It is very difficult to get my students interested in Shakespeare, but this activity made them really excited to read Othello!
Instead of providing the usual background knowlege, I had the students work in groups that focused on specific THEMES found in Othello such as jealousy, racism, identity, etc. It was almost like a scavenger hunt.
As the students were working, they were able to see how each of the themes are still present in today's society-which makes the play more reliable.
ALL of the information is included in the slideshow, as well as a video clip, from Shmoop, and an activity for the modern version of "O." <--Discretion for the "O" version.
I simply had the students get into groups of no more than 4, handed them an index card with their assigned theme, and went through the slideshow accordingly.
THIS IS A VERY STUDENT CENTERED AND HANDS ON LESSON.
VERY LITTLE DIRECT TEACHING.