Surfing with the Bard Lesson Plans

Hamlet Reviewing Status using Hamlet
Submitted by:  Amy Ulen and Erik Johnke
Date:  February 15, 1999

Objective:   The student will integrate status work with the study of text by completing a series of status exercises using V.i.30-60 of Hamlet and discussing/writing about the experience.

Materials:  V.i.30-60 and prior experience with status exercises


  1. Have students mill and seethe using the six different status physical types.  Review the six types:  wide, narrow, tall, low, forward, and back.
  2. In pairs, mill and seethe as master and servant.  Each person will choose a physical type and command/follow using only gibberish.  Switch master/servant roles and physical type at 30 second intervals (each student will have two turns).  Spend the last minute discussing the exercise with partner.
  3. Choose two groups to volunteer and feed-in the scene (V.i.30-60).   This allows the students to become familiar with the text to be used.
  4. In groups of four, one pair will feed-in the scene as the other pair acts the scene using one of the six physical types.  Switch.
  5. Back in the large group, have two or three pairs share their scenes.
  6. Class Discussion
    • How did the change in physical types help you find a character?
    • What happens to the status of the two characters during the course of the scene?
    • How is status reflected vocally and physically?
  7. Homework
    • Write a dialogue between two characters who are fighting for status.
    • Describe a situation where you saw two people fighting for status.



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