We'll start class with our usual 10 minutes of reading time. I will read with the students today.
Due to lab space constriction, my teaching partner and I will be splitting the class into half today. This means I will be teaching the same lesson twice, which rarely happens. I will be curious to see how this impacts the students focus.
I feel like I have to be flexible a lot in my job. Today was no different. When I tried to get them settled down after we split the group in half, they expressed their frustration/overwhelmed state of mind with their assigned reading from Othello.
As such, I told them I could adjust my plans a little to allow them more reading time, which we did. I also wrote a to-do list (finish Act 2, start Act 3 and complete the Act 2 dichotomy graphic organizer) so they had some help with prioritizing what they need to accomplish by tomorrow.
In the interest of time, we will do this activity as a whole class discussion. I will ask the students to help me create a character chart on the main white boards in the room and will use their observations and details as the basis for discussion about the relationships and conflicts between the major and minor characters we have met so far.
This will be the a bit of scaffolding to help students to analyze the development of complex characters over the text as a whole (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3 ).
For our wrap up today, I will actually give them some extra reading time to get a bit of their Shakespeare reading homework done. I will let them vote on if they want to do it out loud in small groups or on their own.
Since we added all our reading time the beginning of class, I only had a few minutes left at the end of class. During this time, I had students share the cool tools/resources they've found/used to help with their comprehension of Othello...and they had some really great ideas!
A few had downloaded an app for their phones that reads the play for them. A few others said they had done some searches for stage plays on Youtube and had been reading along while watching. Others said they had been using the No Fear Shakespeare modern translation online.
I'm sure there are conflicting opinions on how much we should encourage students to seek resources beyond the text itself. Here are some thoughts on that...