Fun Shakespeare Lesson Plans: Teaching Characterization Using Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet

Fun Shakespeare Lesson Plans

Mr. Endcareer picked Tuesday to observe my class. "A good day for teaching characterization with Hamlet characterization

Shakespearan Play

lessons," I thought. Three minutes into class–23 students had fallen asleep. My teaching characterization lessons weren't going well. Eight minutes later–the 14 remaining students dozed off. Twelve minutes later–Mr. Endcareer fell asleep.

It was time to come up with some fun Shakespeare lesson plans for teaching characterization.

Interview Objectives

Mr. Corncob two classrooms over might notice your students are having fun and tell the principal. You should, therefore, have clear lesson objectives.

  1. Students will analyze character motivation.
  2. Students will interpret character actions.
  3. Students will use textual evidence to support their opinions.
  4. Students will infer meaning from literature.

Character Interview

Students will conduct an interview asking four basic questions while pointing to an imaginary television:

  1. In this scene it looks as though you're very angry, what is going on here?
  2. In this scene it looks as though you're very sad, what is going on here?
  3. In this scene it looks as though you're very afraid, what is going on here?
  4. In this scene it looks as though you're very happy, what is going on here?

Conduct a sample interview with the class. Remind students of the following:

  • Each character believes he or she is right. Answer accordingly.
  • Students must understand what motivates each character.
  • You may wish to prepare students by reviewing characters.


  • Model an interview for the class. Be sure to pick an "entertaining" student to interview.
  • Put students in pairs.
  • Instruct students to list 3-5 characteristics for the character they are going to portray. Cite specific examples from the play.
  • Instruct them to conduct an interview to a Romeo and Juliet character using the above questions.
  • Switch.
  • Ask for volunteers to demonstrate their interview in front of the class.


  • Don't grade the interview unless you provide a clear and specific rubric. This activity is more suited as a review.
  • Assessment can be done on students' ability to use evidence for analysis.

This post is part of the series: Romeo and Juliet Lesson Plans

These Romeo and Juliet Lesson Plans just might wake up your class.
  1. Teaching Characterization: Fun Shakespeare Lesson Plans
  2. Lesson Plan: Romeo and Juliet Characters, Who's to Blame?