Richard III – Rhinegold Publishing

Richard III


This scheme is aimed at Year 9 students studying Richard III for SATS. It consists of a series of 11 lessons, offering a practical approach to the play and the key scenes for 2007. The Shakespeare paper may cover any of the following aspects of the play: text in performance; character and motivation; language of the text; ideas, themes and issues. 

Accordingly, the sessions suggested here aim to help students explore these four overlapping elements.
The sessions are based on hour-long slots but the activities can be adjusted if needed. Advantageous prior learning could be done on tableaux, conscience corridor, use of sculpting, and well-established group and pair work. Work space should ideally accommodate written as well as practical work, and students should be equipped with folders or notebooks where they can keep copies of scripts and notes.

It would be preferable to give students personal copies of all the set sections at the start of the module, for use throughout. Sessions often begin with discussion or note-taking, and so a starting position on chairs or the floor in a circle, or at their desks, would be helpful. Desks and chairs can then be moved if needed to create a practical and safe space for movement.

Opinions differ as to whether or not it is good practice to study the whole of the chosen set play. The activities suggested here do not cover the whole play in detail, but focus instead on the set sections for 2007. These sessions could be used in drama lessons as practical booster material, alongside more comprehensive coverage of the play in English lessons. Or, if you wish to sharpen the focus, they could form the entire basis of your school’s study of the play, with the rest of the plot dealt with in summary. Current research and thinking strongly backs what drama teachers intuitively know: that an active approach to set texts promotes enjoyment, achievement and understanding.

Lesson titles:

  • Ideas, themes and issues
  • Exploring stage deaths
  • Acting out fear
  • Hateful language
  • Who is Richard?
  • Conscience corridor
  • How not to lie
  • Buckingham and Richard: friends?
  • Buckingham and Richard: enemies?
  • Ay, but what’s o’clock?

Number of Lessons: 11

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