Teaching notes and ideas
Name of resource:
Hamlet plot and characters
Age group(s)
Subject(s)
12 to 14, 15 to 16
English
Topic
Language Level
Hamlet
Beginner
EAL Nexus
Description of resource
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Set of 16 flashcards with 1–2 sentences on
Set of flashcards – same sentences with main verbs missing
Set of verb cards to match
Set of adjective cards
Grid for sorting activity
Speaking frame for sorting activity
Preparation needed
For each pair/group you will need:
 sorting activity – set of picture cards and set of pink sentence cards, a grid and
a speaking frame
 matching activity 1 – set of picture cards and set of pink sentence cards
 matching activity 2 – set of green sentence cards and blue verb cards
 sequencing activity – set of pink sentence cards and orange adjective cards.
You will need to:
 print out the speaking frame and grid, enlarging the grid to A3.
 print out the sentence cards and picture cards as full-page slides (A4). They will
then need laminating and cutting into four to form flashcards.
 print out the verb and adjective cards as full-page slides (A4). They will then
need laminating and cutting up to form small flashcards, each with one word on.
Curriculum objectives
 To become familiar with the plot of Hamlet
 To become familiar with key adjectives to describe characters and themes
Language/Literacy objectives
Functions
Structures
Sequencing
First, next, then, after that, finally
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
Justifying
I think that Hamlet is (adjective) here because …
I think it is this picture because …
Explaining
Why …? … because …
Vocabulary
Adjectives to describe feelings: guilty, distraught, furious, forgiving, angry,
revengeful, frightened, scheming, meddling, displeased, remorseful, conspiring,
avenged, mad, vindicated, shocked, enraged, upset, underhand, afraid, spiteful,
unforgiving, unscrupulous, murderous
This resource could be used:
 as differentiation within class
 as pair work to reinforce/check understanding
 one to one or small group with a supporting adult
Ideas for using the resource
What to do:
 EAL learners will need to already be familiar with the main characters in Hamlet
in order to complete these tasks.
Sorting activity
 Ask the EAL learner(s) to choose a picture from the set of picture cards. They
should discuss what they can see in the picture and identify key words. Then
ask the EAL learner to put the picture card in the correct column on the grid
(beginning, middle or end of the plot). It is very important to encourage
discussion about the pictures. A speaking frame is provided to scaffold
language used.
 Once this initial task has been completed, ask learners to order the pictures
within each column.
 Hand out the pink sentence cards. After modelling pronunciation of key words,
ask the EAL learner to read the sentence(s) on the card and identify which
words helped them to choose the correct picture. Then ask learners to take it in
turns to match the sentences to the pictures, giving reasons for their choice.
Matching activity 1
 Place all the picture cards face down on the left of a table. Place all the pink
sentence cards face down on the right of the table. Ask learners to take it in
turns to pick one card from the pictures on the left and one card from the
sentences on the right. Ask if they match. If they do, and the learner can
explain why, then she/he collects the pair.
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
 At the end of the game the person with the most pairs wins. They could then be
asked to sequence the pairs in order.
Matching activity 2
 Place the green sentence cards with the verbs omitted face down on the right
of the table, and the blue verb cards face down on the left of the table. Play the
game in the same way as above. Learners have to match the verb with the
card.
Other ideas for making the best use of this resource
Sequencing activity
 This is a more challenging activity.
 Before starting the activity ensure the EAL learner is familiar with the meaning
of all the adjectives.
 Learners could work in pairs, threes or fours to sort the adjective cards with
similar meanings into groups. Groups could then play a mime game, where one
learner guesses which adjective their partner is miming.
 Divide the pink sentence cards and orange adjective cards between the
players, so they have an equal number of each. There are slightly more
adjective cards to provide options and encourage further discussion.
 The game starts with each player looking through his/her respective cards for
the first sentence card in the story sequence. The player who has this card lays
it down (face up) to form the first card in the play/plot sequence. The rest of the
players then take it in turns to see if they have an adjective which describes the
blue highlighted character in the context on the first sentence card. If they think
they do, they explain their choice.
 Model the target language for this activity.
 If both/all players are happy with the choice of adjective, the adjective card is
then laid down next to the first sentence card.
 Players then look to see if they have the next sentence card in the sequence.
Whoever has this card lays it down. They then take it in turns to see who has a
suitable adjective card. This is discussed and laid down next to the sentence
card to form a line. The game continues until all the sentence cards have been
placed on the table.
 The person with the fewest adjective cards left at the end wins the game.
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
EAL Nexus
Possible extension activities
 Used alongside other EAL Nexus resources on Hamlet (e.g. the activities in
Hamlet Act 1, Hamlet Act 2, etc.), the EAL learner could use the adjective and
plot cards to start to build up a profile of the main characters and note how they
change/develop during the play.
 The EAL learner could choose specific picture cards and create a speech bubble
showing the highlighted character’s thoughts in the picture.
This project and its actions were made possible due to co-financing by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals
© British Council 2015
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Short version - EAL Nexus