Chris Adcock
English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Grade 11 ELA
  • Performance
  • Shakespeare
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Passage Performance

    Passage Performance


    In this lesson, Shakespeare comes to life! The first group of students will perform their memorized passages from Much Ado About Nothing .


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.

    Presentation Procedures

    • Send the first five presenting students into the hallway or another practice space to prepare.
    • Go over the procedure with the students and make sure they understand what will happen, as well as their role when they’re in the audience.
      • SWD: Some students may benefit from having a practice space to themselves, rather than trying to rehearse in the hallway with others around. For these students, make accommodations as possible.


    Your teacher will send the first five students who will present today into the hall to rehearse their scenes.

    Here’s how things will go.

    • Each presenter or pair of presenters will begin by introducing the passage and explaining the scenario.
    • Applaud after all presentations! Everyone deserves credit for getting up in front of the class to perform.
    • Pause after each presentation for any questions for the presenter.
    • When you’re done with your own performance, make a few notes about how you did. What did you do well? What could you have improved?
    • Finally, the teacher will comment on the overall presentation.

    After your performance, submit your completed Prompt Book to the teacher.

    The Presentations

    • Have the first performers begin their presentations.
    • Evaluate each performance using the Student Scene Memorization rubric.
    • Encourage excellent constructive criticism as based on the rubric.
    • If students find ways to offer positive feedback that are not on the rubric, encourage it. However, if students are critical of things that are not on the rubric, remind them to stick to the criteria that are on the rubric.
    • When classmates have completed their commentaries, it will be your turn to comment. Remember that this was not easy for them, and be as positive as possible. Cast any negative aspect of the presentation in a positive light, acknowledging how hard this was to do.
    • Keep in mind that for some students, getting up in front of the class is itself the biggest hurdle to overcome.
      • ELL: Many ELLs will be completely comfortable performing in front of the class, but for those who are not, you can consider creating a performance situation with a smaller audience. These students may benefit from being given the option to perform for a handful of peers, or even just you, rather than for the entire class. Modify your requirements for these students as appropriate.
    • Continue to have the remaining performers for the day present their scenes, and continue the constructive criticism after each performance.

    Work Time

    The performers will begin their presentations in the order in which they occur in the play.

    • After each presentation, pause for applause, comments, and questions.

    Performance Debrief

    • Allow partners time to share their reactions to the presentations.
    • Have students discuss the observations they discussed in the partner share.
    • Offer encouragement to those who have performed and those who have yet to perform.


    When all performers for the day have presented, talk with a partner about what you have just seen and your reactions to the presentations. You may have been one of the presenters. If so, discuss how you felt your scene went.

    • Did the presentations help you get a better sense of the meaning behind the play’s language?
    • Is hearing the lines different from reading them? If so, how?

    Once you’ve discussed with your partner, share with the whole class.

    Essay, Presentation, Prompt Book

    • Make sure all presenters have given you their Prompt Books. You will need to return all Prompt Books by the beginning of Lesson 26, when students are assigned to their performance groups.
    • If students who haven’t presented are finished with their Prompt Books, encourage them to move on to essay work.


    • If you have already presented, work on your essay.
    • If you have not presented, work on your scene presentation and your Prompt Book.