Reflection: Complex Tasks Ah, Love! Romeo's Words of Love...and moving forward with Act I - Section 4: Reading and Watching the end of Act I


I was talking today with my colleague, another English teacher, about the challenge of interpreting new standards (such as the Common Core.)  While we were talking, it occurred to me that writing CCSS-aligned lessons is so much easier when you are using Shakespeare (or comparable works.)  One of the challenges that middle school teachers face is connected to trying to "force" complexity and rigor when they are not supported by available texts.

Our textbook has some really nice selections in it, and it has some stories that -- while "nice" or pleasant to read -- really don't leave you with much to analyze.  Since we are moving away with the Reader/Response approach (How does this connect to your life?), we have to really reach to get something meaningful out of some of our selections.

While I accept that Shakespeare is too difficult for some kids, there are lots of tools that make it more accessible but keep the original text so that kids can use it as much as possible (like our Shakespeare Made Easy class set.)

Teaching Shakespeare feels purposeful and focused.  We have so many discussions about language and meaning, and the students feel empowered when they understand.  I know it's a lot of work, but it feels good to be doing something that you know is both "right" and necessary.

  Shakespeare and Common Core
  Complex Tasks: Shakespeare and Common Core
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Ah, Love! Romeo's Words of Love...and moving forward with Act I

Unit 2: Romeo and Juliet
Lesson 7 of 12

Objective: SWBAT use close reading strategies to discern Romeo's perspective on love.

Big Idea: Analyzing small pieces of text helps to reveal character.

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