Othello Close Reading Bundle

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This extensive 223 page close reading master-unit for Othello is completely designed around the philosophy of developing critical close reading skills needed for keen, insightful text-based analysis.

The reason for creating this close-reading Othello bundle came out of my need to have a way to efficiently assess the students’ active reading skills such as annotation and their ability to provide appropriate evidence when answering text-based questions based on key, individual speeches.

So I went through the entire play, determined 18 essential monologues, soliloquies and conversations and reshaped each one in handout form for easy, clear annotation practice. Now, when I determine necessary, I can quickly assess the kids’ annotating efforts by skimming over their annotated handouts by walking up and down the desk rows, or more thoroughly examine their critical thinking skills by collecting the worksheets.

Furthermore, I created 2-5 close reading activities to coincide with every speech provided, giving a total of 70 skill driven lessons. These activities are the heart of the bundle, since every assignment is founded on the premises that text-based evidence is a fundamental and essential component for writing well developed short and extended responses.

This close reading unit is original and has been keenly tuned to address a wide range of learners with varying reading comprehension skills. Therefore, multiple activities ranging from a step-by-step process, to more free thinking, independent assignments, are included for every excerpt. In short, this unit will help all students to look closely at Shakespeare’s craft and encourage young minds to write thoughtful, in depth responses and support their ideas with evidence from the text.

This unit is separate from my other Othello material, and is not intended to take the place of daily lessons provided in my original Othello Complete Unit Plan. I use the material to compliment and supplement my existing daily lesson plans. When I need to slow down the class pace and focus on key speeches, I use the text excerpts provided here in this close reading bundle and we take time to practice our annotation skills and evidence citation techniques.

This Close Reading Bundle is great addition to our Othello Complete Unit Plan! (We continuously use both sets of activities throughout the unit.)

This 223 page unit plan includes the following:
• A Table of Contents outlining the five acts of the entire unit

Overview: Over 70 printable close reading handouts and graphic organizers that include specifically tailored writing activities for all of the key speeches of the play, over 200 pages of printable material in all.
• Every major and many important minor speeches are provided for annotation practice and reinforcement.
• Every speech has a five incremental line numbering system for easy identification and parenthetical documentation practice.
• Every excerpt is supported with 2-5 activities designed to highlight and focus on the rhetorical devices within the speech.
• Every lesson can be taught using a myriad of teaching styles:
 Partner or neighbor cooperative pairs
 Small groups for cooperative learning
 Individual or independent practice
 Homework
• Each lesson is intently crafted to be used with smart board technology.
• All lessons are able to be reproduced and photocopied.
• There is a balance between the aesthetic appeal of each lesson and the practicality of black and white photocopying.
• Each lesson is set up as a self-contained graphic organizer with explicit instructions on how to complete the day’s activity.
• Each exercise begins with the excerpt provided for annotation practice.
• Each lesson continues with a “gathering” phase during which time students will read, annotate and begin to identify critical rhetorical devices of a given excerpt.
• Then the lessons transition into an evaluation of the gathered textual evidence, which will form the foundation of an argumentative defense or insightful response.
• Every lesson is carefully designed to “walk” the kids through the necessary steps of analyzing textual evidence to formulate opinions or develop an argument.
• Any speech can be done as a homework assignment (every excerpt has multiple activities, so one can be sent home as a way to review or reinforce the day’s lesson) **this is something I do all the time for quick grades.
• Any daily lesson can be collected and graded.
• Any daily lesson can be collected to assess individual and class comprehension.

Table of Contents
Unit Overview……………………………………………………………………………………………..
 Aligned to the Common Core State Standards
 Each activity reinforces the practice of close reading
 Each activity requires students to locate textual evidence to support their answers and opinions
 Lessons can be completed independently, with partners or in small groups
 All material deliberately constructed to be presented with smart-board technology, LCD projects, etc.
 Assignments intended to be photocopied and given as class handouts with space available for students’ responses
 Any assignment can be collected for a formal grade or to assess a student’s comprehension of the reading or assignment

Act I: ………………..Provided Excerpts and Accompanying Activities
1. Excerpt: Roderigo questions Iago’s intentions (scene i, lines 1-70)
Activities: A. Argument verses counter argument
B. Identifying persuasive techniques in Iago’s conversation
C. The truth in Iago’s lies: “I am not what I am.”
D. Source-based response

2. Excerpt: Othello stands before the Venetian Senate (Scene iii, lines 86-214)
Activities: A. Deconstructing Brabantio and Othello’s debate
B. Analysis in comparison: Othello, Brabantio and Desdemona
C. The art of persuasive speaking: Demonstrating Ethos, Pathos and Logos
D. Source-based response

3. Excerpt: Othello’s explanation to the Venetian Senate (scene iii, lines 140-184)
Activities: A. Othello’s testimony about Desdemona
B. Othello’s claims and evidence
C. The art of persuasive speaking: Demonstrating Ethos, Pathos and Logos
D. The transitions within Othello’s monologue
E. Source-based response

4. Excerpt: Brabantio’s true feelings (scene ii, lines 76-95 and scene iii, lines 114)
Activities: A. Revealing Brabantio’s thoughts about Othello
B. Brabantio’s Accusations
C. Source-based Response

5. Excerpt: Othello answers the charges against him (scene iii, lines 86-104)
Activities: A. Othello response to Brabantio
B. Othello’s public speaking techniques
C. Source-based response

6. Excerpt: Othello continues to testify on his own behalf (scene iii, line 140-184)
Activities: A. The emotional transitions within a monologue
B. The essential components of Othello’s monologue
C. Source-based response
Act II…………………. Provided Excerpts and Accompanying Activities

7. Excerpt: Iago draws Roderigo further into his plans (scene i, lines 228-293)
Activities: A. Iago’s claim verses Roderigo’s counter claim
B. Iago’s use of rhetorical devices
C. Understanding Iago’s views on Cassio and Desdemona
D. Source-based response

8. Excerpt: Iago and Cassio: after the brawl (scene iii, lines 253-321)
Activities: A. Critique of Iago’s illusions of trust
B. Iago’s manipulation of Cassio
C. Source-based response

9. Excerpt: Two speech comparison (scene I, lines 293-320 and scene iii, lines 322-348)
Activities: A. What the similarities reveal about Iago
B. Iago’s thoughts about other characters
C. Examination of Iago’s word choice
D. Source-based response

10. Excerpt: Iago’s manipulation of Roderigo (scene I, lines 228-290)
Activities: A. Iago’s persuasive influence over Roderigo
B. Assessing the rhetorical devices in Iago’s conversation
C. Source-based response

11. Excerpt: Iago’s closing soliloquy (scene iii, lines 322-348)
Activities: A. Elaborating on Iago’s shift in tone
B. Iago’s intentions for Othello
C. Source-based response

Act III…………………...Provided Excerpts and Accompanying Activities

12. Excerpt: Iago and Othello’s discussion about Desdemona (scene iii, lines 148-238)
Activities: A. Appraising Iago’s use of persuasive techniques
B. Iago’s argument and Othello’s counter argument
C. Iago’s lures Othello into his web
D. Source-based response

13. Excerpt: Othello’s torments begin (scene iii, lines 288-307 )
Activities: A. Arranging a list of Othello’s emotional transitions
B. What Othello reveals about his marriage
C. Othello’s emerging conflict: internal and external
D. Source-based response

Act IV…………………….Provided Excerpts and Accompanying Activities
14. Excerpt: Othello hears Cassio’s supposed confession (scene I lines 181-220)
Activities: A. Exploring Iago’s terse responses
B. Iago’s effective use of rhetorical devices
C. Source-based response

15. Excerpt: Iago uses Roderigo to do his dirty work (scene ii, lines 193-261)
Activities: A. Deconstructing Iago’s insistences
B. Persuading Roderigo to commit murder
C. Roderigo’s emotions escalate
D. Deliberation over Roderigo’s accusations
E. Source-based response

16. Excerpt: Emilia and Desdemona’s thoughts about Marriage (scene iii, lines 63-120)
Activities: A. The two ladies’ reflections on men and marriage
B. Emilia and Desdemona’s word choice
C. Source-based response

Act V…………………….Provided Excerpts and Accompanying Activities

17. Excerpt: The approach of Death (scene ii, lines 1-22)
Activities: A. Othello’s overwhelming emotional conflict
B. Persuasive technique within Othello’s soliloquy
C. Figurative and literal meanings within Othello’s soliloquy
D. Line by line analysis: deconstruction Othello’s soliloquy
E. Source-based response

18. Excerpt: Othello confronts Gratiano (scene ii, lines 302-325)
Activities: A. Evaluation of Othello’s key words and phrases
B. Othello’s direct comments and their underlying meanings
C. Source-based response

19. Excerpt: Othello’s final admissions (scene iii, lines 387-406)
Activities: A. Analysis of Othello’s persuasive devices
B. Othello’s use of figurative and literal language
C. Exploring Othello’s tone
D. Source-based respons

…………………….Going Beyond the Text…………………………………………………….

A. Elements of Greek Tragedy Found in Othello
B. Evaluating Father and Daughter Relationships: A cross-text analysis of Shakespeare’s plays
• Romeo and Juliet (excerpt included)
• Hamlet (excerpt included)
• Othello (excerpt included)
• King Lear (excerpt included)
C. Analyzing the endings of Shakespeare’s Tragedy Plays: A cross-text study of Shakespeare’s technique
• King Lear (excerpt included)
• Hamlet (excerpt included)
• Macbeth (excerpt included)
• Othello (excerpt included)
• Romeo and Juliet (expert included)

Total Pages
Answer Key
Not Included
Teaching Duration
2 Months

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Othello Close Reading Bundle
Othello Close Reading Bundle
Othello Close Reading Bundle
Othello Close Reading Bundle