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An Introduction to Julius Caesar Using Multiple-Perspective Universal Theme Analysis
|Grades||9 – 12|
|Estimated Time||Four 50-minute sessions|
New Wilmington, Pennsylvania
- 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.
- Ask students to freewrite about a time in their lives when they felt betrayed.
- Discuss the responses as a class noting feelings associated with the betrayal and interventions that could have prevented the betrayal.
- Distribute the Scenarios Guide making sure that every third student has a different scenario.
- Instruct students to read their scenarios silently and complete Part I of the Scenarios Guide.
- 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.
- Discuss Part I for the 21st century scenario from the Scenarios Guide.
- Repeat steps five and six for the 20th century scenario and 19th century scenario.
- Group students according to their scenarios creating three groups.
- Instruct students to brainstorm and record at least three inventions that could have prevented the betrayal in their scenario.
- 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?
- Project the definition of a universal theme and solicit examples from the class.
- Ask students to revisit their freewrite to develop three interventions that could have prevented the betrayal.
- Ask students to create their own modern-day betrayal scenario that has not already been discussed.
- Elicit discussion about betrayal in today’s society.
- Handout the Comic Strip Assignment Checklist, Comic Strip Assignment Rubric, Comic Strip Planning Sheet, and the Comic Strip Example.
- Review the assignment with the students.
- Give students time to assess the Comic Strip Example.
- 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.
- Discuss how this comic strip could be improved, such as adding three more panels, details, captions, callouts, and props.
- Divide class into small groups.
- Give each group a computer with Internet access.
- Give the students the remainder of the period to research Roman history and complete the Comic Strip Planning Sheet.
- Ask students to list five new facts they learned about Roman history.
- Discuss these facts as a class.
- Give students the period to complete the comic strip using the Comic Creator.
- Instruct the students to print out the comic.
- Instruct students to review for their comic strip presentation when complete.
- Give students ample time to review their comic strips and presentation plans.
- Handout the Presentation Reflection Sheet and instruct students to complete it for each group presentation.
- Instruct students to present their comic strips one group at time.
- After each presentation, elicit feelings of betrayal and intervention ideas for each comic scenario.
- Instruct students to complete the Presentation Reflection Sheet for their own presentation and turn it in when completed.
- 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?
- 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.
- Assess the Comic Strip Planning Sheet to ensure that the students’ comic strips demonstrated thoughtful analysis and preparation.
- Assess students or groups using the Comic Strip Assignment Rubric.
- Review the Presentation Reflection Sheet to informally assess the students’ understanding of universal themes and multiple perspectives.