OER Administrator
English Language Arts, Reading Literature
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Gonzalo
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Montaigne
  • Native Americans
  • Shakespeare
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    Prospero's Justification

    Prospero's Justification


    In this lesson, students will begin with a discussion about their reading of the play so far. In small groups, they’ll speculate about where Shakespeare got some of his ideas. They’ll write about Prospero’s justification for causing the life-threatening storm.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • As the class continues reading The Tempest, determine which students need support, such as a reading partner or a Guided Reading Group.
    • Help students locate copies of the Independent Reading texts.

    Caliban's Agreement

    • Allow students about 3 minutes to write their responses.
    • Allow students a few minutes to share with partners.
      • SWD: Be sure that SWDs are engaging in the activity successfully. If you notice that some pairs are too quiet, approach them and find out if that is a result of their not being very productive in the Quick Write. If that is the case, allow additional time (if possible) and encourage them to go back to the Quick Write.
    • Conduct a brief Whole Group Share to make sure students understand what happened in act 2, scene 2.
    • Ask students if they think Trinculo and Stephano are as “civilized” as the noblemen (Prospero, Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio, and Gonzalo). It’s an interesting idea that the way a person speaks indicates not only his or her education and intelligence but also the degree to which he or she is civilized.


    Complete a Quick Write in response to the following question.

    • What agreement does Caliban make with Stephano and Trinculo in act 2, scene 2?

    Open Notebook

    Share your response with a partner. When you have finished sharing, tell your partner what you think about the fact that Trinculo’s and Stephano’s lines are in prose rather than poetry.

    Then, after discussing act 2, scene 2 and the plans of Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo with the whole class, use the opportunity to clear up any questions you have.

    Sources for The Tempest

    • Instruct students to work with their reading groups to do an online search for information about sources of The Tempest .

    Work Time

    Where might Shakespeare have gotten some of his ideas for The Tempest?

    • Work with your reading group and conduct an online search to see what you can learn about the real-life sources for The Tempest.

    Open Notebook

    Share your findings with your classmates.

    Prospero's Storm

    • Students should not need a long time to write.

    Work Time

    In one or two paragraphs, speculate about the storm in Shakespeare’s The Tempest:

    • Is Prospero justified in frightening the characters on the ship with his storm?
    • Is his manufactured storm a natural response to the wrong that has been done to him? Explain.

    Open Notebook

    Prospero's Storm

    • Before releasing students, explain to them that in act 3, scene 1, Ferdinand and Miranda meet again. Prospero, who remains hidden, realizes that the two have fallen in love.


    • Share your paragraphs with a partner, make any changes you want, and then submit your writing.

    Act 3, Scene 1

    • Prompt students to write from the perspective of a character whom they find interesting. They will share their entries with the class.
      • ELL: Allow ELLs to use a dictionary or other resources at all times.
    • Remind students to choose and locate an Independent Reading text before Lesson 12.


    Read and annotate act 3, scene 1 of The Tempest.

    • Choose one character to respond to the action in act 3, scene 1. Write a journal entry from his or her perspective.

    Open Notebook