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Rigorous Resources

Much Ado About Nothing | Complete Teaching Unit with Workbook & Answer Key

Much Ado About Nothing | Complete Teaching Unit with Workbook & Answer Key

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"Some cupids kill with arrows, some with traps!" This complete unit will have your students falling in love with William Shakespeare's uplifting romantic comedy, Much Ado About Nothing. The 180-page unit has everything you'll need to facilitate highly engaging classes on Much Ado About Nothing. The lesson plans are brimming with student-centered materials which will inspire a life-long love of Shakespeare....

The student workbooks, with their vibrant colors and professional design, will enable you to capture and hold the attention of modern-day students. The higher-order questions will help you pivot from reading comprehension to interpretive analysis and critical thinking. The figurative language exercises will deepen students' understanding of a wide variety of literary devices. The daily quick-writes and final writing assignment will cultivate skills in analytical writing.

Best of all, every page in this teacher-friendly unit includes highly detailed answer keys! What distinguishes these answer keys is that they're filled with interpretive insights from leading Shakespeare scholars at universities like Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge. You'll have your students reading like a professor!

Last but not least, every page in this unit is fully editable. You'll be able to customize the materials to suit the skill levels of your students — year after year! Get the very best lessons on Shakespeare's fun-loving and topsy-turvy romantic comedy, a predecessor to the modern Hollywood screwball comedy.... 


Here's what you'll find in this editable 180-page unit:

• Introduction to Shakespeare's World: The 30-page introduction includes five handouts covering topics like Shakespeare's biography, the language of Renaissance England, the construction of the Globe Theater, how to recognize iambic pentameter, and more. Every handout is followed by a comprehension check, practice exercise, or quiz. You could spend up to a week with the introductory handouts — or skip them altogether. Answer keys included. (30 pages)

• STUDENT WORKBOOKS on Much Ado About Nothing: The 50-page workbook features colorful and highly engaging worksheets on EVERY scene in Shakespeare's comedy. Each worksheet is divided into sections which invite students to engage with the text in a variety of different ways:

  • The Passage Analysis section invites students to analyze one or two key passages from each scene.
  • The Evidence Hunt section challenges students to answer an interpretive question by finding the best textual evidence to support their answer.
  • The Comparing Quotations section invites students to make connections between quotations from different scenes in the play.
  • The Discussion Questions section features three higher-order questions designed to foster lively discussions and interpretive debates among students.
  • The Quick Write section challenges students to compose short arguments that require the support of carefully selected textual evidence — leading to keen interpretive insights!

The workbook is guaranteed to foster skills in close reading, thoughtful analysis, and lively discussion. It will have your students feeling genuinely excited to study Shakespeare every day! (50 pages)

• WORKBOOK ANSWER KEY: The 50-page answer key provides detailed answers to the passage analysis, evidence hunt, and comparing quotations sections. The answer key is informed by the best books and articles written by leading Shakespeare scholars: Marjorie Garber (Harvard), Stephen Greenblatt (Harvard), René Girard (Stanford), Harry Berger (Yale), Carol Cook (Vassar), Dympna Callaghan (Syracuse), Emma Smith (Oxford), Farah Karim-Cooper (King’s College London), Indira Ghose (Fribourg), and others. (50 pages)

 Figurative Language Quiz: The quiz challenges students to identify 8 types of figurative language — metaphor, simile, metonymy, paradox, oxymoron, personification, apostrophe, and hyperbole — used across 25 quotations from Much Ado About Nothing. Also included is a glossary with definitions of the types of figurative language as well as examples of how they're used in the early scenes of Shakespeare's play — so you can begin reviewing the types of figurative language with students before they tackle the quiz. Answer key included. (5 pages)

 Analytical Writing Assignment: Challenge students to take their interpretations one step further by writing an analytical paper on Shakespeare's Much Ado. Let students choose from one of 5 thought-provoking sample topics — or invite them to develop a topic of their own. Writing schedule, outline template, and rubric included. (8 pages)

 AP Lit Practice Essay: Designed for teachers of AP Literature, this in-class practice essay will allow students to rehearse the "FRQ3" essay from the AP Literature and Composition Exam. The assignment asks students to write an in-class essay in response to one of three recent FRQ3 prompts for which Much Ado About Nothing is a viable work of literary merit. (5 pages)

• Pacing Guide: The pacing guide provides suggestions about which scenes to assign for homework to make sure the nightly workload is manageable while each class session is maximally productive. (2 pages)


This unit is hot off the presses! It was inspired by cutting-edge scholarship on Much Ado About Nothing. While the colorful worksheets make it an engaging choice for any regular high-school English class in grades 9-12, the unit was also designed to have more than enough rigor for IB and AP courses.

The entire unit will come to you in two separate formats: Word docs *and* PDFs. Because the Word docs are fully editable, you'll be able to customize them to suit your teaching style or the skill levels of your students — year after year. If you don't have Word, you'll still be able to access the PDF version — which is easy to navigate and quick to print.

Rigorous Resources is your one-stop shop for top-quality units on Shakespeare. Inspire students to arrive at a whole new depth of insight while falling in love with the Swan of Avon! 

In case you would prefer to purchase via the TPT website, here is a link to the product page for this complete unit in my TPT shop

Happy teaching,

Adam Jernigan, Ph.D.

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