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Lesson Plan

An Introduction to Julius Caesar Using Multiple-Perspective Universal Theme Analysis

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An Introduction to Julius Caesar Using Multiple-Perspective Universal Theme Analysis

Grades 9 – 12
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Jenna Copper, Ph.D.

New Wilmington, Pennsylvania

Publisher

National Council of Teachers of English

 

Student Objectives

Session One

Session Two

Session Three

Session Four

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will:

  • draw conclusions about the function of universal themes in different scenarios.
  • examine the connection between multiple perspectives and universal themes when reading different perspectives.
  • create a six-panel comic strip depicting a betrayal scene from Roman perspectives.
  • present a comic strip justifying their betrayal scenes from Roman perspectives.

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Session One

  1. Ask students to freewrite about a time in their lives when they felt betrayed.
  2. Discuss the responses as a class noting feelings associated with the betrayal and interventions that could have prevented the betrayal.
  3. Distribute the Scenarios Guide making sure that every third student has a different scenario.
  4. Instruct students to read their scenarios silently and complete Part I of the Scenarios Guide.
  5. Ask for a volunteer to read the 21st century scenario and project it on the board using the Multiple-Perspectives PowerPoint for the rest of the class to follow along.
  6. Discuss Part I for the 21st century scenario from the Scenarios Guide.
  7. Repeat steps five and six for the 20th century scenario and 19th century scenario.
  8. Group students according to their scenarios creating three groups.
  9. Instruct students to brainstorm and record at least three inventions that could have prevented the betrayal in their scenario.
  10. Reconvene as a class to discuss the interventions for each scenario.
    • What inventions could be used for each scenario?
    • What are the resulting outcomes from these interventions?
    • How would these interventions improve the situations for the characters?
    • Why is it important to analyze situations and interventions from your own life experiences?
    • How could these reflections help you and/or characters in the future?
  11. Project the definition of a universal theme and solicit examples from the class.
  12. Ask students to revisit their freewrite to develop three interventions that could have prevented the betrayal.

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Session Two

  1. Ask students to create their own modern-day betrayal scenario that has not already been discussed.
  2. Elicit discussion about betrayal in today’s society.
  3. Handout the Comic Strip Assignment Checklist, Comic Strip Assignment Rubric, Comic Strip Planning Sheet, and the Comic Strip Example.
  4. Review the assignment with the students.
  5. Give students time to assess the Comic Strip Example.
  6. Review their findings being sure to highlight the inadequacies, such as the failure to include a Planning Sheet, captions, six panels, and enough detail to fully understand the example of betrayal.
  7. Discuss how this comic strip could be improved, such as adding three more panels, details, captions, callouts, and props.
  8. Divide class into small groups.
  9. Give each group a computer with Internet access.
  10. Give the students the remainder of the period to research Roman history and complete the Comic Strip Planning Sheet.

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Session Three

  1. Ask students to list five new facts they learned about Roman history.
  2. Discuss these facts as a class.
  3. Give students the period to complete the comic strip using the Comic Creator.
  4. Instruct the students to print out the comic.
  5. Instruct students to review for their comic strip presentation when complete.

 

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Session Four

  1. Give students ample time to review their comic strips and presentation plans.
  2. Handout the Presentation Reflection Sheet and instruct students to complete it for each group presentation.
  3. Instruct students to present their comic strips one group at time.
  4. After each presentation, elicit feelings of betrayal and intervention ideas for each comic scenario.
  5. Instruct students to complete the Presentation Reflection Sheet for their own presentation and turn it in when completed.
  6. At the end of the lesson, review universal themes and multiple perspectives with a series of open-ended questions, such as:
  • How did we see the universal theme of betrayal from several perspectives?
  • What characteristics make betrayal a universal theme?
  • What other types of universal themes do we see in our lives?
  • How are universal themes helpful to us?
  • How is it helpful to think about different perspectives?

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EXTENSIONS

  • After completing this activity, analyze universal themes from other stories read throughout the year.
  • After reading The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, students should analyze the multiple perspectives of different characters in the play.  A related ReadWriteThink lesson that could supplement this lesson is What Did George Post Today? Learning About People of the American Revolution Through Facebook. For this assignment, students could create Facebook-like pages for characters in The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.  This type of role play with the characters could broaden the students understanding of critical perspectives and universal themes.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

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