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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Shakespeare - Rodems: Home

This guide is to for Ms. Rodems' subfreshmen class.

Assignment details

Much Ado About Nothing Group Presentations


                          Due Dates:       Presentation Dates are January 22-24, 2018

            100 points


Assignment:   Before we begin reading the play, we need to create some context and basic understanding of the Elizabethan and Shakespearean world so that we can better imagine these characters and events. On more than one level, we will see that the world that inspired Shakespeare’s writing to be very different than ours, but hopefully we will also see many similarities.  In order to create this world, your group will present one of the following topics to the class during a 20 minute research presentation that will include research information, visual aid, and activity:


Elizabethan England Political History (Queen, policies, parliament, laws, crime and punishment)

Elizabethan England Social History (home life, marriage, religion, entertainment)

Drama, Romance, and Tragicomedy Genres (history, techniques, style, characteristics—Shakespearean dramas and romantic comedies)

The Globe Theater (where, when, what, history, why)

Biography of William Shakespeare (basic information about his life and publications)


1.  Visual aid:  The visual aid could come in any form: poster, handout, slide show, mixed media, multimedia, video clip, padlet, power point, etc. 


2.  The activity could be a related game, a performance, an exercise, a dance, making something (origami, globe theater), etc.  The activity just needs to get the audience involved in some way.  I am open to other activities that are not listed here but word searches and crossword puzzles are off limits.  However, the activity should take no more than 10 minutes of the presentation.  At some point before the presentation, I will meet with each group to discuss your approach to the project.  


3.  Preparation for the presentation

There’s nothing worse for an audience (and the presenter) than someone standing in front of a room and reading a notecard or being unprepared for a presentation.  Please keep this in mind when developing the presentation and actually giving the presentation. 


You will be graded on creativity and poise.  Now I know that not everyone is comfortable standing in front of a classroom, so I’m not expecting every student to maintain the same level of flair, but practice your portion of the presentation as well as run through the entire presentation as a group at least twice. 


The more comfortable you are with the information, the more comfortable you may feel while sharing the information.  Remember that you are all in this together.  If one student is less comfortable in front of the class, how can you, as a group, help that student feel more comfortable?  How can you support them?  It’s important to note that ALL MEMBERS must contribute to the research, development of presentation, and speak during the presentation/activity


Materials that you will submit to me:

On the day of your presentation, your group will submit an itinerary that DETAILS your research presentation talking points, activity, use of visual aid, and complete Works Cited page.  You will also need to submit your visual aid to me, whether through an electronic format or some form of a physical item. 


Grading Criteria for the group project: quality of research, fluidity and organization of presentation, creativity, group member evaluation.  After the presentation, each student will be required to complete a group member evaluation.  Each member will evaluate their group members and themselves in terms of their contribution to the project. 



Here you can find information to help you with your Shakespearean projects. If you have any questions at all about using the resources in this guide, please do not hesitate to contact either your teacher Ms. Rodems or the librarian, Ms. Arnold. Happy searching!