Characters and Discussion
Divvy out roles for each scene. It is easier for students to follow the action when the same person reads a character. At the end of the scene, stop and have the students discuss what just happened, to whom, and why. After discussion and clarification, feel free to assign the roles to different students and read the next scene. This allows more students to be involved in the reading.
One last note: if students seem intimidated by the language, or are having a difficult time with pronunciation, try starting each circle session with a little stretching, yawning, and a tongue twister or two. Tell students (because it is true) that professional actors warm up before a performance with tongue twisters such as “Peter Piper…" so that they can get through the verse without getting tongue-tied. Therefore, tell them, it certainly couldn’t hurt to try.
The above suggestions allow teachers to simply and easily incorporate a few important elements of drama into Shakespeare lesson plans. The students will be able to see and watch each other read, warm up together, and in each scene not become confused but rather keep the characters distinct in their minds.
Be certain to wrap up each reading by discussing what is going on in each scene right after reading it.