Lesson Plan : Character Traits

Teacher Name:
 Chad Cobb
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Language Arts

Topic:
 The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
Content:
 The Tragedy of Julius Caesar is one of the three to four Shakespearean works students traditionally read in high school. Like most of the works of Shakespeare, this play provides an opportunity to study characters and their motives. Indeed, character analysis is an important skill for students to perfect in a high school literature course, especially if students can then write an in-depth analytical essay based on their findings. The four characters of Marcus Brutus, Marc Antony, Cassius, and Julius Caesar provide good choices for such a study. As this character examination unfolds, students should discover both honorable and dishonorable attributes of these characters which then could serve as the foundation for activities that may allow students to consider key character education issues.
Goals:
 1. To examine the attitudes, motives, and basic character of at least one of the major literary figures in the play. 2. To culminate that examination in a final significant activity. 3. To internalize those findings in a meaningful way that might impact student's own choices and understandings.
Objectives:
 The students will be able to: 1. identify the primary motivation behind these main character's actions. 2. quote lines that substantiate their analysis of that character. 3. define the idea of the tragic hero and identify which character best fits that description. 4. produce a culminating project that presents the findings of this study.
Materials:
 copy of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar.
Introduction:
 Featured Character Traits: courage, responsibility, perseverance, integrity, respect, trustworthiness, fairness and justice, self-discipline, citizenship.
Development:
 This activity requires specificity and precision. Students should be able to quote exactly and find such quotations with ease.
Practice:
 After reading a brief portion of the play (perhaps Act I), Students could choose which of the four characters they find intriguing. (All four are introduced in Act I, so some information is immediately available.) Students are asked to justify their choice.
Checking For Understanding:
 Most of the aforementioned ideas result in assessment-type activities which the students will recieve a grade. However, students are to focus mainly on the character traits that pervade the play, then I want to lead students to list the character traits evident in the play. Students should be reminded that character can be learned from immoral and unethical behavior, as well as from the moral, ethical examples. Some of the obvious traits in this play are: respect, courage, integrity, fairness and justice, self-discipline, and citizenship. A reader response writing or a journal entry may be an appropriate way for students to begin to internalize the ideas of this unit.
Closure:
 Ask students to write a journal entry about the concept.

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