My classes meet in 100-minute block sessions every other day. The activities in this lesson take about one class period to complete.
The lesson below outlines writing and collaborative discussion activities on Macbeth Act I, Scene iv through Act II, Scene iii. We use book copies of No Fear Shakespeare Macbeth (SparkNotes, 2003) and clips with original text subtitles from the DVD film "Macbeth" by the Royal Shakespeare Company (PBS, 2010) explore the text.
Since this is our first class in four days, I want students to draw on what they remember about Macbeth. I allow students time to write down what they remember and then share their writing with a partner. Students discuss their writings (Student Work: Warm-Up), going back to the text to fill comprehension gaps and clarify interpretations. We debrief as a class with students noting the following significant events in the plot:
We are relocated to a different classroom due to testing but learn upon arrival that this classroom does not have a working sound system. My students ask me to play the "Macbeth" clips with original subtitles, and they promise to be quiet so that they can hear the audio from my laptop. I play the clips; students can follow along with No Fear Shakespeare: Macbeth, which has the original text on the left side and the modern English translation on the right. I stop after each scene to review the plot and ask discussion questions (MACBETH Discussion Questions). Students go back to the text to support their answers.
Our discussion touches on some central ideas in the text:
For the ticket out, I ask students to list five observations or questions (Student Work: Ticket Out) they have about the text, including matters the text leaves uncertain. Some observations and questions students have are as follows:
I will use student work to guide exploration of Macbeth in future class meetings.