Project Options for Hamlet

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This year I’ve had the opportunity to work with a reading enrichment group.  It’s different for me, as I’m used to working with math students for most of my day.  The class has been exploring a few different novel studies this year and just finished a unit on Hamlet.  We spent about two months discussing the characters in Hamlet and the play in general.  They read this book to initially get an overview.  We also watched portions of RSC’s rendition of the play.  Students enjoyed this so much.  They kept on asking to see the next part of David Tennant’s dialogue. I’ll admit it, its been challenging for the students, but there’s been so much growth.  Looking back, I’m impressed with how well the students have persevered while learning about the play.

Introducing new content and then reviewing that content with some sort of project has been a good recipe for this Hamlet unit.  It’s a complicated subject and reviewing content periodically has helped students remember Hamlet a bit better.  We had two projects and one writing prompt that seemed to help improve the students’ understanding of the play.


Students used Storyboardthat for one of the Hamlet projects.  I actually stumbled across the site when someone mentioned it at a local edcamp.  Student teams were assigned particular pages to complete with the rubric below.


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Students worked in groups of two to complete each storyboards.  The majority of student teams used Chromebooks to complete their boards. The boards were put together to make one complete storyboard.

Character Map

The second activity related to creating a character map.  Students were asked to create a character map on large paper or in a digital form.  Students needed to include the character name, relationships, cause of death, significance to plot and a hashtag that summarized the role.  The kids enjoyed putting together the map and loved the hashtag piece.


I’m in the process of laminating the posters and will be hanging them up in the room in the next week or so.  You can find the character map activity here.

Writing Prompt

The third activity emphasized the writing component of the class.  I believe in giving students a choice in their assignments.  Sometimes that’s possible, and other times it’s not.  Students are asked to reflect on the play and answer one of the three questions.


Students were given a rubric and asked to give evidence from the text to support their reason.  Every student finished the writing prompt in two sessions.  The next day I was able to review the assignment with the kids.  Some had to revisit and redo, but the majority met the expectations.  The prompt and rubric are available here.

I’m hoping the activities above helped students become more aware of the fascinating play and world of Hamlet.  Hopefully they’ll remember these experiences when they encounter Hamlet again at some point in their life.

Author: Matt Coaty

I've taught elementary students for the past 14 years. I enjoy reading educational research and learning from my PLN. Words on this blog are my own.

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