This Lesson was created to use in conjunction with materials in Clusive [https://clusive.cast.org], a free, online learning environment that makes materials flexible and accessible. The Lesson is designed for students in grades 6-8, and targets ELA standards as well as SEL skills of self-awareness and learner agency. As you use this lesson, students will be guided to recognize, understand, and apply key elements of a mystery story, tools that they can use to build learner agency, self-awareness, and comprehension
The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.
This unit uses William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing as a vehicle to help students consider how a person is powerless in the face of rumor and how reputations can alter lives, both for good and for ill. They will consider comedy and what makes us laugh. They will see how the standards of beauty and societal views toward women have changed since the Elizabethan Age and reflect on reasons for those changes. As students consider the play, they will write on the passages that inspire and plague them and on topics relating to one of the themes in the play. Finally, they will bring Shakespeare’s words to life in individual performances and in group scene presentations.
Students read Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing .
Students read two Shakespearean sonnets and excerpts from an Elizabethan morality handbook dealing with types of women, and they respond to them from several different perspectives.
For each work of literature, students do some writing. They learn to write a sonnet; create a Prompt Book; complete a Dialectical Journal; and write an analytical essay about a topic relating to a theme in the play.
Students see Shakespeare’s play as it was intended to be seen: in a performance. They memorize 15 or more lines from the play and perform them for the class. Students take part in a short scene as either a director or an actor.
These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts.
What are society’s expectations with regard to gender roles?
Does humor transcend time? Do we share the same sense of humor as our ancestors?
How do we judge people?
How important is reputation?
BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT (Cold Read)
During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.
The Branagh version of Much Ado About Nothing is available on DVD through Netflix and for streaming through Amazon. Other versions are also available on both sites.
In this lesson, you will administer a Benchmark Assessment (Cold Write) to determine what students already know about argument writing. Students will respond to a prompt, and then you will assess each student’s argument, using the scoring guide, as a measure of early work. Students will have opportunities to write arguments throughout the year, during which they will have instruction on how to revise and edit their pieces. The information you gain from scoring this benchmark piece of writing will guide you in tailoring your writing instruction to individual student needs.
Join a group of middle-school students on a visit to a laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where they experiment with "mystery mud" and learn about the relationships between magnetism, particle motion, and changes in the state of matter.
This handout is a short set of questions for students to use to explore the elements of the mystery genre. When they use thisy, students will be able toList core elements of mystery storiesIdentify how the core elements of a mystery story are manifested in a story they are currently reading.