Commedia Dell'Arte Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What is Commedia Dell'Arte and how has it evolved throughout history? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to establish a knowledge base for students. An activity connects students with the masks of Commedia Dell'Arte.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what Commedia Dell'Arte is
  • list and describe the characters of Commedia Dell'Arte
  • summarize the history of Commedia Dell'Arte


30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Follow precisely a multi-step procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).


  • Assorted images showing masked actors of Commedia Dell'Arte
    • A couple of group photos of masked characters
    • An image of a costumed Harlequin character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Capitano character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Columbina character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Pierrot character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Pulcinella character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Pantalone character from Commedia Dell'Arte
    • An image of a costumed Il Dottore character from Commedia Dell'Arte
  • Paper copies of the text lesson Commedia Dell'Arte: Plays, Facts & Costumes
  • A worksheet created using the quiz from the associated text lesson
  • Heavyweight paper in assorted colors
  • Scissors
  • Markers in assorted colors
  • A hole punch
  • Elastic or ribbon

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