Students compare attending a performance at The Globe Theater with attending a modern theater production or movie. They then create a commercial for an Elizabethan audience promoting a modern product.
Students create epitaphs for characters from a tragedy, such as "Hamlet".
Is the case closed on the authorship of Shakespeare's plays? Student history detectives explore the evidence for and against one of the possible alternatives, Edward deVere, using the novel Shakespeare's Secret plus a variety of online sources.
After reading "The Tempest" or any other play by William Shakespeare, students work in small groups to plan, compose, and perform a choral reading based on a character or theme.
The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
This unit uses William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing as a vehicle to help students consider how a person is powerless in the face of rumor and how reputations can alter lives, both for good and for ill. They will consider comedy and what makes us laugh. They will see how the standards of beauty and societal views toward women have changed since the Elizabethan Age and reflect on reasons for those changes. As students consider the play, they will write on the passages that inspire and plague them and on topics relating to one of the themes in the play. Finally, they will bring Shakespeare’s words to life in individual performances and in group scene presentations.
Students read Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing .
Students read two Shakespearean sonnets and excerpts from an Elizabethan morality handbook dealing with types of women, and they respond to them from several different perspectives.
For each work of literature, students do some writing. They learn to write a sonnet; create a Prompt Book; complete a Dialectical Journal; and write an analytical essay about a topic relating to a theme in the play.
Students see Shakespeare’s play as it was intended to be seen: in a performance. They memorize 15 or more lines from the play and perform them for the class. Students take part in a short scene as either a director or an actor.
These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.
What are society’s expectations with regard to gender roles?
Does humor transcend time? Do we share the same sense of humor as our ancestors?
How do we judge people?
How important is reputation?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT (Cold Read)
During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.
The Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing is available on DVD through Netflix and for streaming through Amazon. Other versions are also available on both sites.
In this lesson, students will revise the final couplet of their sonnet, learn more about the characters in Much Ado About Nothing, and begin their Dialectical Journal. Finally, they will use their developing understanding of iambic pentameter to analyze Shakespeare’s language choices.
In this lesson, students will finish Much Ado About Nothing and see whether their predictions for how things end are correct. They will also complete their Character Chart and weigh in on what they think the topic and the theme of the play are.
In this lesson, students will come to see how the concept of deception can be looked at in more than one way and how this factors into Much Ado About Nothing ’s character development.
In this lesson, students will take a closer look at the villain of this play. Is Don John really so evil? Has evil been done to him? Then they’ll learn about Dogberryisms and see whether they can interpret some of them themselves.
In this lesson, students will continue reading Much Ado About Nothing aloud and then compare and contrast the directorial choices made in two staged versions of act 2, scene 3.
In this lesson, students will analyze the humor in language that is embedded in Much Ado About Nothing and maybe come to appreciate it a little bit more.
The purpose of this second Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write) is to determine what students know about informational writing. Students will respond to a writing prompt, and you will score results as a measure of progress. Following this assessment, students will practice conducting close analysis of various passages from Much Ado About Nothing and continue their character analysis by writing a Perfect Paragraph.
In this lesson, students will begin reading Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing aloud in class and make predictions based on what they’ve learned so far. For homework, they will finish their sonnet’s final couplet.
In this lesson, students will consider how rumor can ruin a reputation, even if it’s not true, and how difficult it is to try to proclaim innocence. They’ll also get to see how Shakespeare dealt with these very human problems through the characters in Much Ado About Nothing.
In this lesson, students will learn more about the characters and the plot of Much Ado About Nothing and consider the role of leadership. They will also analyze what they’ve read so far and make predictions about the fates of the play’s characters.
In this lesson, students will see some of Shakespeare’s genius as performed. They may find that even if they do not know every word, they can certainly understand a lot of what is happening.
In this lesson, students will learn to identify different kinds of humor in Much Ado About Nothing and see how Shakespeare’s use of prose in certain scenes, not iambic pentameter, helps with the comedic effect.
In this lesson, the performances continue. The final group of students will perform their memorized passages from Much Ado About Nothing .
In this lesson, Shakespeare comes to life! The first group of students will perform their memorized passages from Much Ado About Nothing .