Middle or High School
Students will become familiar with the characters of Othello and its themes by creating their own version of the play using the same characters. Students will also see similarities and differences in how themes and character types from Shakespeare’s era are used in modern media.
A clip from popular television show, television/projector, Othello character descriptions, writing materials optional
Show a short clip from a popular television show that illustrates the problems of
one of the themes dealt with in Othello, such as jealousy, infidelity, disobedience,
miscommunication, misinterpretation etc.
1. Have students discuss what they saw. What conflict presented by the clip? If possible have someone explain how it resolves.
2. Give students a list of characters with personality descriptions from Othello. Have
students share any connections they see between these characters and those they saw in the television show. This can lead into an explanation about how Othello contains some of Shakespeare’s most well rounded characters.
3. Without giving students any information on the actual events in the play, in groups have them create (write it down for optional written assessment) a story containing all of the characters on the list involving jealousy and miscommunication.
4. Have students give a three to five minute performance of the action of their plays.
5. You may wish to hold on to these story ideas for discussion after students have read the play.
Tools for Assessment:
Assessment occurs throughout this lesson as students:
• Actively watch and discuss the popular media clip.
• Actively participate in the discussion of characters from the clip and Othello.
• Work in a group to create an original story involving characters from Othello.
• Behave appropriately as an audience member during other performances.
• Actively participate in their group’s performance of their story. Performances may
be assessed with the following criteria: Did they incorporate all the characters?
Did they incorporate the required theme? Did they stay focused during the
performance? How creative/original was their story?