This is an intro in the historical background of "The Merchant of Venice".
I usually just jump STRAIGHT into his plays, but before this one, they really need to understand the history to get it.
-A brief history of Jews in Venice and Europe
-The Venetian Ghetto
-Is the play a comedy?
I ask them to highlight as we read, and then there's a box at the end here they summarize all the new important information they just learned.
Also included is a bonus page with a map of Venice, and they have to make inferences based off their observations
-there's a lot of water, affecting trade
-there's some churches
-there's segregated areas
-looks very busy/overcrowded ETC