Act III of Othello: Iago, Master of Puppets?

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SWBAT show how the structure of the text creates tension by examining the impact of Iago's plan on the other major characters in Othello.

Big Idea

You want me to do what? Ok. Students examine how manipulation can influence behavior.

Let's Get Started: What is Iago's Plan?

5 minutes

For homework, each student has outlined Iago's plan on their ACT III Iago Master of Puppets journal sheet. Students compare their plan with the other people in their play group.  One of the group members will write the plan of the board for the group.  

After, each group has written their plan on the board, we will review the plans to make sure they are complete. 

Building Knowledge: What happened in Act III?

15 minutes

As part of their dialectical journals, the students summarize the act and write three questions about the act.  They ask one level one, level two, and level three question.  Students work in their play groups to ask and answer questions from the other members of their group (CCSS SL 9-10 1a).  

Building Knowledge: I am not a Puppet or Am I?

25 minutes
  1. Students move into their character groups.  They look closely at the role of their character in ACT III. Specifically, how their character (Cassio, Desdemona, Emilia and Othello) fits into Iago's plan.  So, they examine how Shakespeare structures the act to slowly unveil Iago's plan to the audience but not the individual characters in the play creating the dramatic tension (CCSS RL 910 4).  Simultaneously, the Iago students are comparing how the other characters fit into their plan. 

    Next they have to explain if their character is a puppet or is master of their own will. There are two choices so they have to decide between two opposing claims about the character (CCSS W 9-10 1a)

    At the same time, the students who have Iago are developing questions to ask the other characters about their role in the Iago's plan.  

    Finally they will present, their character's part in the plan to the class.  However, it will not be a traditional presentation.  Instead of just sharing with the class, the analysis of the character, each group will have to answer questions about their character from Iago.  By having the students who play Iago ask the questions, the students will take ownership of their character and engage in student-lead exchange of ideas (CCSS SL 9-10 1a).

Closing: What's next?

5 minutes

After the question and answer session about Iago's plan, students will turn in their individual work and put the supplies away.  I will ask them if any of them have changed their minds about their characters.