Teaching Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Common Core-Style

by Court Allam

For the first eight years of my teaching career, my Shakespeare daily lesson plans went something like this:

“Good morning! Turn to Act II Scene 1 on page 234. I’m going to push play on the CD, let’s listen to a few lines…”  (Actors performing while students follow along for about 30 seconds. Pause CD.) Me: “Ok, what just happened there?” (The same 2-3 students telling me the plot.) “Great! Let’s continue on…”

Once in awhile, I would have the students act out a scene or two… but that usually led to monotone recitations and awkward moments helping students pronounce words.

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