English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

National Shakespeare Competition

Lesson Plans & Teaching Materials

Reminder:  

Remember to check and see if your students are required to select pieces from a specific list provided by your local ESU Branch.  If you are in doubt, please ask your local ESU Branch Shakespeare Coordinator. FIND YOUR BRANCH

Here are lesson plans on monologues and sonnets designed to help you implement the Competition in your classroom and beyond.  They were created by Susan Biondo-Hench, our Competition Teacher Liaison. 


MONOLOGUE

 Week 1: Getting to Know Monologues and the ESU National Shakespeare Competition 
Aims: Introduce students to the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition, share several videos of successful monologues from the Competition, and have the students select and begin to explore their own monologues.

 Week 2: Taking the Monologue Out for a Walk   
Aims: Students continue to research the monologue and begin the physical work of putting the monologue up on its feet.

 Week 3: Going in Circles: Exploring the Monologue's Reach
Aims: Students refine their understanding of their monologues and expand their physical engagement with the text.

 Week 4Unpacking the Monologue's Center

Aims:  Deepen the students' work with the monologues and build their confidence in presenting their monologues in front of others.

 Week 5Workshopping the Monologues

Aims:  Hold a monologue workshop, where the students recite their complete monologues in front of each other and offer feedback to their peers; they assess their progress, benefit from seeing their classmates' work and set personal goals for their formal presentations at the school competition rehearsal next week.

 Week 6Completing a Competition Dress Rehearsal

Aims:  Students draw their work with their monologues to a close by participating in a dress rehearsal for the school competition, assessing and reflecting on their progress. They complete final presentations of their monologues, and each monologue presentation is assessed for a final grade. 

SONNET

 Week 1: Getting to Know Shakespearean Sonnets

Aims:  Introduce students to the format of a Shakespeare sonnet, get the students on their feet and speaking text aloud, and have the students select and begin to explore their own sonnets.

 Week 2: Taking the Sonnet Out for a Walk

Aims:  Students continue to research the sonnet and begin the physical work of putting the sonnet up on its feet.

 Week 3: Going in Circles: Exploring the Sonnet's Reach 
Aims:  Students refine their understanding of their sonnet and expand their physical engagement with the text.

 Week 4Unpacking the Sonnet's Center

Aims: Deepen the students' work with the sonnets and build their confidence in presenting their sonnets in front of others.

 Week 5Workshopping the Sonnets

Aims:  Hold a sonnet workshop where the students recite their complete sonnets in front of each other and offer feedback to their peers; they assess their progress, benefit from seeing their classmates' work and set personal goals for their formal recitations.

 Week 6Holding a Sonnet Recitation Festival

Aims:  Students draw their work with their sonnets to a close by participating in formal recitations, assessing and reflecting on their progress. They complete final presentations of their sonnets, and each sonnet recitation is assessed for a grade.

Return to Teacher Resources