Lesson Plan : Othello

Teacher Name:
 Mr. Quackenbush
Grade:
 Grade 11-12
Subject:
 Language Arts

Topic:
 William Shakespeare's tragic play "Othello"
Content:
 William Shakespeare’s Othello is set against the backdrop of a war between Venice and Turkey that occurred in the late sixteenth century. Othello is a well-respected general in the Venetian army. When Othello chooses the relatively inexperienced Michael Cassio as his lieutenant, the villain Iago vows revenge owing to his racism (according to some scholars) and jealousy. Iago uses Othello’s love of Desdemona as a means to his end, spreading deception to intimate that Othello has been cuckold by her.
Goals:
 1. Provide the students with exposure to the works of William Shakespeare. 2. Give the students background in understanding and interpreting Elizabethan English. 3. Expose the students to poetry in iambic pentameter. 4. Help them to comprehend ongoing themes in a text. 5. Examine the perspectives and motivations of characters in a work. 6. Reinterpret a text into another form of media.
Objectives:
 1. The students will demonstrate understanding of the concept of a "tragic flaw" in small group discussions drawing upon their prior knowledge with other texts and their own life experience. 2. The students will create a one page response on what they believe to be Othello's tragic flaw. 3. During whole class discussion, the students will discuss with the class how they believe Othello's tragic flaw is like that of another character from a text we have read this semester.
Materials:
 1. a video recording of an acted production of Othello, preferably a professional quality version. 2. A videorecording of the opera Otello 3. The website www.sparknotes.com
Introduction:
 To provide an introduction to the themes of Othello, the class will discuss jealousy and its effects and well as racism, attempting to tie the two subjects together. Both personal and literary examples are welcomed and encouraged.
Development:
 The teacher will explain the the core of this play is racism and jealousy, thus allowing the students to identify with the play to a greater degree.
Practice:
 The students will engage in small group discussion on their own experiences with racism/jealousy in literature or culture that has been read previously in the semester/school year. After rejoining the class, a discussion of what the groups uncovered will occur. Parts will be assigned and the first few scenes will be read in class.
Accommodations:
 The groups will be invisibly differentiated, in order to ensure that everyone will be able to contribute something. If necessary, students will reading difficulties will be welcome to listen to audiorecordings (higher performing students are welcome to create these audiorecordings, if they are so inclined) of the play or borrow a videorecording.
Checking For Understanding:
 The teacher will be available if the students encounter problems with the assignment. The point of it is not to cause the students undo stress, but allow them to demonstrate their knowledge in a creative way.
Closure:
 There will be a closing discussion

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