Text to Film Comparison: Bottom’s Transformation | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2B:U1:L16

Text to Film Comparison: Bottom’s Transformation

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze how differences in points of view between characters and audience create effects in writing. (RL.8.6)
  • I can analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production follows the text or script of the same literary text. (RL.8.7)
  • I can evaluate the choices made by the director or actors in presenting an interpretation of a script. (RL.8.7)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze how the reader's perspective is different from Bottom's in a key scene in A Midsummer Night's Dream and how this affects the reader.
  • I can compare the similarities and differences between a key scene in the play and how that scene is portrayed in the film.
  • I can evaluate the choices the director or actors made in the film.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Text to Film Comparison note-catcher


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A. Engaging the Reader (5 minutes)

     B.  Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

2. Work Time

     A.  Drama Circle: Read 3.1.76-208 (10 minutes)

     B.  Text to Film Comparison (22 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Adding to the Evidence of Control Note-catcher (7 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Reread 3.1.76-208 and complete the structured notes.

  • In this lesson, students read lines 76-208 of Act 3, Scene 1, in which Puck comes upon the tradesmen rehearsing their version of Pyramus and Thisbe in the woods. The scene marks the first time the tradesmen's world interacts with that of Oberon, Titania, and the forest fairies. The focus of the scene is Bottom's transformation (Puck turns his head into a donkey's) and Titania's sudden love for Bottom the fool when she awakens under the influence of Oberon's flower. The playful language, particularly Shakespeare's repetition of the word "ass," will engage students in the comedy of the scene.
  •  In this Drama Circle, students will read the selected lines twice: the first as a pure read-aloud without interruptions, and the second with guided teacher questions.
  • In Opening Part A, students are introduced to Shakespeare's use of multiple meanings. Recording the information on the Shakespeare's Craft anchor chart will help students remember to look for repetition and double meanings as they continue to read the play.
  • In Work Time B, students view a short segment of the film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Viewing the film clip serves two purposes. First, it helps struggling readers make sense of this complex text. The interplay of reading, rereading, and viewing is an engaging way to present this material. (Note: Do not play the entire film for students. Strategically designed lessons incorporate film at critical junctures in student learning.) For this first purpose, the film is a supplement; working with the text is the goal. The second purpose for using the film clips is to directly address RL.8.7, which requires students to compare at text to its film version. As such, students begin to use the Text to Film Comparison note-catcher. Note that Work Time B includes time to ensure that students understand two phrases that are crucial academic vocabulary related to RL.8.7: "stays faithful to" and "departs from." Continue to reinforce these phrases across the unit. Note also that RL.8.7 requires students not only to notice similarities and differences, but specifically to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes made by the director and actors.
  • RL.8.7 is a challenging standard. In the case of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the text is a play, which was intended to be a script for a performance. Students will not notice differences in the lines delivered by each character in the film; direct students' attention to what is not written. For example, how each actor chose to deliver the lines. What are the gestures, facial expressions, and movement that the actor used to successfully deliver the lines. Similarly, students examine how the director interpreted the script or play, and the decisions that were made about staying faithful to or departing from what was written.
  • This lesson marks the last time students will practice filling out the Text to Film Comparison note-catcher, which will appear on the end of unit assessment (in Lesson 18). Consider previewing the film clip in order to better guide students in completing the text to film comparison. Note there are some departures from the play, including the way in which Puck transforms Bottom using a top hat and magic "dust," tricking him by creating a mirror in which he sees his normal reflection. Departures also include the omission of some of Bottom's comedic lines when he addresses the fairies at the end of the scene, as well as the addition of some funny donkey sounds interspersed throughout Bottom's lines.
  • In advance: Prepare the double meaning portion of the How to Read Shakespeare anchor chart (write only the definition; save the example for Work Time A, when students will have read the relevant part of the scene.
  • Post: Learning targets.


odious (3.1.81), knavery (3.1.114), enamored (3.1.140), attend (3.1.159), lamenting (3.1.207), multiple meanings


  • Shakespeare's Craft anchor chart
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream (book; one per student)
  • Act 3, Scene 1 Teacher's Guide (for teacher reference)
  • Text to Film Comparison note-catcher (one per student)
  • Text-to-Film Comparison note-catcher (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Film, A Midsummer Night's Dream (53:10 to 1:00:49)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, 3.1.76-208 (one per student)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream supported structured notes, 3.1.76-208 (optional; for students who need additional support)
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream Structured Notes Teacher's Guide, 3.1.76-208 (for teacher reference)



A. Engaging the Reader (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the term "multiple meanings" on the Shakespeare's Craft anchor chart. Invite students to read the definitions aloud with you.

-   "Multiple meanings--when an author intentionally uses a word or phrase that has more than one meaning."

  • Tells students that Shakespeare's repetition and multiple meanings in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and particularly in the scene they will read and view today, add to the comedy of the play.
  • Share with students that a homonym is a word that is spelled the same but has different meanings. For example, the word light could mean that something does not weigh a lot or it could also refer to the brightness or shade of something. If students need other examples, consider the words trip or fair.
  • Ask them to look for multiple meanings while reading today, especially in reference to the word "ass," which will appear multiple times within the scene. Emphasize that there is more than one meaning to the word.
  • Tell students to watch for multiple meanings as they read on. They will share these examples with their discussion partners and the whole class later in the lesson.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

  • Tell students they will read part of a scene from the play and then compare the scene with the film version Remind students they have done this work before; they will be using the same Text to Film Comparison note-catcher to track their comparison. Tell students their work will help prepare them for the end of unit assessment, in which they will do the same thing without guiding questions from you or the help of a partner.
  • Read the first learning target aloud with students:

*   "I can analyze how the reader's perspective is different from Bottom's in a key scene in A Midsummer Night's Dream and how this affects the reader."

  • Tell students they are going to read and view a funny scene where the reader is aware of something that Bottom is not.
  • Read the second and third learning targets, which should be familiar to students from Lesson 11 when they viewed another segment of the film.

*   "I can compare the similarities and differences between a key scene in the play and how that scene is portrayed in the film."

*   "I can evaluate the choices the director or actors made in the film."

  • Remind students that just like authors make choices about how they present a story to create mood or tone, develop characters, establish a setting, etc., directors make choices when presenting a story in a film. Ask:

*   "What are some choices or interpretations the director made in the last scene we watched in the film?"

  • Call on one or two students to share responses. Remind students that the director made choices to stay faithful to or depart from the play. The director also made decisions about how to present the scenes, both auditory and visually. Tell students that today, you will continue to focus on music and sounds, as well as lighting in the film. First, however, they will need to dive into the scene by reading and discussing it.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Drama Circle (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to gather in the Drama Circle. Be sure students have their text, A Midsummer Night's Dream. Ask students to turn to Act 3, Scene 1 of the play (lines 76-208), when the tradesmen are rehearsing in the woods and Robin appears, ready to cause mischief. Remind students that they have already read the beginning of this scene (in class during the previous lesson and again for homework), when the men gather in the woods to rehearse Pyramus and Thisbe.
  • Invite students to turn and talk about what they remember about this scene. Listen for students to discuss how in the scene, the tradesmen discuss possible alternatives to the violence in the play, including the roaring lion and the moment when Pyramus kills himself with a sword. They also discuss having a person play a wall, using his hand and fingers to signify a crack through which the characters can speak. Students may also discuss the comedy in the scene, which arises from these ridiculous discussions. Remind students this scene continues to reinforce Shakespeare's use of the tradesmen to entertain his audience
  • Launch the reading by prompting students to predict what will happen in the remaining part of Act 3, Scene 1. Encourage them to think about how Robin might add especially funny elements to the scene. Call on one or two volunteers to share what they discussed with their partners.
  • Invite students to volunteer for roles. Choose roles and remind students to read loudly and clearly, with appropriate expression. Begin the read aloud of Act 3, Scene 1, lines 76-208.
  • After this first read, have students read the scene again. Consider switching roles for this second read. Explain that you will have them pause to answer questions about what they read. (Refer to the Act 3, Scene 1 Teacher's Guide for detailed notes on guiding students through this scene. Some of the included questions could be directed to the whole group, while others could be directed to discussion partners and then shared whole group. When discussing Question 3, focus students on the How to Read Shakespeare anchor chart.)
  • Add the example of the word "ass" to the chart (see the sample Shakespeare's Craft anchor chart entry in supporting materials).
  • This read-aloud builds comprehension of this particular scene. Consider having stronger readers complete the read-aloud while others listen and follow along.

B. Text to Film Comparison (22 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the Text to Film Comparison note-catcher.
  • Remind students that the third learning target was about comparing and contrasting the text with the film. Cold call a student to read the question in the second column:

*   "What is the same? How does the film version stay faithful to the play?"

  • Remind students that in Lesson 11, the class defined faithful. It means "to stay the same; to stick to the original."
  • Cold call a student to read the questions in the third column:

*   "What is different? How does the film version depart from the play?"

  • Remind students that in Lesson 11, the class defined depart. It means "to change or go away from."
  • Read the question in the last column:

*   "Evaluation: Do the choices of the director or actors effectively convey the central message of the text? Why or why not? Provide evidence from the film to support your answer."

  • Remind students that when we read, we often get an idea in our minds of what characters look like or how they are supposed to act. We imagine scenes and settings. Directors, actors, and even the screenwriter make decisions about how a novel or even a play with a script will be portrayed on screen, including changing things dramatically on occasion. After identifying what is the same and different, they will evaluate the choices made by the director or actors and the impact those choices have on the viewer or the scene. Remind them that to evaluate means to judge.
  • Invite students to sit with their Syracuse Discussion Appointment partner before viewing the film.
  • Show the film, A Midsummer Night's Dream (from 53:10 to 1:00:49). Tell students you will show the scene from where they read, when Puck enters and begins watching the tradesmen's play.
  • After watching, have students jot down their answers in the first two columns. Invite them to turn and talk with their Discussion Appointment partner as they work. Then cold call students to share details. On the displayed note-catcher, model adding these notes on the "same" column. Details include: characters, almost all lines, and the comedy/characterization of Bottom and the tradesmen as the "fools."
  • Call on students for details to add to the "different" column on the teacher model. Details include: how Bottom continuously forgets the name "Thisbe," the specific way in which Robin turns Bottom into a donkey (using the cane, the top hat, the magic "dust," and the mirror in the tree stump), the added donkey sounds Bottom makes while delivering his lines, the use of female instead of male fairies, the elimination of some lines when Bottom is talking to the fairies, Titania's use of the vines to capture Bottom and keep him, the addition of music to the scene when Bottom sits with Titania, etc.
  • Tell students that before they finish the note-catcher, they'll watch the film clip again, focusing on music and sounds, lighting, and the actors' choices. Students will evaluate the choices made by the director or actors and the impact those choices have on the viewer or the scene.
  • Explain that, in this scene, the director has chosen to play another Italian opera song called "Casta Diva," which means "Pure Goddess." The song is an ode to a beautiful and powerful goddess. Ask:

*   "Why might a director want to use this type of song for this particular moment in the film?"

  • Cold call students to share their answers. Some possible responses might be: to parallel the beauty of Titania, to provide a contrast, as Titania is actually powerless since she is under a spell, etc.
  • Tell students that the music is not the only auditory element of the scene to look out for. Ask students to pay special attention to all sounds during the next viewing. Hint that Bottom's sounds in particular will be important to listen for.
  • Invite students to consider the lighting and shadows of the scene as well, particularly the contrast before and after Titania wakes up. Remind students they can use words like brightsoftdark, and shadow to describe light in the scene. They can also pay attention to the source of light, or where it is coming from.
  • Show the same film clip again. Invite students to respond to the final question on their note-catcher. Then have students share with their partner.
  • Remind students that in the previous film clip they examined the theme of control by looking at those characters who seek the most control and are actually in the least control of the situation.
  • Ask:

*   "Do the choices the director made effectively convey the central message of the text? Why or why not?"

  • Circulate around the room and probe with individuals or pairs to be sure they are actually evaluating. Probing questions might include:

*   "What do you think about the way Robin transforms Bottom's head?"

*   "How do the sounds Bottom makes further the comedy in the scene?"

*   "Does the scene depart so much from the play that it changes the message?"

*   "Why do you think the director decided to cut those particular lines?"

*   "How does the scene in the film help you better understand the character(s)?"

*   "How would you describe the lighting when Titania wakes up compared with the rest of the scene?"

  • During Work Time B, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in the concepts involved in the graphic organizer.
  • Consider showing the clip for a third time to students if they struggle with recording the similarities and differences while watching.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to visually display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all students, but especially challenged learners.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Adding to the Evidence of Control Note-catcher (7 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group. Tell them you heard some great conversation between Discussion Appointment partners and you would like to give them a chance to record some information on the Evidence of Control note-catchers. Ask students to take out their note-catchers and prepare to discuss how Titania attempts to control another character in this scene.
  • Remind students to refer back to the text often as they work.
  • Thank students for their astute observations of the film and the text. Remind them that the very same note-catcher they used today will appear on the end of unit assessment, which they will take during the lesson after next.
  • Distribute A Midsummer Night's Dream structured notes, 3.1.76-208 and preview homework as needed.
  • Consider collecting the Text to Film Note-catchers to assess students' grasp of the concept of how directors can "stay faithful to" and "depart from" a text before the assessment in Lesson 18.


HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Reread 3.1.76-208 and complete the structured notes.
  • Consider providing the supported version of the structured notes to students who need help summarizing Shakespeare's dense text and defining key vocabulary words.

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