American Shakespeare Center Study Guides are a valuable resource, providing a start-to-finish outline for exploring a play through the ASC’s methods of performance-based learning. Our mission is to help you recover the joy of Shakespeare with your students through both his wordcraft and his stagecraft. Your students will discover that Shakespeare uses their language to tell their stories — stories of love and hate, jealousy and betrayal, dysfunctional families and challenging friendships — as vital and vivid now as they were four hundred years ago. Our goal is to get teachers out of the mindset that they have to teach Shakespeare like a novel.


“The Basics – Acting Choices”

(From Our From Class to Cast Study Guide)

An introductory lesson on making vocal and physical choices that bring Shakespeare’s text alive! This short and simple activity from our From Class to Cast study guide is applicable to any of Shakespeare’s works can be done by anyone to make Shakespeare fun by the craft of acting. It applies to Shakespeare.

“HENRY IV SAMPLE ACTIVITY – DRAMATURG’S CORNER”

(From Our Henry, Hal, and Falstaff Study Guide)

This activity is an excellent prompt for a hands-on research project that can be done at home – by a classroom of one or more! This Henry IV-related activity can be scaled up or down to suit teachers and students of all levels, but may be best aimed for high school students as a research project.

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“Much Ado ABOUT NOTHING sample activity – Rhetoric”

(From Our Much Ado About Nothing Study Guide)

The full Much Ado About Nothing study guide containes two of these rhetorical activities, but here we have distilled it down to just one: “Too Cunning to Be Understood.” This fun activity for middle-school students centers on the hilarious Dogeberry’s use of malapropisms as a rhetorical device.

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“Midsummer NIGHT’S DREAM sample activity – Paraphrase”

(From Our A Midsummer Night’s Dream Study Guide)

A simple, basic activity that is great for all ages! This walk-through of how to do a word-for-word paraphrase of Shakespeare’s language is a fun way of making Shakespeare’s language obvious.

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