This is a useful exercise to explore the story of Much Ado About Nothing thematically, on your feet, rather than behind a desk.
Get into small groups (minimum 3-4 people) and find a space in the classroom.
Without talking, make a frozen image of the following themes and concepts in your group. You can be quite literal with your image, or more abstract. Work quickly and don’t overthink it. What do you think of when you hear these words?
After you make each frozen image, make sure you look at the other versions of that image by the other groups in your class. Are they similar to yours or quite different? What is most effective about their frozen image? What surprised you about their frozen image? Did their image make you think about the theme or concept in a different way?
Then, do the same exercise for the next list of concepts:
- Soldiers arriving home from war
- Love at first sight
- Bitter rivals
- Brothers who don’t see eye to eye
- A proud father
- A happy wedding
- A wedding gone sour
- A friendship broken
- A lover deceived
- A secret told
- A trick played
- Uncovering the truth
- A reunion
After this exercise, have a class discussion about the ideas and events in Much Ado About Nothing. If students are already familiar with the story, focus the discussion on what comparisons they can make between the images they created and the themes, characters and plot of the play.