This unit contains over 75 pages for 29 daily lesson activities individually reviewing Shakespeare’s entire play, King Lear. Most assignments follow the individual scenes within in 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 use 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 too much then not enough. 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 general, quick review, while others are more involved and may be better accomplished 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, student continually practice close reading techniques as they cite evidence from the text to support their answers and opinions. All lessons conclude with a “closure” activity 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 construct 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 chart. 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. Since it’s a word document, you can adjust colors and fonts to suit your needs.
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 period or can be completed for homework. Each lesson also acts as a great quiz to assess any student’s comprehension for a particular chapter of the text. Since there are so many lessons for each act, I often have the students complete some of the basic worksheets independently for homework; this is 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.
Act I: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Cordelia’s Truths
• Lear’s Questions
• Kent and the Fool’s Criticisms
• Two Sisters: Appearance versus Reality
• The Importance of Nothing
• The Fool: More Than Just Comic Relief
Act II: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Kent Comparison: To King and Duke Alike
• Kent’s Concerns about Hone
• Kent’s Moral Values
• Lear’s Knights
• A Daughter’s Love
• 100 Knights
• Lear’s Love Contest in Review
• New World Order
Act III Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Imagery of the Storm
• Edmund’s Double Speak
• The Prophecy of Edmund
• Edmund Speaks the Truth
• The Truth of Madness
• That Way Madness Lies
Act IV: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Lear and Cordelia: A Comparison
• “I Stumbled When I Saw”
• The Rise of Albany
• Albany’s Position
Act V: Daily lesson plans and activity sheets
• Love Triangle
• Good Versus Bad
• Transfer of Power
• The Nature of Evil