Tag Archive for shakespeare

Daylight Savings Monday!

MAN, daylight savings time kicked my BUTT this weekend!

Standard: RL.9-10.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).

Learning Target: Students will finish their modern translations of Marc Antony’s speech, then begin reading act IV of Julius Caesar.

Activator: Marlon Brando’s version of Antony’s speech

So, you might recall on Friday that we finished reading act III and began working on a little writing assignment. Ms. Jones and I asked you to translate Marc Antony’s famous “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears” speech from Caesar’s funeral. This translation can be to modern, academic English (“Friends and fellow Romans, please listen to what I have to say”) or it can be to a modern English like you would speak (“Hey y’all, listen up!”). Either way, you need to line by line translate the speech to a modern version. We will take about twenty minutes or so to finish that today.

Afterwards, we’re going to get started reading act IV. At this point in the play, the action will shift from Caesar’s death and the conspiracy to kill him onto the civil war that started after he died. Act IV and V go really quickly, and with luck we will have both acts finished within a couple days 🙂 After that, the play is done and we can get started on our big writing assignment! YAY!

Two Households, Both Alike…no, wait…

Welcome to Tuesday! One day down, four to go, right?

Standard: ELA10RL3 The student deepens understanding of literary works by relating them to contemporary context or historical background, as well as to works from other time periods.

Learning Target: Students will understand the history behind Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and begin reading the play.

Activator: Julius Caesar, the (highly) Condensed Version

So, yesterday you got some background on Julius Caesar, and today we’re going to review that very quickly and then move on to reading the actual play!!

Introduction to Julius Caesar

Anyway, after we learned a little about Roman history, we assigned our parts for reading the play – yep, that’s right, my little drama queens and kings, we get to read the whole play aloud! Here’s the cast list without names on it, and I’ll upload your individual block cast lists here:

First Block

Second Block

After we all have our parts, we’re going to start reading! I hope you guys are excited about your part because you keep it for the entire play! What what! Let’s dig us into SHAKESPEARE!!!

Welcome to Caesar!

Standard: SL.9-10.1. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Learning Target: Students will learn historical context for Julius Caesar, and participate in a value line to determine how they feel about different moral issues.

Activator: Video SparkNotes: Julius Caesar Summary

Welcome to Monday! We’re going to start out today with a little PowerPoint introduction to the story we’re about to read, The Tragedy of Julius Caesar:

Introduction to Julius Caesar

After that, we’re going to do a little value line activity. This is the one where we have “Agree” and “Disagree” on the walls, and you go stand where your opinion lies. Here are the statements we will be working with today:

  1. It is never OK to kill another human being.
  2. Sometimes, the good of many outweighs the good of one.
  3. People always want more power for themselves.
  4. The worst thing someone can do is to betray a friend.
  5. You should listen to your gut instinct instead of the advice of others.
  6. Arrogance will be the downfall of the greatest leaders.
  7. The best leaders are loved by the general public.
  8. A small group of powerful men should be able to decide the fate of a nation.
  9. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to make your point.
  10. Doing something wrong and admitting it is an honorable thing to do.

Then Fall, Thursday!


  • RL.9-10.5. Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
  • RL.9-10.6. Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.

Learning Target: Students will understand the dramatic element of unity of time, place and action, and how this element adds to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Activator: Our daily video!
Mark Antony’s Speech – 1953 Julius Caesar Movie

So, to completely understand our big ol’ concept for the day, we need to look what what the Classical Unities are. Thus far, our play has taken place on February 15th (At the feast of Lupercal) in Rome, on March 15th (The Ides of March) in Rome, and now in act 4, we move to a different place and a different time!

Why do you think Shakespeare chose to violate these classical unities in his play? What does it change about the play?

After we finished reading Act IV, we revisited those Bubble Maps we’ve been working on. Tomorrow is an art project day – we get to spend the whole day working on them YAY!!!! And possibly some of Monday, too 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy!

Tuesdaypus the King

Welcome to Tuesday! Only 17 days left until the end of the semester!

Standard: RL.9-10.10. By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 9–10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Learning Target: Students will begin readingOedipus and continue learning about figurative language with example poetry.

Activator: “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister

So first things first, regarding our music video, what do you guys think the title means? What is the artist referring to when he says “We’re not gonna take it”? Take what?

Today we’re going to begin our anchor text for the unit,Oedipus the King. I previewed this story for you yesterday, but in case you missed it here’s the skinny: Dude named Oedipus was prophesied to kill his father and marry his mother. Mom, Dad, and Oedipus all knew this was foretold, but for some reason Oedipus missed the boat on the  “Maybe I should refrain from killing or marrying anyone” concept and despite all their precautions it ends up happening. Oh, and Oedipus and Jocasta, his wife/mom, have four kids together. You can see how well this is working out…

So, our play picks up as Oedipus is living his happy life with his lovely wife, and then he begins to figure out what’s happened. Oh boy. Talk about some Maury-show drama. Because this is a play, we’re going to read it out loud. I will need volunteers  for Oedipus, Jocasta, Creon, Teiresias, a Priest, First and Second Messengers, and a Herdsman. Everyone else who does not have a part will read together as the Chorus. The Chorus is a particular aspect of Greek plays, and it’s always a group of people chillin’ together that read things like background information. They sort of represent the voice of the audience, kind of like a laugh track on a modern sitcom. Only they say more. A lot more.

After we read half of part I of the play, we’re going to swap gears a little and talk about poetry! Specifically, we’ll talk about the sonnet. There are two types of sonnets, and we’re going to read them both. The first is the Italian or Petrarchan sonnet. The form was perfected by a dude named Petrarch, and we’ll read one of his poems today, “Spring” (page 733 in your book.) As we read, we’ll be looking for those literary devices we talked about yesterday. After that, we’ll do the same with the other type of sonnet, which is called English or Shakespearean. We’ll read Sonnet 116 on page 741 in your book, which is by Shakespeare, and is about love. Aaah, love.

And that’s Tuesday! Sounds like fun, right? We’ll see you all tomorrow!