In situations where you are dealing with struggling readers who are having a difficult time accessing the text on an analytical level, it can be useful to bring in more creative activities that give them access to the themes involved. Once they have an idea of what is going on and what the author is trying to say, then it becomes easier for them to follow the text. This is the goal for all of these classroom activities on Shakespeare's plays. The Tempest offers quite a few different opportunities to make these activities meaningful and entertaining.
1. Have students bring five objects that relate to each of the themes listed above. These objects can be pictures, drawings, maps, cutouts from magazines, or small three-dimensional objects. Then, split your class into groups of three, and provide each group with a piece of posterboard. Have the groups use their objects to make collages expressive of The Tempest. You can also have students do this individually.
2. Have your students set up Facebook pages for one or more of the following characters from The Tempest: Prospero, Miranda, Ariel, Caliban, Ferdinand, Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian and Gonzalo. As you read the play, this can turn into a multi-week project as students go in and update the "status" and events for their characters. Evaluate this based on how accurately the pages represent the personalities of the characters, and the events of the plot.
3. Forbidden Planet came out in 1956 and is a sci-fi adaptation of The Tempest. Instead of Caliban, the ruler has built Robby the Robot. Show portions of this movie, either in parallel with portions of a more literal film adaptation or with readings from specific passages from the novel, and ask students how the movie writers have adapted Shakespeare's ideas. Then, after you have finished the play, have your students write an adapted script of one of the major scenes of the play, but also in a modern genre.