This 100-page unit contains 38 individual daily lesson activities reviewing Shakespeare’s entire play, Julius Caesar. Most assignments follow the specific scenes within each act; so the class can read one or two scenes and then complete an assignment. Or you can read the entire act and then choose from several key assignments to review major plot points or elements of the act. Honestly, there are too many activities to realistically be completed. But for my teaching style, I’d rather have more than enough assignments to choose from. So, over the years, we’ve compiled numerous activities which give us the freedom to pick and choose which activity we would like to use for a particular scene or act based on the caliber of the class and the grade level. Some activities are straight forward and may serve as a review, while others are more involved and may be better accomplished through partner work or in cooperative groups.
I adhere to the basic principal that each lesson should require the students to become engaged in the reading. Therefore, through a variety of graphic organizers, worksheets, and chart fill-ins, students continually practice close reading techniques as they cite evidence from the text to support their answers and opinions. All lessons conclude with a series of questions entitled, “Put it all Together” which helps the students to summarize essential concepts they analyzed during the lesson and offer a personal opinion about the material learned for each particular lesson. Again, I want my students to interact with the text and so every assignment requires the kids to go back and either cite, summarize or analyze textual details. Students must then use the textual evidence they have gathered to draw conclusions, make predictions or inferences, or support thoughtful literary criticism.
At times, I bring up the lessons on a smart-board or LCD projector and let the students copy a sketch of the daily graphic organizer. Other times, with the more intricate designs, I want to photocopy the worksheet for the students so that they may write directly on the assignment. With this in mind, I tried to maintain a balance between the visual appeal of each organizer and the practicality of making photocopies for any lesson.
As with most graphic organizers or handouts, I have used these lessons in a variety of learning environments including: group work, partner or neighbor work or individual practice. Some lessons are extensive and may require more than one class period or can be completed for homework. Each lesson also acts as a great quiz to assess any student’s comprehension for a particular scene of the play. Since there are so many lessons for each act, I often have the students complete some of the basic worksheets independently for homework; this in turn acts as a great review and reinforces the day’s lesson.
There is no answer key for these assignments since it is impossible to assume what any individual teacher would accept as a correct answer. My own acceptance for answers varies greatly depending on the grade level, class level, individual student ability and even what material I decided to focus on during instruction. An answer I would accept from an AP student would vary greatly from an answer I would find acceptable from an inclusion student. Both may have a “right” answer with varying levels of proficiency.
Activities include the following titles:
Act I: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Plebeians Verses Tribunes
• Opinions about Caesar
• Cassius’s Persuasive Speech
• Initial Characterization of Caesar
• Cassius’s Role
• Concerns over Caesar’s Rule
Act II: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Portia’s Concerns for Brutus
• Calpurnia’s Concerns for Caesar
• Unusual Weather and Ominous Events
• Comparing Relationships
• Omens and Warnings
• Caesar’s Fate
• Calpurnia’s Warning to Caesar
Act III: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Attempts to Warn Caesar
• Caesar: Private Life Verses Public Persona
• A Portrait of Caesar’s Death
• Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!
Act IV: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Antony’s Personality
• Antony’s Oratory Skills
• Appearance Verses Reality
• News of Portia’s Death
• Caesar’s Ghost
• Comparing Antony and Brutus
Act V: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Four Generals
• The Final Farewell
• The Fog of War
Overall Play Review: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Character Portrait: Caesar
• Character Portrait: Brutus
• Character Portrait: Antony
• Warnings and Omens
• Several Climaxes
• The Play’s Protagonist
• Motives for Murder
• Crowd Considerations
• Brutus’s Personality
• View Points about the Assassination
• Caesar and Brutus
• What is in the Title?
The Word Document format allows you to adjust any part of the assignments to suit your teaching needs.