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Fall 2015

Lesson Plan 3
Length 40-60 minute class period
Three Week Unit on Much Ado About Nothing
Content Area Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of
the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an
objective summary of the text.
Student Learning Objectives:
Students will be able to follow a literary theme throughout a work. Students will be able to engage
in a discussion on the theme's necessity throughout the work. Students will be able to summarize
and have an opinion about what critics say on the literary theme.
Language Objective(s):
Students will read the text to themselves.
Students will discuss in class summaries of articles.
Students will write summaries and reflections on different critical takes on a theme.
Population: Students are 10th graders at a suburban, private school. The neighborhood is
predominately middle-class and a majority white, though about 30% of the student body identifies
as something other than whitemostly African-American or Hispanic. There are roughly as many
male students as female students, though the ratio varies from class to class.
Rationale: Ben Johnson famously penned, He was not of an age, but for all time! Shakespeare is
important for high schoolers to study for many reasons. He had such an influence on the English
languageinventing roughly 2,000 words, crafting some of the most beautiful poetry and prose in
the language, and proving he was a master of sound, wit, and words. Reading Shakespeare
scholarship gives students an idea of how great this topic is in the academic world. It also allows
them to engage in a scholarly discussion while in an informal setting.
Activities
Whole Class Summary and Analysis (~25 min)
1) Teacher will ask students why they think people care about different themes in literature. A short
discussion on why and what scholars do will ensue (answers the question, why does this matter?).
2) Teacher will project/ pass out copies of an excerpt of Richard Henzes article Deception in
Much Ado About Nothing.
3) As a class, students and teacher will read the excerpt and make a brief summary of his argument.
4) Students will engage in a discussion about what he says on the topic of deception:
Is Henze right? Is deception necessary in Much Ado? Can there be such a thing as deception that
undeceives like he argues there is? What parts of the article dont you agree with?
Individual/ Pair Summary and Analysis (~25 min)
5) Students will be given excerpts from another scholarly article (class will be divided in two; so
three articles will be covered altogether including the Henze article).
6) Teacher will give students time in class to read the second article on deception in Much Ado
About Nothing and they will follow the same process the class followed for the Henze article
except that they will be writing their opinion as a one page argument or reflection
instead of engaging in a class discussion.
7) Anything not finished in class will be homework.
Materials:

Richard Henze article


Two other scholarly article that high schoolers could handle reading (TBD)
Paper/ pencils for underlining or taking notes
Whiteboard and dry erase markers
Computer for typing up summary and opinion piece
Projector
Internet access

Evaluation/Assessment:
Teacher will informally assess what students know about literary themes and analysis by the
discussion at the beginning of class. Also as the class period progresses, the teacher will be able to
tell the overall class ability to summarize and form opinions based on someone elses opinion. On
the more formal and individual side, the summaries and arguments/ reflections the students will
submit allow the teacher to evaluate how individuals summarize and argue their thoughts.