Launching A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Universal Appeal of Shakespeare, Part 2 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M2B:U1:L7

Launching A Midsummer Night’s Dream: The Universal Appeal of Shakespeare, Part 2

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of literary text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can determine the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.8.2)

Supporting Targets

  • I can determine the central idea of the article "Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined."
  • I can use evidence from the article to analyze the central idea of Shakespeare's universal appeal.

Ongoing Assessment

  • QuickWrite 2 (from homework)
  • Chalkboard Splash
  • Frayer Model: Control

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Engaging the Reader: Gallery Walk (5 minutes)

     B.  Reviewing Learning Targets (1 minute)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Read-aloud: "Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined" (5 minutes)

     B.  Close Reading: The Source of Shakespeare's Appeal (22 minutes)

     C.  Introducing the Theme of Control: Frayer Model (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Previewing Homework (2 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  QuickWrite 3

  • This lesson is Part 2 of the study of the universal appeal of Shakespeare begun in Lesson 1. Students have studied the authorship question in the past several lessons, which was intended to provoke curiosity. This lesson focuses students on Shakespeare's work itself.
  • Students briefly revisit the Gallery Walk images displayed in Lesson 1 as they begin to think about the timeless appeal of Shakespeare.
  • Part of what gives Shakespeare's plays such universal and timeless appeal is that there are many themes in any given play. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, themes include love and marriage, dreams, imagination, appearance versus reality, and more. In this lesson, students identify some timeless, universal themes that might appeal to all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life. Continue to emphasize that Shakespeare's plays are rich in their language, plots, and themes and are worth revisiting many times throughout one's academic career.
  • This module presents a fresh look at the play, focusing students on the theme of control, which not only is central to the play but also highly relevant to eighth-grade students in the process of determining to what extent they are able to influence themselves or others. Questions that students consider include:

-   "Which characters try to control others? Why?"

-   "How do they carry out this control?"

-   "Does it work? What's the outcome?"

  • Students first engage with this theme of control through the use of a Frayer model.
  • Review: Chalkboard Splash protocol (see Appendix).
  • Post: Gallery Walk images (from Lesson 1); learning targets. 

Vocabulary

universal appeal, control

Materials

  • Gallery Walk images (from Lesson 1)
  • "Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined" (one per student and one for teacher reference)
  • Dictionaries (one per pair of students)
  • Sentence strips (one per pair)
  • Frayer Model: Control (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Frayer Model: Control (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Guiding Questions (one to display)
  • QuickWrite 3 (one per student)

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Gallery Walk (5 minutes)

  • In advance, post the Gallery Walk images (from Lesson 1).
  • Have students sit with their Syracuse Discussion Appointment partner.
  • Draw students' attention to the Gallery Walk images and remind them that they viewed these images in Lesson 1. Ask:

*   "Think back to when you first viewed these images. What conclusions did you draw from them? What inferences did you make?"

  • Invite students to turn and talk. Cold call pairs to share their thinking. Listen for them to mention that Shakespeare's plays have a universal appeal, that they are interesting and meaningful to people of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life.
  • Share with students that in today's lesson, they are going to think about why Shakespeare's works have this universal appeal.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (1 Minute)

  • Cold call a student to read aloud the two learning targets:

*   "I can determine the central idea of the article 'Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined.'"

*   "I can use evidence from the article to analyze the central idea of Shakespeare's universal appeal."

  • Share with students that these targets are similar to ones they have worked with before. 

Work Time

Work Time

A. Read-aloud: "Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined" (5 minutes)

  • Distribute "Shakespeare's Universal Appeal Examined." Invite students to read along in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • After reading, invite students to turn and talk:

*   "What is the gist of the article?"

  • Cold call pairs to share and listen for them to understand the gist is that Shakespeare's works have a universal appeal. At this point, this depth of understanding is fine. Further questions will bring students to a deeper understanding.

B. Close Reading: The Source of Shakespeare's Appeal (22 minutes)

  • Draw students' attention to Paragraph C. Share with students that the author asks an important question: "What is the source of Shakespeare's universal appeal?"
  • Divide Paragraphs D through G among the student pairs. It's fine that the paragraphs will be studied by more than one pair.
  • Share with students that in these paragraphs, the author answers the question about the source of Shakespeare's appeal. Explain that each pair will focus on the assigned paragraph to come to a better understanding of the answer to this question.
  • Have each pair reread the assigned paragraph aloud to each other and write the gist of the paragraph in the left margin.
  • Next, have students reread the paragraph silently and independently and circle any words they don't know. Invite them to share these words with each other.
  • Ask pairs to identify the unknown words they think are important and try to figure these words out from the context. Invite them to use a dictionary to help with the definitions if needed.
  • Distribute one sentence strip to each pair. Ask:

*   "Based on your paragraph, what is the source of Shakespeare's universal appeal?"

  • Have each pair Think-Pair-Share and write the answer on the sentence strip. Invite pairs to post their strip on the board in a Chalkboard Splash.
  • Have the entire class read over the various responses to the question. Ask students what they notice and what they wonder as they read these responses. 
  • Explain that the source of Shakespeare's universal appeal is that the themes or topics he wrote about are interesting and relevant to young and old, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, powerful and powerless, bullies and victims, etc.
  • Ask:

*   "Based on what you read and what you know about peoples' interests, what are some themes or topic that might be interesting or relevant to a variety of people?"

  • Invite students to turn and talk. Cold call pairs to share their thinking. Ideally, they will share themes and topics like love, war, relationships, romance, religion, etc.
  • Tell students that they are going to read one of Shakespeare's plays, A Midsummer Night's Dream. This play is a comedy, which means that it has a satisfying, happy ending. Explain that there are many themes in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Sometimes when people read the play, they focus on a particular theme: love and marriage, dreams and reality, appearance and illusions. This time when they read the play, students are going to focus on the theme of control
  • Display the Guiding Questions and share them out loud with students:

*   "Why do Shakespeare's works hold a universal appeal?"

*   "What motivates people to try to control each other's actions?"

*   "Is it possible to control another person's actions in the long run?"

C. Introducing the Theme of Control: Frayer Model (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the Frayer Model: Control handout and display it using the document camera. Orient students to each of the four boxes and explain that they will begin to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to control another person's actions or thinking over the course of the module, and they will use this Frayer model organizer to help them.
  • Refer to Frayer Model: Control (answers, for teacher reference) as you guide the class in filling in the organizer.
  • Draw students' attention to the Examples box in the lower left-hand corner of the chart. Invite them to reflect on what control can look like.
  • Provide a couple of examples for students, such as:

*   "Control can look like someone trying to convince, persuade, manipulate, deceive, etc."

  • Next, draw students' attention to the Definition box in the upper left-hand corner and invite them to turn and talk about what it means to control. Cold call several pairs to share out a definition and write something in the box like: "Control means to influence, convince, or manipulate someone into doing something you want or into thinking or believing what you want."
  • Next, draw students' attention to the Characteristics/Explanation box in the upper right-hand corner of the handout. Ask them to turn and talk:

*   "What characteristics or qualities do people have who are controlling?"

  • Cold call several pairs to share. Listen for characteristics such as: "persuasive," "strong-willed," "believe they are right or know best," "convinced," "have strong beliefs," "action-oriented," "self-centered."
  • Finally, draw students' attention to the Non-Examples box in the lower right-hand corner. Ask:

*   "What might a person do that's a non-example of controlling?"

  • Encourage students to think about the definition and the characteristics listed on the handout and remind them that they are thinking about the opposite of these, but not just the opposite. For example, someone need not be a push-over but could be respectful of someone else to be a non-example.
  • Cold call pairs and record the non-examples. Listen for non-examples like: "respectful," "kind," "eager to please," "makes compromises," etc.
  • Explain that students will be learning more about people trying to control another's actions or thinking in the coming lessons as they begin to read A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Previewing Homework (2 minutes)

  • Distribute the QuickWrite 3 and preview as needed.

Homework

Homework
  • QuickWrite 3: Based on your knowledge of the universal appeal of Shakespeare, what might make the theme of control appealing or interesting to people of different ages, genders, ethnicities, etc.?

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