Analyzing Key Scenes in Pygmalion | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2B:U2:L8

Analyzing Key Scenes in Pygmalion

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text. (RL.7.1)
  • I can analyze the interaction of literary elements of a story or drama. (RL.7.3)
  • I can select high-quality texts to read independently. (RL.7.11a and b)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite evidence from the play Pygmalion to analyze its plot and characters.
  • I can analyze how plot, character, and setting interact in Pygmalion.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 6 (from homework)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Unpack Learning Targets/Review Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 6 (3 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Close Read: Pygmalion, Section 7 (18 minutes)

     B.  Readers Theater: Section 7 (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Revisit Eliza Character Trackers (14 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Finish Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7, and independent reading (20 minutes).

  • In this lesson, students read Act IV of Pygmalion. It is a very short act, but crucial, full of character development, essential interactions, and what arguably is the climax of the play.
  • Students engage the text using Readers Theater in this lesson. Refer to the Teaching Notes for Lesson 4. It is assumed that at this point the teacher has decided on an approach to Readers Theater that meets students' needs.
  • Students also revisit their Eliza Character Trackers. The turning point that this act represents in Eliza's development is essential to document fully on the trackers for students to bring a full understanding of her character to the end of unit Assessment. Students do this work individually in this lesson, having used the trackers several times.
  • In this act, during the close read, students may make the justifiable inference that Eliza and Higgins are in love, or falling in love. Don't address yet whether this inference is accurate, and create some suspense around the topic if you can; students will be asked to make predictions about Eliza's future in Lesson 10. Let them know only that the subject of the relationship of Eliza and Higgins is explained by Shaw at the end of the play. Refer to the Teaching Notes for Lesson 10 for specifics. This note is repeated for your reference at the end of the Close Reading Guide.
  • Note that the Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7 asks students to "dust off" and reuse the skill of framing quotes through the "quote sandwich." Consider reviewing this skill if necessary before sending them home with the Reader's Notes. A Quote Sandwich graphic organizer is available in the supporting materials of Lesson 10.
  • In advance:

-   Determine how you are going to assign parts for Readers Theater: Eliza, Higgins.

-   Set up props, costumes, and/or a performance space for the Readers Theater if you choose.

-   Print larger copies of page 66 for use during the Readers Theater.

  • Review:

-   Close Reading Guide: Pygmalion, Section 7 (for teacher reference)

-   Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7 (answers, for teacher reference)

  • Post: Learning targets.


pallor, purgatory, presumptuous, lofty, moderates, genial, dudgeon, perfunctorily


  • Pygmalion (play; one per student)
  • Text-Dependent Questions: Pygmalion, Section 7 (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Close Reading Guide: Pygmalion, Section 7 (for teacher reference)
  • Large-print/enlarged copies of Pygmalion Readers Theater excerpt: page 66 (from "There are your slippers" to "Those slippers ...") (one per student)
  • Eliza Character Trackers (from Lesson 3)
  • Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7 (one per student)
  • Close Reading Guide: Pygmalion, Section 7 (for teacher reference)



A. Unpack Learning Targets/Review Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 6 (3 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets for today:

*   "I can cite evidence from the play Pygmalion to analyze its plot and characters."

*   "I can analyze how plot, character, and setting interact in Pygmalion."

  • Ask them to discuss with a partner which part of the learning targets they feel confident about at this moment and which remains a challenge.
  • Ask students to silently formulate one simple, concrete action they can take in class today to help them achieve the part of the learning target that still challenges them. Ask them to hold this action in their minds as they work today and commit to completing the action before the end of class.
  • Have students get out their homework and Pygmalion.
  • Post definitions for the Reader's Dictionary and prompt them to revise their Reader's Dictionaries as necessary.
  • Collect the homework for informal assessment.

Work Time

Work Time

A. Close Read: Pygmalion, Section 7 (18 minutes)

  • Have students get out their Diversity Discussion Appointment handouts and meet with their Orange Hands appointment.
  • Distribute the Text-Dependent Questions: Pygmalion, Section 7 and display a copy using a document camera.
  • Use the Close Reading Guide: Pygmalion, Section 7 to guide the class through a series of text-dependent questions related to Section 7.

B. Readers Theater: Section 7 (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the large-print/enlarged copies of Pygmalion Readers Theater excerpt: page 66.
  • Explain that students now will have an opportunity to act out a portion of the play for themselves. As in Lesson 4, support their engagement and excitement by emphasizing that creative use of the classroom space, voice, and gesture is highly encouraged in this activity.
  • Have students review their answers to Question 6 in the text-dependent questions for a strong connection between the performance of the play and their analysis.
  • Now, according to your previous arrangements and preferences, have the students perform the Pygmalion Readers Theater excerpt.
  • Reinforce the connection between comprehending the play and performing the play by reflecting on the performance after it is complete, with specific statements.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Revisit Eliza Character Trackers (14 minutes)

  • Have students get out their Eliza Character Trackers.
  • Direct them to look over Act IV and independently fill in any evidence they find on internal and external characteristics of Eliza's identity. Encourage them to use their text-dependent questions to assist them.
  • If students need extra assistance in determining evidence from the play, consider modeling an entry at this point.
  • Circulate and offer assistance as needed.
  • About halfway through the work time, debrief out loud with students. Make sure that in particular, Eliza's change of heart about the experiment and her realization that she is in a no-man's land between the working-class world and the upper-class world has been documented by all students. There are multiple forms of evidence for this in Act IV, and students may choose a variety of them to document on their trackers. Examples include:

-   Stage directions at the bottom of page 65

-   "What's to become of me?" on page 66

-   "He might want them for the next girl you pick up to experiment on" on page 68

  • Reread key portions of the play as a class if necessary.
  • Ask students to which learning target this work applies. Listen for: "I can cite evidence from the play Pygmalion to analyze its plot and characters."
  • Ask students to silently reflect on whether they completed the learning target-related action they decided on at the beginning of the lesson.
  • Hand out Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7 for homework.
  • Consider pulling a small group of students who have similar needs for guided instruction during this time.
  • Other modifications might include sentence starters, partial fill-ins, or suggestions for pages to look on in the play.


  • Finish the Reader's Notes: Pygmalion, Section 7 and read your independent reading book for at least 20 minutes.

Note: The next lesson has an independent reading component. Make sure students know to bring their independent reading books to class.

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