written by: Kellie Hayden
• edited by: Donna Cosmato
• updated: 9/11/2012
Before jumping feet first into the play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, give students a pre-assessment of the play. This quiz will allow you to assess what students already know so that you will not bore your students stiff or leave them utterly confused.
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Midsummer Night's Dream Pre-assessment
Students tend to struggle with Shakespeare in general. However, it helps to know what they already know about Shakespeare and the play A Midsummer Night's Dream before beginning. If students cannot answer many questions, then you can start at square one, which is a pre-assessment activity for A Midsummer Night's Dream. If they know a little, go from there. The best part is that you won't bore the class that has some basic knowledge.
Maybe you have lucked out and have a class of Shakespearean experts. In that case, you can go beyond helping students understand the plot of the play. You can move quickly to the more advanced topics, such as allusions, symbolism and themes.
Shakespeare Pre-assessment Questions
The following are a bank of pre-assessment questions that a teacher can use to assess the students' knowledge of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Teachers can use all of the questions or a select few to discover what the students already know about the play. Teachers can give the same quiz after watching or reading the play and see if students improve their score on the pre-assessment quiz.
1. When was Shakespeare born and in what town and country?
Stratford-Upon-Avon, England in 1564
2. What theater was Shakespeare part owner?
The Globe Theater
3. What English monarchs favored Shakespeare?
Queen Elizabeth and James I
4. Shakespeare wrote 37_____________ and 154 ___________.
plays and sonnets
5. The play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, has references to ______________mythology and____________folk lore.
Greek mythology and English country folk lore
Midsummer Night's Dream Pre-assessment
6. What genre is A Midsummer Night's Eve play?
comedy, fantasy, farce, romance (Most experts call it a comedy)
7. What is Midsummer Night's Eve?
On June 23, the evening before Midsummer Day is when it is celebrated. It was previously believed that supernatural beings or witches could stir up some mischief or problems for the common man.
8. What is the setting of the play?
9. What important event is about to take place in the play?
Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding
10. Who were the four young lovers who become confused in the woods?
Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena
11. Who are Nick Bottom, Peter Quince, Francis Flute, Robin Starveling, Tom Snout, and Snug?
These characters are referred to as the mechanicals in reference books. However they are the local Athenian craftsmen who are preparing a play for Theseus and Hippolyta's wedding.
12. Who are Oberon and Titania?
The fairy king and queen
13. Puck is a _________________ sprite.
Mischievous, ornery, rotten, etc.
14. If ___________ does not agree to marry Demetrius, she will have to go to a ___________________.
15. Where does all of the mischief happen?
In the Athenian woods
16. Oberon is seeking revenge on who when he asks Puck to use his magic?
17. When the flower's magic is placed on the wrong set of eyes, what happens?
Lysander and Demetrius both fall in love with Helena
18. Who almost has a good "girl fight"?
Helena and Hermia
19. Puck changes Bottoms' head into a/an ________?
ass or donkey
20. With whom does Titania fall in love with when she is under the flower's spell?
Bottom, who has the head of a donkey and acts like one too
21. Why does Oberon have Puck fix Titania's love for a donkey?
Oberon obtains the changeling boy
22. Who gets married on a Midsummer Day?
Lysander and Hermia; Demetrius and Helena and Theseus and Hippolyta
23. Who are Pyramus and Thisbe?
They are star-crossed lovers in the play put on by the craftsmen
24. Why do the fairies appear after the play?
To bless the couples marriages
25. Why does Puck hang around after they couples are tucked away in bed and the others have fled?
To ask forgiveness and to ask the audience to remember it as a dream
After giving the pre-assessment activity for A Midsummer Night's Dream, you should know if students know anything about this comedy. After watching or reading the play, you will be able to see who paid attention or snoozed during the play.