A few years ago I created a series of units for the Independent Film Channel. They wanted unit plans for English teachers to integrate film in their standard literature units. You could find these somewhere on IFC's site, but here they are: Film School Teaching Units.
I have found that using Wordle or Tagxedo is an excellent way to focus on word frequency in the text. This is a fairly uncomplicated process: simply take a piece of text, copy it, and paste it into Wordle. Here’s what Edmund’s “Stand up for bastards” soliloquy from Act 1, scene 1 looks like in Wordle. You can even take the entire play and see what happens. Of course the results are much better if you eliminate all the names in the speech prefixes.
Here's what Sonnets 1-17 look like in Tagxedo.
You might even have your students enter their essays in Wordle to discover how often they use certain words.
Comics and Animations:
Using Pixton to create scenes from a play is a simple way for students to explore Shakespeare’s texts in a graphic format. Here’s a passage from Macbeth and Hamlet's soliloquy created by two of my students. Comic Life uses photos and is a good alternative.
There are also several animation programs that students love to use. Here's a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream set on the Jersey Shore using Animoto.
Images: Using Images from the Folger Collection is another way to enhance your lessons. You’ll find over 50,000 images including production photos, artwork, and quarto pages.
Another free program that teachers have discovered is VoiceThread. It allows you to post text, pictures, videos, or a Website and then lets users add comments in written, voice, or video formats. Here’s one I created for my students comparing two versions of the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet.
Voice Discussion Threads:
VoxoPop is a great way to get your students to speak online. With a simple microphone, they'll be able to discuss, comment, recite,or even perform a piece of text in the privacy of their bedrooms. Here's one teacher's examples and another's.
I have had some wonderful results with PhotoStory 3 and I have created a video called How to Create a PhotoStory. Here is an example from Ian McKellen's King Lear. Here's one from Henry V with a lesson plan.