William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Lesson plans and teaching ideas

For introductory, background and other resources, try Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age. For links to other plays, try the Shakespeare Main Page.

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The Tempest E-Notes Lesson Plan
Summary, analysis, criticism, key quotations, quizzes, more.

60-Second Shakespeare
On this page, a tabloid-style summary of the play from the BBC. Follow links to learn how your students can produce something similar.

English Class in Performance
If you want your students to get up and perform Shakespeare, here are some abridged scripts: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.

Folger Study Guide: The Tempest
"Plot summary, background information, a list of characters, interactive activities, discussion questions, a brief bibliography, and original sheet music for two of the play's songs."

The Power of Music
"This lesson asks students to make connections between their own musical knowledge/tastes/interests and the characters and events in the play as a means of illuminating the text."

Prospero: Turkey or Tyrant?
"Students will study characterization and the difference between subjective and objective point of view by creating tableaux to depict three interpretations of the story of Prospero's overthrow, each with a very different point of view. The lesson will help them decode Shakespeare's language and give them an opportunity to interpret the play through movement and gesture."

The Tempest
Background, scene-by-scene synopsis, and a variety of activities related to the Elizabethan era, plot, character, language, theme, reader response, and more. Requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

The Tempest
Reading strategies, including an anticipation guide, questioning strategies, and an approach to vocabulary.

The Tempest
Plot summary, themes, study questions, more.

The Tempest
Background, summary, discussion questions, analysis, suggestions for writing about the play, sample essay questions.

Tempest in the Lunchroom
Students enact the shipwreck scene, using text to understand the plot and break down intial resistance to reading Shakespeare.

Themes, Motifs & Symbols
Analysis from Sparknotes.

Tom Hanks and Caliban: Survivor Superstars
"Students ... explore the Sea Venture's wreck on Bermuda in 1609 as inspiration for Shakespeare's The Tempest."

The Tempest: Picture Poems
"Students will write descriptive poems of selected images of The Tempest using vocabulary from a word bank [provided at the site]. This activity will help students become more comfortable with the language of the play and enable them to start thinking about what characters in the play might look like."

The Wreck of the Sea Venture
Was The Tempest inspired in part by accounts of the wreck of the ship, the Sea Venture? This audio file from Shakespeare in American Life explores the possibility.

You Can Go Home Again, Can't You? An Introduction to The Tempest
Text of a college-level introductory lecture on the play, with emphasis on interpretation.



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