The Recitation of Antony's Speech Jig (Day 1 of 2)

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SWBAT show understanding of Antony's rhetoric and Shakespeare's language by reciting a key passage and explaining it through question and answer.

Big Idea

This focus on movement to aid recitation is ultimate swag--Shakespeare style!

Introduce Antony's Speech and Recitation Motions

20 minutes

The entire class creates a set of movements--a routine, if you will- that will accompany Antony's speech so that we can memorize it, analyze the language choices (RL.9-10.4) in it, comment on the rhetorical choices (RI.9-10.6) and compare those choices to contemporary speeches by J.K. Rowling and Bono from U2.  It all starts with memorizing the speech in order to gain some familiarity with it.  I have found, in the past, that students will memorize a speech or text better when hand motions or other body-mind cues are included in the process, and I have also found that many students' analyses are helped by memorization, as well.  

This activity is well worth the effort, but it takes some persuasion and insistence on the part of the teacher to try something different like this.  The students, at least some of them, will be well out of their comfort zones on this. 

Groups Annotate Antony's Speech

20 minutes

There is a reciprocal relationship between familiarity with Antony's speech (i.e. memorization) and analysis of it (i.e. rhetorical analysis), so we will work both aspects of analysis in turn.  In this section of the lesson, students will return to their groups to use a collaborative google doc to add questions, paraphrase comments, objectively summarize the section (RL.9-10.2), and develop inferential insights on Antony speech (RL.9-10.1). Please see the sample  notes on antony's speech from group notes on google docs, and comments on Antony's speech that I projected synchronously for the class to see.

Wrap-up: Why is this important?

5 minutes

The students are to work on their memorization overnight.  They will have an additional class day to perfect this, but the deadline is approaching for this pressure-filled assessment.  Tomorrow, we will add more motions to our group routine for this speech, and some students may be ready to perform (early) their memorization.


For now, I will ask questions and engage students in a substantial processing discussion (SL.9-10.1):

1.) Why do think Antony's speech is important in the play?

2.) How can memorizing it help us to do the analysis--and vice versa?

3.) How well did we do as a class in constructing our "jig" or routine to go along with the memorization, and how can we make that activity even better?