The King Lear lesson plan is a four-week, day-to-day plan.
King Lear is generally considered a 12th grade honor's or AP text, in part because of its daunting complexity. Indeed, many students struggle with the reading, especially in the play's first half. This is not to say that students don't thoroughly enjoy Shakespeare's awesome masterpiece. My students, year after year, find the challenge of reading it exciting, rewarding, even strangely empowering, but they also more often than not find themselves, like Lear himself, wandering in a storm: completely lost and awash in language spilling from its greatest heights. The King Lear lesson plan attempts to anticipate many of the struggles and questions students will have as a result, particularly in the area of expressing their ideas through writing. Day 20 (see preview) is a good example of how the plan does this. The questions, notes, and ideas for directed discussion are as much a means for student guidance as they are for the teacher who may feel in need of a little more support in the face of numerous questions that come up with nearly every scene.
Beyond the text, the plan is heavily weighted toward early-year writing instruction that is in direct preparation for the rigors of writing for the AP exam. The lesson plan, it should further be noted, is purposefully open-ended (i.e. short on minute-by-minute class instruction) to allow for individuated, college-level instruction and more dynamic, high-level student responses.
Sonnets analyzed during the lesson: 29, 94, and 129.
Note: bolded headings in the lesson plan are transitional points within the class hour. All homework/handouts are copy-ready (see Blood Meridian preview and description for an example).