The Impact of Symbols in the Setting in Act II of MidSummer Night’s Dream

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SWBAT express the central ideas of a text and explore how a possible theme develops as the events progresses from the setting of the woods in the play.

Big Idea

Woods, Flowers,Wilderness! Examining the beauty of objects to see if they appear as they seem.

Lesson Introduction

Suspense is seen as a state or feeling that occurs within an individual about happenings in the future. Readers of this play are definitely left in suspense when Shakespeare allows Hermia to (1) tell Helena (in secret) her plans to run away with Lysander and (2) for Helena to reveal this secret to Demetrius, her father’s pick for a husband. While students may not pick up on these examples of suspense, the actions of the characters lead to the setting of the plot which occurs in the woods. This lesson is designed to focus students' attention on the woods and its appropriateness to the plot of the story.

Bellringer: Q&A

7 minutes

To hook students to the new setting of the play, they answer the question

If you and your lover could go into hiding, where would you go? Why?

Students will respond to the question in their notebooks. I will take volunteers to share their response to the warm-up with the class. The purpose of this Q&A preps students' thoughts about the effectiveness of using the woods as a hiding place for lovers in the play. While we will not go over this impact so early in the lesson, it will be answered by the closing activity. 

Guided Practice: The Impact of Words

10 minutes

Suspense creates a feeling of tension in a story. In this short paragraph, students read and list words or phrases that makes this incident suspenseful or wanting the reader to know more about the situation

I’ll never forget the day I lost my dog. My mom wanted to kill me for being so careless. My dad spent four hours searching under cars and in back alleys. If they didn’t find him, I’d be in hot water for months. I never had such a miserable day.

As students work independently, I walk around to see what challenges students are having with this assignment. Afterwards, I discuss sample answers with students to determine the impact words have on the setting of this story.

Independent Practice: Stations

25 minutes

Students will continue to read their parts in Act II of the play. After reading the following work will be done in stations


Students will work independently on the study guide after reading the play. Teachers have the option of going over the answers to the study guide or moving students into the next two stations activities. I decide to give students a choice on which station to complete for the remaining time of class. Majority of the students may select the coloring flower activity but give them a choice of what to be engaged in next when it comes to understanding the elements of the play.

As students work on the last stations, I check students' answers to their study guides of Act II. After the stations are completed, I end class going what was missed on the study guide.

Check out student work samples from station activities!

sample flower & night images handout sample

Exit Ticket

5 minutes

To end class, students respond to the following question,

Why were the woods the most appropriate place for the couples to hide? What are two pros and cons of using this main setting in the play?

The exit ticket is used to help students bridge literature elements in relation to the author's purpose for selecting how the play begins and ends. Check out a student response to this exit ticket to think along the lines of Shakespeare while choosing the woods to portray majority of the conflict in the play.