The focal questions these activities address are 'why are we studying Shakespeare?' and 'what are the themes?' This two page activity sheet is designed to be thought provoking and accessible for all students in a mixed ability class.
Typically I would ask students 'What's important to you? If you could ask the universe one big question, what would it be?' I then ask students to record their question.
My experience is that students will typically respond: Is there a God? What is my purpose? Is there an after-life? Will I be rich, successful...? How will I die? I record individual responses on the board and ask students to write down the five that appeal to them most. (Worksheet 1)
I then use their feedback to generate a discussion 'How do your questions compare with the themes and messages in Macbeth?' (worksheet 2)
Finally I ask students (worksheet 2) to match the 'issues' with a 'message' (provided on the worksheet)