OER Administrator
English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Evaluation
  • Grade 12 ELA
  • Writing
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial

    O'Toole Essay on Technology

    O'Toole Essay on Technology


    Which character in The Tempest has been treated most unfairly? In this lesson, students will continue that discussion. Then they’ll share their annotation of the O’Toole essay and write about whether technology can be used to “suppress and subjugate.” Students will also plan for their “Who Is Civilized?” essay.


    • Read the lesson and student content.
    • Anticipate student difficulties and identify the differentiation options you will choose for working with your students.
    • Help students locate copies of the Independent Reading texts.

    Who Is Treated Most Unfairly?

    • Monitor student conversations. When you see that most students have had a chance to share with their partners, move to the Whole Group Share.
      • ELL: In discussions about injustices or situations in which somebody was treated unfairly, be sure that ELLs who come from cultures different from ours have a chance to share their views, even if those views differ from those of students raised in this country.
    • Check to see if there is any agreement in students’ responses to the Quick Write prompt.
    • Make a list of characters who are mentioned in their responses.


    Share with a partner your response from Lesson 8’s Closing about the character who has been treated most unfairly.

    • Find one or two lines from the play that illustrate why you think the character has been treated unfairly.

    Share with the whole class either your or your partner’s response about who has been treated most unfairly.

    Shakespeare?s Natives

    • Give students time to discuss O’Toole’s essay.
    • Circulate through the room to answer questions and encourage discussion.
    • See the annotation for “Shakespeare’s Natives: Ariel and Caliban in The Tempest ” for notes on the author’s claims and argument.

    Work Time

    Share with your classmates your responses to the essay by Michael O’Toole.

    • What claims does O’Toole make about Prospero, Caliban, and Ariel?
    • What is the most helpful or interesting idea in O’Toole’s essay?
    • What do you disagree with?

    To Suppress and Subjugate

    • Give students time to draft a paragraph about the possibilities of modern technology to oppress or liberate people, or both.
    • Circulate and listen as partners are sharing.
      • SWD: Be sure that all SWDs are engaging in the activity successfully and that they fully understand the meanings of the words “suppress” and “subjugate” and how to use them. If some students need support, consider grouping those who need extra help and working with them as a way of supporting them.
    • Save time for a Closing activity.

    Work Time

    In writing about Prospero, O’Toole states, “One can see how he utilizes his art, akin to modern technology, in order to suppress and subjugate.”

    • Write a paragraph about whether our modern technology can be used to “suppress and subjugate” or to liberate—or both.

    Open Notebook

    Share your paragraph with a partner.

    Who Is Civilized?

    • Encourage students to use the comments from their partners to consider revising what was unclear or confusing.


    During Lesson 10, you will be given time to draft your essay about who in The Tempest is civilized and who is uncivilized or barbaric.

    • Make sure you have good definitions of what it means to be civilized and what it means to be barbaric.
    • Plan a thesis statement.

    Open Notebook

    Essay Outline

    • Remind students that they’ll need their outline of the essay for the next lesson.
    • Remind students to choose and locate an Independent Reading text before Lesson 12.


    Begin your essay.

    • Draft a detailed outline of your essay on who is civilized.
    • Also read and annotate the epilogue from The Tempest.

    Open Notebook