An Author’s Ploy to Mock Love in Act III of MidSummer Night’s Dream

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SWBAT analyze the development of love to to include its relationship to characters, setting, and the plot of Act III and cite textual evidence that supports inferences drawn from a song about irony or luck.

Big Idea

In life we have to expect the unexpected to understand the true meaning of living.

Lesson Introduction

Irony is a literary element used for a humorous or emphatic effect. It is defined as an expressed language that normally means the opposite of what is expected. In this lesson, students will learn how irony is used to communicate things to an audience.

Bellringer: Risk in an Image

5 minutes

To hook students into the mockery of unexpected things, an image will be shown with the following question 

Question: How is irony seen in the image above?

Students will be given time to respond to the question silently. At the end of the time, volunteers will share out their responses to the image. Then we will move into looking at musical lyrics that teaches more irony through examples in life.

Guided Practice: Is Irony a Form of Bad Luck?

15 minutes

In this activity, students look at the lyrics of Alanis Morissette song “Ironic” to discuss the difference between irony and bad luck. As students read the song silently, they will highlight examples (color-coded Ironic song) of irony discussed in the song. Next, students hear the song placing tallies under the irony or bad luck column anytime a reference is made in the song. After holding a discussion with students about what was tallied, students can determine if the title of the song is correct or incorrect. Furthermore, students can apply new learning from this activity to argue whether this act contains irony or luck gone BAD.

Independent Practice: Station Activities

20 minutes

Students will now return to the play to understand the impact Act III has on the mood. As students chose to read silently or in groups, they will answer the study guide questions to understand what’s discussed in the story. Afterwards, they will continue to work through the following stations:


As students work in the last two stations, I facilitate instruction at the active reading station to help students discover the turning point of the story. Since climax is hard for students to locate, I want to guide them in the right direction prior to learning how the story ends.

Check out the following student work samples from the station activities listed above!

climax handoutexample of heart imageexample of Heart Image 2answers to Act III

My act III lesson reflection video talks about the success students had with each station activity. Because students possess various learning needs and styles, each station hits on a need of students whether they like to think critically (active reading), visually (heart image), or comprehensively (study guide).

Closure: Exit Ticket

5 minutes

Since Act III can be seen as a useless scene of the play, I want students to begin formulating opinions on why it's included in the story. Students will answer the following question in their notebooks

What is the effect of including act III in the play? Why is it important? If it wasn't included in the play, what would be the same? Different?

This question cannot be answered until the end of the play. However, teachers can begin to gather students conclusions on why this act was even important to Shakespeare and his time. Partial answers to this question is seen in question 1 of Act III and question 1 of Act IV of the study guide. A possible answer that students can say at this point in the play is that this act adds suspense to the story since the men are in the same area that the lovers ran away to in Act II of the play. If it wasn't include as part of this story, Shakespeare couldn't have portrayed how people can make fools of themselves (Titania and Bottom's character)when thinking they are more superior to others in their rank.