A Breakout is a great way to introduce Macbeth with an engaging and fun challenge! Not only are students introduced to Shakespeare, his plays, his insults, the Globe, and iambic pentameter, but they also practice perseverance and problem solving.
This product can be used as a digital breakout or a traditional breakout with the locks and boxes. I've detailed out the locks below, or you can check out the quick video I've made to describe how it works and what is included in the product: Macbeth Breakout Instructional Video
Here is a brief overview of each lock and the scenario:
Instead of breaking out of something, the students are actually trying to find and break into a secret back room in the Globe in order to win money and glory. They are on a new reality television show that has dropped them in the middle of London with just the clues on their desk and around the room.
There are five tickets (created to look like modern tickets) for various plays at the Globe theater. Ticket data is accurate to reflect years (and sometimes specific dates such as the date the theater burned down during Henry VIII), cost of ticket, seating, and location of the plays. Students will organize the tickets from earliest to latest. Each ticket has a corresponding play quote hanging around the wall. Students match the play ticket to the corresponding quote to determine the order of the quotes. In each quote the word north, south, east, or west appears. These list out directions for the students which is the first lock answer.
There is a brief description of stressed and unstressed syllables, and an annotated example of iamb (a Macbeth quote) and trochee (from the witches). The worksheet for this lock also Includes a few reasons Shakespeare chose to write his dialogue in this way. Students then use what they have learned to annotate Shakespeare's "Sonnet 18" in order to determine the number of feet found in the poem. The lines have been altered to prevent students from simply multiplying the number of lines by five. The number of feet is the answer to this lock.
A bulletin board (all materials for the board are included and can be left up throughout the unit!) contains common themes in Macbeth surrounding a giant cauldron. Underneath are three posters with summaries of different stories that have similar themes. The students match the poster theme with the theme words around the cauldron. There are three sets words that match: fate, versus, and free will. The words are all numbered so the corresponding numbers are the answer to this lock.
Students scan a QR code to get to a quick summary of the Gunpowder Plot. There is a link to the 5-minute podcast as well as the transcript. This is a great, simplified summary of the plot. However, there are still many names listed so students must listen and read carefully in order to identify the correct names: the mark, the mastermind, the mole, and the one who ended up manacled. Includes an adaptation to incorporate invisible ink pen and flashlight if you have these materials available.
Students have various Shakespearean insults in the format of text messages. They must sort through and find similarities (based on a clue from the lock clue) in order to correctly list out the insults. The secret code from the list of insults will open the final lock and will lead the students to eternal glory.
Advanced students can complete this activity with little to no direction, or it can be scaffolded for lower levels by showing students which resources go with each lock and by giving extra hints.