“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Assignments Fall 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

IV.     □ Create a Character Biography. Due Thursday, December 18 as a google doc. You may also hand in a hard copy. I am assigning it today so you can finish it any time you want to this week.


1.         In your brief character biography, answer the following questions for your character. You may answer in words and pictures. Cut and paste these questions into a google doc, then share the doc with Ms. W. You may hand in a hard copy if google docs present a problem for you:

  • Who am I?
  • Where am I?
  • What do I want?
  • What gets in my character’s way (the obstacle)?

V.    □ Finish Rehearsing Your Piece.

1.           Decide which of your movements are necessary for your presentation.

              a.      Trust your gut here. Move through the piece and keep movements that feel right.

              b. Cut the movements that feel as if they are too much or not necessary or too silly for the character.



  • Run-thru the 16 lines for 10 or 15 minutes every day.

  • Use the movements you have chosen for your final presentation.

  • Remember what your character wants.

~Challenge yourself to do the best work that YOU can do.

Strategies for Memorization

by Ms. Wilson

  1. Learn lines in 4 line chunks. Avoid trying to memorize the 16 lines in one sitting.
    • Learn the first four lines.
    • Learn the next four lines, lines 5-8.
    • Now put lines 1-8 together.
    • Learn lines 9-12.
    • Then put lines 1-12 together and
    • Learn lines 12-16 and put the piece together and…
    • Ta-DAH—you’ve done it!
  2. Rehearse the movement sentences with the words and they will become “muscle memory” sooner than if you focus on the words alone.
  3. Post your script in and around the house in places like the bathroom mirror, the front of the refrigerator, on your nightstand, etc.
  4. Make a note card with the first word of every line to jog your memory.
  5. Show your work to a parent, a teacher, a brother, a sister, a favorite adult or someone else to help you to understand what you already have memorized.
  6. Go “off book” just like the pros do it.

Have a person hold your script for you and feel free to call “line” when you need a reminder on a line. Have your person read the line to you, when you remember the line and resume speaking, the “prompter” should immediately stop speaking.


 A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2010

We will finish the play next week. Read ahead to the end of the play for next Monday.

Coming up: Your next assignment


III.  □  Create “Movement Sentences” for  your selected 14—16 lines.

The first four lines: Due November 25

  1. Create a movement for EACH WORD in the text.
  1. Then connect the movements into “movement sentences”.
  1. Say your lines out loud and do the movements at the same time. Remember to pay attention to every word.      Hint: Use the punctuation in the text as a guide for each “movement sentence.”
  2. Share with the class your 16–18 lines of text including the movement sentences.

Movement sentences are due as follows:

The first four lines: Due Tuesday, November 25

The first eight lines: Due Monday, December 1

The first twelve lines: Due Tuesday, December 2

All lines due: Due Monday, December 8

All lines memorized by December 9.




Due Tuesday, November 18 

Look up each vocabulary word in your selected piece. Add it to your google doc at the bottom. Paraphrase of your piece is due on this day as well. For the paraphrase, you will translate the Shakespearean language into modern English…every word of your piece. Don’t skip anything. Explain what each line means in your own words and write it down underneath the Shakespearean text. This is why you put three lines of space between each line of Shakespearean text. We will talk about how to paraphrase tomorrow in class. I will dig up some online resources for you as well.

Monday, November 10–

Today, in class, we will work on the iambic pentameter for the first half of class and read for the second half of class. We will look at your chosen speeches. The speeches are due today: typed, triple-spaced and scanned for iambic pentameter. You can use google docs. Please share with me. lwilson@bakerdemschool.org.



FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 10—Final Assignment: Part 1

Prepare your text as assigned:

1.Type out the text with THREE spaces between each line.

2. Mark iambic pentameter, paraphrase the lines and

3. Make a hard copy of your work and bring it to school.

4. Feel free to do the assignment on google docs. but don’t forget to share it with Ms. Wilson.



Choose 12–16 lines of Shakespeare to memorize and perform in class.

  • Due Next Monday, November 10.–Choose your character and type out your character’s lines as directed below. Bring a hard copy of your work to school on Monday. All late assignments will earn a MSU. In other words, don’t be LATE!

 ~~~~~~Part One of Final Project Assignment~~~~~~~

Take the assignment one step at a time and you will shine!

  Prepare the text.

  1. Type the lines exactly as written in your book using 14 pt Times New Roman font.
  2. Put three spaces between each line (to leave room for scanning and paraphrasing.)
  3. Do not memorize the piece (yet). We will do lots of different exercises and assignments with the text to help you with memorization.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Ms. Wilson.






November 4, 2014

Today, your character choice is due. This is the assignment where you will prepare 16 lines of Shakespeare for performance. Who will you choose to study and perform in January?

Bring your choices to class today.


October 14, 2014


Next week,

Do the Monologue assignment:

October 27, 2014

We have been reading Acts 1 and 2 of MSND. Today we will have a guest, Dr. John Shanahan, from DePaul University English Department. He will speak with us about the language in the play and talk about the three worlds and how they interconnect.


You are looking for a character to play for your final assignment. Shop around. There is a lot of good material in the play!


Here is part one of the final assignment. Your choice of character will be due next week, November 4, 2014.


Student’s Name_________________________________________________


A Midsummer Night’s Dream


Character: ______________ Act _____ scene______ lines________



Part 1


Assignment: Choose 12–16 lines of Shakespeare to memorize and perform in class.

Due To be determined.–Choose your character and type out your character’s lines as directed below. Bring a paper copy of the lines to school. Keep an e-copy of the file (you may want to do parts of the assignment on your computer later). The lines are due


Take the assignment one step at a time and you will shine!

  1.           Prepare the text.
  2. Type the lines exactly as written in your book using    14 pt Times New Roman font.


  1. Put three spaces between each line (to leave room for scanning and paraphrasing.)


  1. Do not memorize the piece. We will do lots of different exercises and assignments with the text.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email Ms. Wilson.






October 14, 2014

Please pre-read Act II. sc. i for next week. This is the scene where enter into the fairy kingdom. Take advantage of the notes on the left in the Barnes and Noble edition and the notes to the right in the No Fear edition.

Here is a brief plot summary from Wikipedia up to the place you are assigned to read in the script. The entire summary is on the Wikipedia page. I encourage you to go to the Wikipedia site and explore it further:



The play features three interconnecting plots, connected by a celebration of the wedding of Duke Theseus of Athens and the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, which is set simultaneously in the woodland and in the realm of Fairyland, under the light of the moon.[1]

(Plot 1 )

The play opens with Hermia, who is in love with Lysander, refusing to submit to her father Egeus‘ demand that she wed Demetrius, to whom he has arranged for her to be married. Helena meanwhile pines unrequitedly for Demetrius. Enraged, Egeus invokes an ancient Athenian law before Duke Theseus, whereby a daughter must marry the suitor chosen by her father, or else face death. Theseus offers her another choice: lifelong chastity while worshiping the goddess Diana as a nun.

(Plot 2 )

Peter Quince and his fellow players plan to put on a play for the wedding of the Duke and the Queen, “the most lamentable comedy and most cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe”.[2] Quince reads the names of characters and bestows them to the players. Nick Bottom, who is playing the main role of Pyramus, is over-enthusiastic and wants to dominate others by suggesting himself for the characters of Thisbe, the Lion, and Pyramus at the same time. He would also rather be a tyrant and recites some lines of Ercles. Quince ends the meeting with “at the Duke’s oak we meet”.

(Plot 3)

Here is our scene for next week:  While the lovers are lost in the woods, the fairies have returned to the woods until “after Theseus’ wedding day.”

In a parallel plot line, Oberon, king of the fairies, and Titania, his queen, have come to the forest outside Athens. Titania tells Oberon that she plans to stay there until she has attended Theseus and Hippolyta’s wedding. Oberon and Titania are estranged because Titania refuses to give her Indian changeling to Oberon for use as his “knight” or “henchman,” since the child’s mother was one of Titania’s worshipers. Oberon seeks to punish Titania’s disobedience. He calls upon Robin “Puck” Goodfellow, his “shrewd and knavish sprite”,[3] to help him concoct a magical juice derived from a flower called “love-in-idleness“, which turns from white to purple when struck by Cupid’s arrow. When the concoction is applied to the eyelids of a sleeping person, that person, upon waking, falls in love with the first living thing they perceive. He instructs Puck to retrieve the flower with the hope that he might make Titania fall in love with an animal of the forest and thereby shame her into giving up the little Indian boy. He says, “And ere I take this charm from off her sight, / As I can take it with another herb, / I’ll make her render up her page to me.”[4]


READ, READ, READ ahead through Act II, sc ii.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~September 29, 2014

Today, I introduced scansion–how to navigate Iambic Pentameter.

Here is a “Wikihow” article on how to scan a poem in iambic pentameter. More on this next week. If you were absent today, please see me before next Monday to learn about scanning the verse in MSND.


Homework–scan the rest of the Egeus speech from Act I sc i.

Read through Act 1, scene   and review Act 1 sc 2 for Monday. We will begin to read onstage. Take time to pre-read the scenes. Don’t worry if you have trouble with vocabulary or understanding parts of the scene. That’s why we’re doing this work! Read for pleasure. Look at your diagram. Enjoy the beginning of this journey into a brand new experience.

I have a sound recording of the play. I cannot copy it to your computers, but you can come in and listen to the text or arrange with me to borrow the cd.