Examining the Fall of Cassio and other Character's Flaws in Othello Act II sc iii

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Objective

SWBAT analyze how characters develop over the course of a text by examining how the main characters in Othello fall into Iago's plan.

Big Idea

Don't drink too much! Students examine the folly of Cassio's inebriated behavior, Othello's reaction, and Iago's glory.

Let's Get Started: Objective Summary of Act II, sc iii

10 minutes

Today we begin with an objective summary of act II, scene iii (RL 9-10. 2).  I ask for volunteers to read their summaries. Students wrote their objective summaries in their dialectical journal for homework. I want to make sure all the students start from the same foundation of events in this scene. We listen to several students read their summaries.  I ask the class if anything is missing as long as we are all in agreement that the basic sequence of events in the scene are covered.  It is time to move on to the discussion. 

Building Knowledge: Student Led Inquiry on Act II, sc iii

30 minutes

Students are sitting in their play groups.  These are the groups they formed at the beginning of this unit when we held the character party.  Since we began reading Othello, each class that begins a new scene in the play, the students participate in a discussion of the new section of the play.  This small group discussion is the foundation of their analysis of Othello. They will use the text-dependent questions they wrote in their journals to discuss scene iii. Each student had to write at least three questions.  Each student asks one question and after it is answered, then the next person in the group asks a question until everyone has asked all of their questions (SL 9-10. 1c).  

Today, I guess that the majority of the questions will focus on why Cassio stabs Montano? And the aftermath of this action.  The response to question must contain evidence from the text (RL 9-10. 1). 

I walk around and monitor the discussion. I provide guidance if a student needs some help with wording their question or I make sure the answers are grounded in the text. 

Building Knowledge: Why did Cassio Drink too Much? Characterization in Scene iii

40 minutes

From general questions about Othello Act II, scene iii, we move into an in depth analysis of the characters.  At this point I ask the students to move from their play group to their character group. The purpose of the character group is for the students to engage in an in-depth analysis of one character and then teach it to the rest of the class.  The play groups are made up on one representative of each character group. Each student has a character that they are responsible for analyzing in their journal.  Now they come together as a group to discuss how their character has evolved since the beginning of the play (RL 9-10 3).  They have already started a text-based character description on a giant post-it.  Each group  gets their post-it off the wall so they can add information to it from Act II. 

Once they have finished their discussion and added to their post-it, they present their findings to the class so the other students can ask questions and take notes on the characters such as analysis of CassioOthello, and Iago (SL 9-10. 4).

Wrap Up: Lingering Questions and Homework

5 minutes

For the next class, students have to read Act III and complete their journal.  The journal activities are the basis of our class work in the next class.  On the way out of class, the students hang their giant post-its on the whiteboard.