals about Ophelia's madness. Students will have to synthesize what they know about Gertrude to perform her chraracter in a scene where she has some enigmatic lines and long silences.

Using a theme of "Grief, Guilt, and Revenge!" this site offers a summary, prereading and interdisciplinary activities, and links to suggestions for additional reading.

Reading strategies and activities, including an anticipation guide, a vocabulary assignment, and "Understanding Being Misunderstood," an activity that asks students to connect their own lives with Hamlet's.

Plot summary, discussion of purgatory, themes, questions and essay topics, background, more.

Hamlet and the Pirates
Students will get a glimpse of what Hamlet encountered in the off-stage pirate attack, using 17th century primary sources and 21st century internet resources to get some context for Hamlet's adventures.

Hamlet, Facebook News Feed style
A parody of the play done in social networking style.

Hamlet Haven
An annotated bibliography of some online scholarship.

Hamlet: An Insiderís Guide
Links to lesson plans and videos that address language, Hamlet's journey, Ophelia's madness, and Hamlet's soliloquies. The videos reside at YouTube.

Students explore their notions about what or who a hero is Using the Folger video, "Hamletís Journey." (Video resides at YouTube.) This lesson will engage students intellectually and physically to examine their assumptions about heroism in order to create a working definition — or set of definitions — that they will establish prior to the study of Hamlet.

Like, Wow
This standards-based lesson focuses on 1.1 and introduces students to the concept of perception vs. reality in the play.

Pre-Reading Hamlet with "Hamlet: An Insiderís Guide"
Students work with famous quotations from the play to introduce them to the playís language and issues, to engage with the playís cultural significance, and to reinforce their understanding of the of grammatical structure in an engaging, performance-based manner.

Shakespeare in the Bush
Laura Bohannon's account of telling the story of Hamlet to the Tiv people of West Africa.

Shakespeare: Subject to Change
This outstanding site from Cable in the Classroom offers a multimedia look at background information about Shakespeare in general and Hamlet specifically.

Shakespearean Comedy on Film
Lesson 2, "Comedy in Tragedy," explores the gravediggers scene and the impact of comedy.

Stick Figure Hamlet
As the title implies, the play is reproduced at this site in high quality stick figures. No lesson plans here, just a terrific resource for students who have trouble reading and for anyone who appreciates the play.

Studying Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
This very extensive page offers a wealth of discussion questions and insights into the play.

Teacher's Guide to Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Dealing with the language, journal prompts, prereading, during reading, and postreading activities with emphasis on theme and character. This extensive document requires Adobe Reader or equivalent application for access.

Teaching Hamlet
Resources from the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Test-Yourself Reading Quiz on Hamlet, Acts I & II and Acts III, IV, and V
Self-correcting interactive quizzes, great review material.

"To be or not to be" and the VT
Although Hamlet's "to be or not to be" question is probably the most recognizable in the English language, few students understand its full meaning in the context of Hamlet's situation. In this lesson, students are asked to recite, analyze and then adapt this famous monologue with the aid of the Visual Thesaurus.

"Touching this vision": Imagery in Hamlet
This standards-based lesson focuses on Acts 1-3. Students write poetry informed by the imagery in the play.

The Tragedy of ?
Students explore the definition of tragedy and the tragic hero.

Vocabulary from Hamlet:

Words are presented in context and with definitions. Click on a word for pronunciation, examples of recent use, more.

Who is Gertrude, Really?
Students form their own opinions about Gertrude by imaginatively creating entries for Gertrude's journal. Each journal entry will reveal much about Gertrude's character at pivotal moments in the play.

Students use an online concordance to explore the patterns of imagery in the play.

You Can't Go Home Again (or, If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother)
This standards-based lesson from the Folger Library focuses on Act 1, scene 2.

You Should not Have Believed Me: Multiple Readings of Hamlet
Is Hamlet truly mad or just feigning madness? Does Ophelia commit suicide or drown by accident? This lesson introduces students to the variety of interpretations offered by the text.

StoryboardThat.com Free Trial offer

America in Class Webinars

Teacher's Pet