These 240 daily quiz questions are originally part of our full Julius Caesar unit. We decided to sell this component separately and it includes 11 pages of 240 short response questions covering Shakespeare’s entire Julius Caesar play. There are between ten to fifteen questions for each reading scene, designed to elicit a one-word answer or a short phrase response. Most of the questions center on the basic plot of the play, with a few technical questions put in the mix.
We’ve had great success over the years using this approach for all major works because the students quickly learn the teacher’s expectations that they are to read closely each night and retain the information for the next day’s lesson. It helps to set the routine for the day’s lesson: each day the kids know they will have a short quiz on the nightly reading. The daily assessments are also a useful tool to see which kids are routinely reading and those who are skipping the reading assigned for homework.
The grading is simple: I mark them right or wrong, hand back the paper the following day for the next quiz. The kids add the next batch of answers to the same sheet. Again, I collect and mark their answers right or wrong and return them. We keep going like this until the play is finished (usually between 75-100 questions total). Then, I use one of those cheap slide percentages to figure out a single, holistic grade based on the total number wrong. For my class, that single grade is the equivalent of a major test grade since it would be about a month of total reading.
Once the questionnaires are collected, I go over the answers with the class and it helps to focus the kids on the upcoming lesson and it offers a general review for anyone who was absent or didn’t read.
The questions are easy to moderate in nature, for example:
1. When speaking privately to Antony, whom does Caesar say he considers to be a dangerous man? Cassius
2. Who says that he intends to stab Caesar? Cassius
3. What reason does Cassius give for wanting to also kill Mark Antony? Antony is very loyal to Caesar
4. Before going to the Capitol, what does Caesar insist they do first? Drink wine
5. Who does Caesar ignore on the way to the Capitol? The Soothsayer / Artemidorus
If the students read, then the answers are usually quick and easy. But, if they didn’t read, it will be obvious that they are merely guessing at the answers.
Usually after three or four reading assignments, I can tell who is getting the play and who is not. I can then approach the students in need of assistance and address their individual concerns.
The repetitiveness of this assignment really sets the tone for the class and the entire unit. Nearly all kids read every night; which contributes greatly to our full class discussions and the input individual students can then offer towards the daily activity.
Again, it’s quick and easy and designed to effectively monitor the close reading skills of the class or individual students.
An answer key is included.