Thinking About Theme: Othello Act IV (Day 2 of 2) + Machiavellian Draft

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SWBAT participate in collaborative discussion to analyze themes of history and literature by working together to analyze and research key ideas from each content area.

Big Idea

Should Iago make the cut in a Machiavellian fantasy draft for his all-star team of leaders?

Overlap of Content

Here's a little overview of how my content and Social Studies are a little more seamless today than it normally is.

History Test/SSR

30 minutes

To ensure that the students have enough time to complete their chapter test for history, we will combine SSR with the testing time. We will ask students to have their novels on their desks and ready to go so that when they finish the test, they can read for whatever time is remaining.

Act IV Small Group Reading and Dichotomy Journals

30 minutes

My teaching partner and I were pretty sure that the Machiavellian draft instructions and work time would need the most time today, so we will move directly from the test to a set amount of reading time for Othello, Act IV.

I will remind students to be pausing to check for understanding and to fill in their DichotomyGraphicOrganizer. While they read, I will circulate the room to monitor pace and comprehension. Most groups were able to get through most of Act IV, scene i yesterday, but very few had started their dichotomy journals. As this is my main tool for providing feedback on their ability to trace theme (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2), I will also offer suggestions/guiding questions about the dichotomies to each group as I wander similar to yesterday. Specifically, I am hoping to continue to push their thinking beyond identification of the dichotomies to thinking about why those dichotomies are there (i.e. What is Shakespeare saying about racial prejudice through the literal and symbolic use of the black and white dichotomy?).

We will have to give them a break in the middle of this reading time because of our bell schedule, but I will inform them up front that they only have 30 minutes of reading time to complete Act IV. Whatever they don't finish, I will assign as homework.

Machiavellian Fantasy Draft Overview

10 minutes

Once we have reorganized the room, we will shuffle students into new groupings for the Machiavellian fantasy draft activity and hand out the Machiavellian Fantasy Draft and student created rubrics.

My teaching partner will review the basic rules for a fantasy draft (based on fantasy football drafting principles where you choose key players from various teams based on their ability...and availability depending on drafting order). We will remind the students that they are building a team for Machiavelli and ask them to choose a few character traits to look for in their top choices.

Before we set them free to work, we will ask for questions.

This activity is another great way to push the students away from identification of ideas to analysis of authorial purpose and/or theme. Machiavelli and Shakespeare actually said pretty similar things about leadership and man's ability to be ruthless. The fact that they were writing in completely different genres and for completely different purposes is a great point to bring up with students as they think about what each author was trying to accomplish rhetorically, which can also help you to hit the bonus Social Studies standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9.

Machiavellian Fantasy Draft Preparations

25 minutes

Once we've given instructions, we give them a chunk of time to work on researching the leaders. We have a school set of Chromebooks, so we will have those available to supplement their history textbooks and Othello scripts.

My teaching partner and I will wander the room to answer questions, provide feedback and monitor behavior. I will be looking specifically at their ability to participate in collaborative process (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1).

The bonus standard for this activity comes from the Social Studies literacy standards thread. We will be pushing students to consult a variety of resources to justify their choices, which will require them to look to more than one source of evidence. This will hopefully allow them to practice their evaluation of sources as well as their ability to choose the best source based on their needs and the information/analysis presented by the author (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6).

Wrap up and Next Steps

10 minutes

We will need to set a little extra time aside for wrap up and next steps today so that we can make sure all the computers and desks get put back where they need to go.

Once the room is back to normal, we will ask the students to provide feedback on the process and share with them the timeline for completing the research (we will do the draft on Friday in class).