Twelfth Night

Plot summary activity

A good way to help students keep the whole story in mind is to use simple physical drama activities to recount the plot of the play.

After taking students through the synopsis for Twelfth Night, divide them into small groups. Each group takes a section of the story. You may choose to have 5 groups for the five acts of the play.

Each group needs to:

Divide the play into key moments, making a list of plot points within their section of the story.

  1. Represent each of these moments as a single tableau (frozen image) using each person in their group.
  2. Present the series of tableaux to the rest of the class.
  3. The students watching each presentation should note the differing view of key moments and how different groups present each moment.

    Extension task
  4. Ask students to consider the status of each character in each scene or follow the status of one character through a series of scenes.
  5. Ask students to repeat their tableaux, but to assign the levels of status to the number of people in the group (i.e. six people will have six status levels from 1 the highest to 6 the lowest or vice versa).
  6. After assigning status to characters within a scene, students return to the text and identify a line of speech from the scene for each character. Students consider how to present this line to maintain the assigned status and to create meaning within the tableau.