Putting the PIeces Together: Brainstorming Topics for Othello Literary Analysis Paper (Day 1 of 3)

1 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT develop and plan their writing by participating in group brainstorming sessions on their Othello literary analysis papers.

Big Idea

Now they've read the play, it's time to dive into the analysis of structure, purpose and process.


10 minutes

We will start class with our usual ten minutes of reading time.

Paper Topic Intro/Purpose Setting

5 minutes

I wish that I was going to have more time to do this today, but such is the nature of a Wednesday at my school. Sigh.

Regardless, I will spend a few minutes setting up the rest of the class period by asking students to pull out all of their graded paperwork from Othello. This will include multiple dichotomy journals, their listening guides from both the audio clip analysis and film analysis and their rhetorical analysis work from the introduction to the play. Armed with all these documents, I am going to frame their discussion by asking them to consider what Shakespeare is trying to do with his structure (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5) to create purpose/message about theme using the devices of rhetoric, archetype, dichotomy and/or characterization. I will explain the Othello Paper Brainstorm Plan (to analyze the development of theme and how specific details aid in this development CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2).

Othello Literary Analysis Paper Topic Brainstorming

10 minutes

Once we've established the purpose for writing, I will ask students to get into their Falkner Squares and brainstorm a list of topics based on their completed work. I'm hoping that providing them time to develop ideas about what to write (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.5) will assist them in their ability to create thesis statements and gather useful evidence in upcoming class periods. We will do this in groups so that students can build confidence in ideas they already have or find help from their peers if they are stuck with few ideas to work from. Doing this in groups of four ensures that I am not reading 58 of the same paper, which is often an unintended side effect of whole class brainstorming, but also ensures that all 58 of them have at least started to think of a topic on which to write.

I will have them chart their ideas on Posters so that we can hang them up for a gallery walk/dialogue about good topic ideas tomorrow.

Wrap up and Next Steps

5 minutes

Whatever time is remaining, I will ask them to return to their assigned seats and check in on questions or confusions. My students tend to get pretty panicky about writing, so I will also reassure them that they will have more support/time to work on their ideas over the next few days.