Use William Shakespeare’s famous “All the World’s a Stage” monologue from As You Like It as a stand-alone lesson on extended metaphor. This 45-minute lesson begins with a close reading of the poem on a handout designed with wide margins for students to record their mental interactions with the text. Then, project a copy of the poem on your white board and annotate Shakespeare’s words together with your class. I’ve included a completed annotation of the poem to serve as teacher prep materials, but you could also show it to your class after the group’s annotation exercise to see what a different person’s annotation might look like. Next, hand out the worksheet that includes seven depth-of-knowledge questions that will require students to dig back into the text and dig deep into their own minds. When students are finished, launch a full-class discussion as you work through the answers together. Finally, I’ve included two short video clip links, both excellent, of the poem to use as you see fit.
Note: You do not need to teach As You Like It for this lesson to work with your class. This one-period lesson fits smoothly into any Shakespeare, poetry, or critical thinking unit and works equally well for middle school and high school students.
There are also specific lines in Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie and Shakespeare's Hamlet that work beautifully with the materials in this lesson.
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