Dr. Laura Bates courageously and honorably brought the works of William Shakespeare to prisoners locked up in a super-max prison in Indiana, where prisoners had been in solitaire for years. She documents this experience in the book, Shakespeare in Shackles.
There are many links to video and audio resources for analyzing the argument about Shakespeare and prison reform. There are links to multiple clips from the news media, a Margaret Atwood video on Shakespeare and prison reform from Big Think and a TED Talk by Lauren Bates The resource features an original prompt based on analyzing a passage from Shakespeare in Shackles. Students will craft an argumentative thesis sentence for analyzing the effect of Shakespeare on a prisoner and the rhetorical techniques that Bates uses to accomplish this purpose.
Also, there is a graphic organizer designed as a rhetorical triangle where students will look for appeals from an excerpt of Shakespeare in Shackles. There are also three performances from Richard II’s final speech that feature prominently in the excerpt from Shakespeare in Shackles.
Instructions and strategies are included on how to teach a rhetorical précis, and hold an inner and outer Socratic Circle.
These lessons fit any Honors Literature class, Pre-AP, American Literature, AP English Language or Literature class to prepare students for AP English Language exams, Common Core extended response assessments, American Literature Course exams, the SAT and ACT essay and critical thinking activities. Now adaptable for ESOL classes.
The packet includes complete lessons, Common Core standards, essential and key questions. I have added an addendum that describes how to adapt the lessons for ELL students.
Tags: Close Reading, writing, Pre-AP, critical thinking, incarceration, Shakespeare, theme, ELL adaptable material, flipped classroom