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In this lesson, students interpret a scene from Hamlet and make a YouTube movie


Computers & Internet, Language Arts  



Title – Hamlet Interpretation Movie
By – Gab
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Computers / Internet
Grade Level – 12


  • Students will take the Shakespearean play, Hamlet, and make it their own. This will help bridge the gap between the past and the present.
  • The students will better understand an important part of history and personalize it with their own ideas, so that it can be instilled in their minds, rather than just being briefly memorized.


  1. Inform the students that they will be making a movie about the play Hamlet .
  2. Give the students a packet, also known as a schedule board, which contains the assignments to be done and the due dates.
  3. After the students finish reading the play, they choose which scene they would like to act out for their movie assignment. They can reenact the events from the scene adding a modern twist or they can perform an interpretation. The students understand the meaning of the play and the individual scenes, so they are free to design their movie as they please.


  • Students will choose, within their groups, which scene they will perform.
  • Students will develop a storyboard/script of their movie with 100% accuracy for their interpretation or modern twist.
  • Students will produce a movie of their scene from the play Hamlet including title and credits with 95-100% accuracy.
  • Afterwards, the students must upload their movie onto the YouTube website with 100% accuracy.
  • The students must provide a digital copy of their movie to be turned in for future reference.

Methods, Media and Materials:

  • Copies of the Hamlet play
  • Video camera or webcam
  • Windows Movie Maker or any other movie maker software
  • Interpretation script/storyboard
  • Costumes and props
  • Internet access
  • Blank DVDs and DVD burner
  • Personal computer

Utilize Media and Materials:

  • Introduce the movie project the day following the summarization of the play. Before class starts, arrange the desks – five desks per group, hook up the projector and DVD player, and place a copy of the group’s role sheet upon one desk in each group.
  • The assignment will be a group collaboration and students will be able to choose which group they want to be a part of. They can only choose their group members from their class period. They CAN NOT have group members from other periods.
  • Introduce the lesson with a video of the assignment made by a previous year’s class, which students can use as a reference and examples. This will help the students in formulating their scene interpretations. The groups will then have an opportunity to use the rest of the period to formulate their ideas for their movie and assign the individual roles. If previous videos are unavailable, then give the class examples such as having a female Hamlet or telling the story as a news event or telling it in rhyme or simply telling the story using modern English in a current-day setting while capturing the essence of what is being said.
  • The role sheet will be collected by the end of the period and a summary of whether the group will make an interpretation movie or the one from the play with a modern twist.

Learner Participation:

  • This is an outside of classroom project. The students will have a month to work on their projects with the final result being the presentation of their movie. The students will only have the introduction day, every Friday of the week and the day before the project is due for in-class help.
  • Once a week, the students must send in an update on the progress of their play through TokBox, an online account where video messages can be sent like a visual email. The messages must have all the group members present and describe in detail the progress of their work.
  • On Friday of the second week, each group must submit their storyboard/script as a hardcopy. If they submit a storyboard, there must be detailed drawings or pictures sequencing the exact timeline of their movie. If a script is submitted, the lines used must be verbatim to the movie. This will be used to assess the development of the group’s work.
  • Remind all groups that there needs to be a creative title for their movie and credits for the roles of each group member.
  • Once the students have finished recording and editing their movies, they must upload their movie onto the YouTube website. This will provide easy accessibility for the other students to watch for future reference or pure entertainment. The groups will also have to submit a DVD copy of their movie for the teacher’s reference.

Evaluate and Revise:

  • Evaluate the making of the movie.
    Movie Maker Rubric
    Graphics: 5 3 1
    Appearance All graphics are clear. 1 or 2 graphics are somewhat blurry. Several blurry graphics.

RelevanceAll graphics are relevant to topic.1 or 2 graphics are somewhat irrelevant.Several graphics do not belong.TimingGraphics appear long enough to make their point, but not too long.1 or 2 graphics disappear too soon or remain for too longSeveral graphics disappear too soon or remain for too long. Effects: 531AppropriateAll effects enhance pictures and augment the flow of the movie.1 or 2 effects distract viewer from intent of movie.Several effects are distracting. Transitions: 531Appropriate:All transitions enhance pictures and augment the flow of the movie1 or 2 transitions distract viewer from intent of movie.Several transitions are distracting. Titles: 531ContrastGood contrast between text and background; easy to see.1 or 2 titles have poor contrast.Several titles have poor contrast.Font choiceReadable font; appropriate for subject.Font hard to read; distracts from subject.Font unreadable.AnimationTitle animations are artistic and add interest.1 or 2 animations are distracting.Several animations are distracting.TimingTitles are visible for an appropriate amount of time.Title timing is off – needs more work.Titles go too fast to read or last so long viewer gets restless. Audio: 531RelevanceAudio is relevant to movie. Adds interest and encourages comprehension.Some audio is relevant, but some is just for fun.Audio distracts viewer from intent of movie.

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