Shakespeare: Midsummer Night’s Dream – Day 5


Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 1

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 2

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 3

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 4

Shakespeare Biographical Work (10 mins)

Read out-loud Act I, scene 5:  Hyperbole, Oxymoron and Made Up Words from the following Shakespeare book:

shakespeare for kids

Midsummer Night’s Dream Act IV, Scene I-II (80 mins)

We listened to the following BBC3 production found on YouTube, paying particular attention to the sound effects:

We listened from I hour 34 minutes and 10 seconds to 1 hour 57 minutes and 51 seconds which took us to the end of the play.  As well as listening, each child read the play as they listened.

We all then watched all of Act V filmed on location at the Globe theater (about 30 minutes) whilst nibbling on some fruit.

Character Study with Character interviews (30 mins)

Well known presenter Fay Mouse was back in her show ‘Who are they, really?’  Today she interviewed the four young lovers, but not before B4 nicked her wig:


It’s a good look, no?


And here is B13 as Helena, demonstrating how a lady should (n’t) sit:



This week we had covered the whole play by listening, reading, watching and performing through reader’s theater.  We had studied the characters through our television program ‘Who are they, really?’ and consolidated the plot by making a living slide show of the whole play.  But more than anything we had laughed our way, uncontrollably, through the week:


It was now time to look at how a typical five act play is created, which we would do after lunch.

Break for lunch 

Structure of the Five Act Play (30 mins)

We used the following lesson to explore the structure of a typical five act play.  All of Shakespeare’s plays are five acts which has been very handy given I have planned to study one play a week (ie five days).  We learnt the following plot diagram:


This lesson came with a lovely print out which showed in pictures which part of the play went with each part of the plot diagram.  Before giving it to them we chatted about which part of the play was the prologue, which part of the play was the conflict and so on and so forth.

I had pre-cut the story board printout which came with the lesson into separate boxes:



The children then needed to place the boxes in the right order creating a story board which represented a pictorial version of the plot diagram:


I hoped this activity would help them choose wisely the medium which they would use for each act in their final performance.

Performing Shakespeare

  • Learning about Elizabethan theater 

I used this lesson which required no work from me at all!  We reviewed what a prologue was and why it was used (used in the workers’ play);  we learnt about the use of ‘O’ to emphasise certain lines in the play (Bottom over uses it in the workers’ play) and finally we looked at the bad rhymes and stage deaths in the play within a play.

As the whole point of this session was to help the children with their performance of Shakespeare we each had a turn reading out Bottoms speech with lots of O’s in with as much gusto as they possibly could.  Lorna and I decided we would vote for the best performance of ‘Oh’s’.  I’m not sure why, because I remember taking them, but the photos of C12 have disappeared.

Here’s K11:


L12, who used the wooden post to be the wall:




and T13, who cleverly used his sister as the wall:


It was a fairly unanimous vote for K11 as winner!  I think she may have found one of her vocations, because she is a natural actress.  Well done K!

Project Based Learning

Today was all about making sure the projects were written up and ready to start practising.

More Midsummer Posts:

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 1

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 2

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 3

Midsummer Night’s Dream Day 4

Next week we will be attempting Romeo and Juliet

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. I think I have really enjoyed this week not just because of all the fun y’all have obviously enjoyed but also all the real learning which has occured. Thank you for sharing all the detail because it will help when I attempt to do something similar next year with my two.

  2. I have read agog this week, wondering how you fit it all in and yet you have! Thank you for the detail. It is useful to know how long certain activities take. Thanks!

  3. Claire, I have been following along all week, but waited until now to comment. This is brilliant. I didn’t know if you could pull off the whole play in one week, but you did it! I understand why it took you so long to plan for Shakespeare. I am not sure which activity is my favorite, but I really do like the human slide show. The photos are so funny! B13 must be a hoot and have such a good sense of humor. Lorna seems like a super fun person. Well done, Claire, Lorna, and children. This is a fabulous resource for anyone who is teaching Shakespeare. I learned a few new things about the reading aloud of Shakespeare. Thanks for that great information. It will come in handy very soon.
    My favorite photo: B4 in the wig. She looks stunning!!!:)
    (Gracie is anxiously awaiting next week.;))

    1. Thank you Donna. Next week I’ll be posting about Romeo and Juliet which wasn’t as successful as Midsummer. The seriousness of the topic didn’t help any and I think I exhausted everyone in the first week!

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