Dramatic Reading

Famous Lines from Shakespeare

Common Core Anchor Standards: R.1, SL.6, L.4

  1. Each student will get famous death lines. I want you to feel confident reading your part, so pick the lines you like.
  2. The words on you’ve chosen were the last words spoken by a character from one of Shakespeare’s plays.  They are “death lines.”Although you may not understand all the words on the card, aim to figure meaning from the line and visualizing the moment of death.
  3. Your job is to read the line out loud to the class as you act out the death itself. Not everyone’s lines will dictate the method the character uses to die. Some will. Take this into consideration as you plan your dramatic demise. It’s not important if the death is accurate.
  4. Models and suggestions. The lines do not have to be performed solo; you can invite other students to help you. Whatever you do it needs to be safe.
  5. Time to work on your death scene.
  6. After reading the line and dying, you must remain “dead.” By the end of the activity, all students will be lying dead in the same position in which they landed.
  7. We will position students around the room and figure out an order to their lines.
  8. We will go  through everyone’s line and  rehearse where everyone will land when they deliver their line.
  9. For the final performance, record the scenes with video. Share completed videos with other classes.


Exit ticket possibilities:

  • Rate your comfort level (1–10) at the beginning of the assignment.
  • Rate your comfort level (1–10) at the end of the activity.
  • Give one line that you were interested in?
  • Who was the best actor in the class?
  • Rate your excitement (1–10) for our Shakespeare unit.