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ELA G8:M2B

A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the Comedy of Control

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In this second module, students read and analyze Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As with any of Shakespeare’s play, many rich themes are present; in this module, students will focus primarily on the theme of control. Characters in this play are controlled by emotions, other characters, and even magic. They often attempt to manipulate others in a variety of ways. Students will examine why the characters seek control, how they try to control others, and the results of attempting to control others.

In Unit 1, students will build background knowledge as they explore the appeal and authorship of Shakespeare. Students will read much of the play aloud in a Drama Circle, and will frequently reread key passages to deepen their understanding. Students will analyze differences between a film version of the play and Shakespeare’s original script.

In Unit 2, students will study how Shakespeare drew upon Greek mythology as he crafted the play within the play. They will continue to closely study characters who attempt to control or manipulate others in the play, and write an argument essay about whether or not Shakespeare makes the case in A Midsummer Night’s Dream that it is possible to control someone else’s actions or not.

In Unit 3, students will write a “confessional” narrative from the point of view of one of the characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream to creatively explain his or her attempts to control or manipulate someone else in the play. This performance task centers on standards NYSP12 ELA CCLS RL.8.2, RL.8.3, W.8.3, W.8.4, W.8.9a, and W.11b.

Week-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • Why do Shakespeare’s works hold a universal appeal?
  • What motivates people to try to control each other’s actions?
  • Is it possible for people to control each other’s actions?

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English language arts standards as students read A Midsummer Night’s Dream and read informational text about the universal appeal of Shakespeare. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies Practices and Themes to support potential interdisciplinary connections to this compelling content.

These intentional connections are described below.

Big ideas and guiding questions are informed by the New York State Common Core K–8 Social Studies Framework:

  1. Time, Continuity, and Change

–   Considering competing interpretations of events

Texts

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Shakespeare Set Free: Teaching Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth & A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by Peggy O’Brien
ISBN: 978-0-671-76046-5
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
by William Shakespeare
One per student
ISBN: 978-0743482813

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, film
by Michael Hoffman
1999
Shakespeare’s Universal Appeal Examined,” in DNA
by Jonathan Bate
DNA, 2012
The Lure of Shakespeare
by Robert W. Butler
Calliope, 2005
The Shakespeare Shakedown
by Simon Schama
Newsweek, 2011
Top Ten Reasons Shakespeare Did Not Write Shakespeare
by Keir Cutler, Ph.D
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.,
ISBN: B00BV7DVVG
The Harvest That Never Came
by Aaron Shepard
Cricket, 1993
"Pyramus and Thisbe"
by Thomas Bulfinch
http://www.kundaliniawakeningsystems1.com/downloads/thomas-bulfinchs-mythology-age-of-fable-vols1&2.pdf,

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading—Literature`Long-Term Learning Targets
  • RL.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text.
  • RL.8.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of literary text.
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot).
  • I can objectively summarize literary text.
  • RL.8.3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
  • RL.8.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in literary text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings)
  • I can analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone (analogies or allusions).
  • RL.8.5. Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
  • I can compare and contrast the structure of multiple texts.
  • I can analyze how different structures impact meaning and style of a text.
  • RL.8.6. Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
  • I can analyze how differences in points of view between characters and audience create effects in writing.
  • RL.8.7. Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
  • I can analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production follows the text or script of the same literary text.
  • I can evaluate the choices made by director or actors in presenting an interpretation of a script.
  • RL.8.9. Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
  • I can analyze the connections between modern fiction, myths, traditional stories, or religious works (themes, patterns of events, character types).
  • RL.8.11. Interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama, artistically and ethically by making connections to: other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.

a.  Self-select text to develop personal preferences.

b.  Establish and use criteria to classify, select, and evaluate texts to make informed judgments about the quality of the pieces.

  • I can interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama artistically by making connections to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, time periods, personal events, and situations.
  • I can select texts to read to develop personal choices in reading.
  • I can evaluate and make informed judgments about the quality of texts based on a set of criteria.
CCS Standards: Reading—Informational TextsLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RI.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of literary text.
  • RI.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • I can determine the central ideas of an informational text.
  • I can analyze the development of a central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to supporting ideas).
  • I can objectively summarize informational text.
  • RI.8.5. Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.
  • I can analyze the structure of a specific paragraph in a text (including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept).
  • RI.8.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in informational text.
  • I can analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
  • RI.8.7. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different media (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
  • I can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different media to present an idea.
  • RI.8.8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
  • I can identify the argument and specific claims in a text.
  • I can evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text (assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims).
  • I can identify when irrelevant evidence is used.
CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.8.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a.  Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

b.  Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

c.  Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

d.  Establish and maintain a formal style.

e.  Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

a.  Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b.  Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c.  Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.

d.  Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

e.  Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
  • W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.8.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.
  • W.8.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a.  Apply grade 8 reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”).

b.  Apply grade 8 reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).

  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.
  • W.8.11. Create a presentation, artwork, or text in response to a literary work with a commentary that identifies, connects, and explains divergences from the original.

a.  Make well-supported, personal, cultural, textual, and thematic connections across genres.

b.  Create poetry, stories, plays, and other literary forms (e.g., videos, artwork).

  • I can create a presentation, piece of artwork, or a text in response to a piece of literature.
  • I can comment on how my work connects to and diverges from the original literature.
CCS Standards: Speaking and ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a.  Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b.  Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c.  Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

d.  Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about eighth-grade topics, texts, and issues.
  • I can express my own ideas clearly during discussions.
  • I can build on others’ ideas during discussions.
CCS Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a.  Explain the function of verbals (gerunds, participles, infinitives) in general and their function in particular sentences.

b.  Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.

c.  Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood.

d.  Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.

  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a.  Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break.

b.  Use an ellipsis to indicate an omission.

c.  Spell correctly.

  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
  • L.8.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a.  Interpret figures of speech (e.g., verbal irony, puns) in context.

b.  Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

c.  Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

  • I can analyze figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

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