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Lesson Plan by Cassie Bermel B. Ed.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Make Shakespeare come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Character Map
  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel
  • Mind Map
  • Plot Diagram
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamlet by William Shakespeare
Pixton Lesson Plan on Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Main Characters

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Hamlet from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Hamlet

    The protagonist, the son of the dead king, determined to find out if his uncle Claudius murdered his father

  • King Hamlet from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    King Hamlet

    A ghost who tells Hamlet he was murdered by Claudius

  • Claudius from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Claudius

    The new king, the old king’s brother, and Hamlet’s uncle, accused of murder

  • Gertrude from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Gertrude

    Hamlet’s mother, who married Claudius after her husband, King Hamlet, died

  • Polonius from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Polonius

    Claudius’ friend and advisor, father to Ophelia and Laertes

  • Ophelia from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Ophelia

    Polonius’ daughter, has a love connection with Hamet

  • Laertes from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Laertes

    Ophelia’s brother, Polonius’ son, who seeks revenge on Hamlet for their deaths

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern

    Hamlet’s friends who are brought to the castle by Claudius and Gertrude

  • Horatio from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Horatio

    Friend of Hamlet

  • Prince Fortinbras from Hamlet by William Shakespeare
    Prince Fortinbras

    The Prince of Norway, who wants to start a war

Featured Props

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bottle
    Bottle
  • Bottle
    Bottle
  • Candlestick
    Candlestick
  • Castle
    Castle
  • Curtain
    Curtain
  • Statue
    Statue
  • Sword
    Sword
  • Throne
    Throne
  • Wall
    Wall
  • Wall
    Wall
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Before your students read Hamlet, introduce them to the play by discussing the major themes of:

  • Mortality
  • Impossibility of Certainty
  • Complexity of Action

Ask your class:

  • What is the meaning of life?
  • What is our purpose (in general, as humans)?

Organize their ideas by drawing a mind map on the board.

Opening Discussion

Generate a discussion with the question:

“If you received an anonymous email saying your boyfriend or girlfriend was cheating on you, how would you react?” This will lead into Act I when Hamlet receives information about his father’s death by way of his father’s ghost.

Explain to students that "The Lion King" is loosely based on Hamlet. Have students write a quick plot line of the movie. This will help them make connections throughout the play.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Begin after the first act, and make additions after subsequent acts.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard, Graphic Novel, or ...
    Imagery - Hamlet’s Soliloquy

    Imagine that Hamlet saw Claudius and Polonius listening to him.

    View Activity
  • Make a Plot Diagram
    Conflict and Plot

    Complete at the end of the play.

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map or Storyboard
    Major Themes

    Complete at the end of the play.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Graphic Novel (Extension / Modification)

    Create a short Graphic Novel using one panel to represent each scene (20 total).

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster advertising the play that Hamlet arranged for Claudius.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

The play revolves around Hamlet’s failure to act.

  • Why do you think this was?
  • How did this affect the outcome of the play?
  • Where might we see similar actions today?
  • What would be the cause and effect of not being able to act on a decision?
  • Compare and contrast the play with "The Lion King".

NOTE: It's important to discuss how teens can manage conflict in their daily lives. Suicide is a serious topic and should be addressed with your class. Create an open discussion in which the class can share their ideas on the topic, or have the students write a paragraph on whether suicide is an acceptable decision.

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Pixton Activity: Hamlet 1 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Comparing and contrasting is an important skill that will help reinforce key attributes of the play’s characters, and help create connections with the plot and theme. The characteristics that make up the protagonist and antagonist help shape the outcome of the narrative. Shakespearean plays are known for their “Foil Characters” whose main values differ from that of the protagonist.

Instructions

Choose four of your favorite characters from Hamlet and create a Character Map for each one.

  • Make sure to include a protagonist and a foil character among your selection.
  • It's important to add sufficient detail to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the characters' attributes that are outlined in the play.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Character Map

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The character map is thoughtful; descriptions are detailed and informative. The character map is fully developed; accurate details and insightful descriptions. The character map is complete; descriptions are simple and settings are accurate. The character map includes basic details, but is not fully developed. The character map does not accurately reflect the characters.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• significant details that make characters unique and dynamic
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• characters are similar; includes relevant details
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• characters similar to description
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• characters vaguely looks like description
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
• characters do not look like description
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Hamlet 2 Imagery - Hamlet’s Soliloquy

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard
  • Graphic Novel
  • Mind Map

Intro

An effective way to analyze a character is to imagine that character in a different scenario. To do this effectively, you must draw upon what you already know about the character, through what the character says and does, as well as what the author and other characters tell you about them.

Instructions

Create a four-panel Storyboard depicting the following scenario:

Intending to eavesdrop on Hamlet’s interaction with Ophelia, Claudius and Polonius instead listen to Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be”.

  • Imagine if Hamlet discovered the two men listening to him. How would he react?
  • How would Claudius and Polonius react?
  • You must consider what you know about each character and justify their reactions along with the storyboard.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Imagery - Hamlet’s Soliloquy

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The hypothetical situation is focused, with advanced use of language/ideas. The hypothetical situation is well developed with full and accurate descriptions. The hypothetical situation is logical; descriptions may be brief. The hypothetical situation is basic, has several errors, and lacks detail. The hypothetical situation is inaccurate and illogical, and is difficult to follow.
Characterization Capturing each character effectively • each character is clearly captured
• character's words and actions are realistic to story and believable
• strong characters traits revealed in literature are displayed in presented panels
• each character is clearly captured
• most of character's words and actions are realistic to story and believable
• some characters traits revealed in literature are displayed in presented panels
• some characters are clearly captured
• character's words and actions are somewhat believable
• 1-2 characters traits revealed in literature are displayed in presented panels
• characters are somewhat captured
• character's words and actions are somewhat believable
• difficult to see characters traits in your panel
- the characters in your panels do not represent the characters in the literature
Justification Reasoning behind the characters' reactions • proper justification to character's reactions are given
• justification is believable, drawing on relevant inferences from the text
• justification to character's reactions are given
• justification is believable, drawing on somewhat relevant inferences from the text
• some justification to character's reactions are given
• justification is somewhat believable, drawing on inferences from the text
• justification is given, but it may not be believable and does not draw from inferences in text
• justification may be partially missing, or is not believeable at all
- does not rely on text for justification
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • varies language to develop meaning
• varies sentence structure for effect
• images and characters have impact on the meaning of the panel
• language is clear with some variety
• varies sentence structure
• makes attempts to use descriptive language
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structure with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• some variety in sentence length and type
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Imagery in “Cinderella” by Pixton
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Pixton Activity: Hamlet 3 Conflict and Plot

Featured Layouts

  • Plot Diagram

Instructions

Summarize Hamlet in a six-panel Plot Diagram.

  • Include a brief description and an illustration for each point of the plot diagram (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement), as well as for the main conflict.

  • Be sure to identify the key points that are essential in defining each specific act.

  • Think about relevant quotes that could be used to help create meaning in each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Conflict and Plot

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The dramatic structure is focused, with advanced use of language/ideas. The dramatic structure is well developed with full and accurate descriptions. The plot diagram is accurate and logical; descriptions may be brief. The dramatic structure is basic, has several errors, and lacks detail. The dramatic structure is inaccurate, and is difficult to follow.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• summary is clear and highly detailed
• descriptions are thoughtful and highly developed
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• summary is clear and accurate
• logical descriptions that clarify and develop the idea
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• summary is short, but accurate
• descriptions are simple and consistent
• some relevant ideas
• summary has several errors
• descriptions are brief and lack detail
• often very brief
• summary is has significant errors
• descriptions are difficult to follow
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • varies language to develop meaning
• varies sentence structure for effect
• images and characters have impact on the meaning of the panel
• language is clear with some variety
• varies sentence structure
• makes attempts to use descriptive language
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structure with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• some variety in sentence length and type
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (5 Act Play design) • proper organization
• sequence is highly effective and has purpose
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• logical sequence
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• consistent attention to sequence
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• some attention to sequence
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• no attention to sequence
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

Student Handout

Share this comic with your students to demonstrate the activity without giving away the farm :)

Conflict and Plot in “Cinderella” by Pixton
ExpositionCinderella lives a humble life with her father, and is very happy. However, soon after taking a new wife, Cinderella's father passes away. Main ConflictWith her new husband now deceased, Lady Tremaine and her two daughters take over the house. Rather than welcoming Cinderella into the family, they make her a servant and treat her cruelly. Rising ActionThe Prince, looking to get married, announces there will be a ball for all the ladies in the kingdom to attend. Cinderella plans to go but her stepsisters ruin her dress. As she sits in tears, her fairy godmother appears and gives her everything she needs for a grand experience at the ball. But there is a catch; at midnight, everything will return to how it was before. ClimaxCinderella enters the ballroom and immediately catches Prince Charming's eye. After a night of dancing, the two are in love. Cinderella loses track of time, however, and when the clock strikes midnight, she flees from the ball. Prince Charming is left with nothing but her glass slipper. Falling ActionThe prince is determined to find the mysterious woman from the ball. He sends his men to visit every household in the kingdom and have them try on the glass slipper. The woman whom the shoe fits will be the new princess. DenouementAt last, Cinderella gets a chance to try on the glass slipper and it fits perfectly. Prince Charming knows she is the one he fell in love with at the ball. He rescues her from her wicked stepfamily and they live happily ever after.
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Pixton Activity: Hamlet 4 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map
  • Storyboard

Intro

Three major themes in Hamlet are:

  • Mortality
  • Impossibility of Certainty
  • Complexity of Action

Instructions

For each major theme in the play, identify two exemplary scenes and depict them in a Mind Map or Storyboard:

  • Identify the Act and scene in the panel title
  • Create an image that summarizes the scene
  • Formulate a brief description of how the example fits the theme

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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