Shakespeare Lesson Plan   

To elect this project you must be either an undergraduate seeking certification as a secondary school English teacher or an M.A.T. or pre-M.A.T. student.

If you are not clear about the requirements of the assignment after reading this document, make an appointment to discuss it with me.

The lesson plan is not an opportunity to avoid reading Shakespeare scholarship.  In fact, it requires a critical introduction that must be longer (and use more sources!) than the term paper.  In addition, your long calendar (the notes that you will actually use when you teach your play) requires parenthetical references to the sources discussed in your critical introduction.

Do not underestimate the magnitude of this project.  A term paper is the less arduous route.  For your information, someone who recently elected this option turned in a 70-page portfolio.

If you prefer to do your lesson plan in a different format according to what you have learned in methods classes, you are welcome to propose modifications.  Under no circumstances, however, will anything less than the following be considered acceptable.

Submit all of the above in a ring notebook with dividers and tabs.  Your portfolio will probably be upwards of 50 pages.  Under no circumstances should you submit over 100 pages.  Longer does not necessarily mean better. Also remember that I will absolutely be looking for substantive improvement and augmentation in the final draft of the critical introduction. I will also look for references to your scholarship in the long calendar. 

The due dates on the calendar of assignments are all for the term paper project.  Here are the required equivalencies: 

Note:  Turn in at the end of the semester a revised set of materials.  I am particularly intent on having you revise your critical introduction. Improve your work; do not just run off a clean copy of your previous drafts.  I will not give you credit for the same draft twice, especially if it contains the same lower-order errors that I already corrected!  If you want to be sure that I notice your changes, include the earlier draft(s) in the appendix.

If you are not clear about the requirements of the assignment after reading this document, make an appointment to discuss it with me. I actually WANT you to come see me frequently so that we can normalize expectations and customize your lesson plan. Here is a description of each stage. 

Paper proposal:  Write two full pages (minimum).  Identify the play you would like to study this semester and give some preliminary thoughts about how you would like to teach it.  For example, you might identify 4 major areas (3 on the play, 1 on pedagogy) that could form the basis of your annotated bibliography and critical introduction.  If you have specific teaching strategies in mind or a particular approach that you find very appealing, this assignment would be a good place to begin discussing them.  You might also answer the following questions:  1) How will your lesson plan be customized?  2) How does your approach to your play match the pedagogical needs of high school students?  What things have you learned in the College of Education that might inform your lesson plan?

Short calendar, etc.:  A short calendar is a calendar or assignment sheet that you can photocopy for your students' use.  You should probably allot 10 class periods to your teaching of a Shakespeare play (two days per act).  You should build into your short calendar your writing assignments, quizzes, final test, a PowerPoint slide presentation on Shakespeare's life and times, and other assignments that you want to include.  All of these documents must also be included in hardcopy when you submit your short calendar.  Key things regarding the PP include not plagiarizing McDonald's book or whatever sources you use and having sufficient information on Shakespeare's life and works.  It will not be satisfactory only to have a half a dozen slides (think ~30 slides). It may help to organize the slide show this way:  1) Shakespeare's life, 2) his works, 3) technical things about poetry, 4) the Elizabethan age.  Please make sure that the slides are large enough that I can read them easily.  This assignment also provides you with an opportunity to match SC state standards with your goals for teaching a Shakespeare play.  There are a lot of different documents that need to be included here.  It will take you a couple of weeks to assemble them all, so you must be sure to begin early.  Caveat: I will take a dim view of materials that are taken from the Internet. Design your own stuff, people.

Annotated bibliography:  This assignment is the same for you lesson planners as it is for term paper writers, with one exception:  namely, that you need to find materials related to three major areas or emphases that will be the heart of your research, plus additional sources on pedagogy.  For example, if you were teaching Macbeth, you might select the main characters, the supernatural, and the play's relationship to history or Christianity, plus sources on teaching the play.  Thus the number of sources on the bibliography is greater than the number required for a term paper. Be aware that having only three sources per area in the critical introduction is a bare minimum. Doing a serious job means having closer to 20 sources at the bibliography stage.  Therefore, I suggest the following: 15 critical sources, plus 5 pedagogical sources. What should annotations consist of?  Be sure to include each critic's thesis/position in relation to one of your three main emphases.  In other words, you should indicate how you will use each source in your teaching.  Finally, it is a good idea to break the bibliography down into subcategories like characters, supernatural, Christianity, and pedagogy.

Critical introduction:  Here you must synthesize your sources' key ideas.  The main part of the document is something like the introduction that you might find at the beginning of a Signet Classic edition.  Do not talk about how you will use your sources in your lesson plan.  Talk about your sources' IDEAS.  Give a thesis that lays out your three areas of emphasis and previous pedagogical approaches (four sections, 12 pages minimum).  Then create a section heading for each one.  Within each section, proceed idea by idea, not source by source.  A good way to do so is to begin each paragraph with a sentence about an idea in relation to your play.  Then the next sentence can begin to address what a specific critic says about the idea.  This strategy will help ensure that you proceed according to ideas (synthesis) rather than proceeding source by source (mere summary).  The assignment is not a book report.  The assignment must be at least 12 full pages, plus a works cited list.  You must incorporate at least 9 critical sources and 3 pedagogical sources. Submit it to and give me a hardcopy. You must do the critical introduction BEFORE you do the long calendar.

Long calendar:  This document is your teaching notes.  It should therefore be organized in a way that corresponds to the 10-day structure in your short calendar.  Use clear headings to indicate the start of each class day.  For each day, give everything that you will need to teach the class.  This document should ensure that, when you finally teach your play, you are armed to the teeth.  Here is the basic requirement:  ask questions, give answers to those questions, and incorporate some of the research you did for your critical introduction.  It is essential to have connections between the long calendar and your research: include critical quotations and citations.  This is why you must do your critical introduction before you do your long calendar.  Be sure that your document is formatted so that it is easy to read while you speak with your students (use bullet points, indentation, and lots of white space).

Cover letter and final draft:  Use a 1" ring notebook to submit your final project.  Do not forget a PowerPoint show on Shakespeare's life.  It is a good idea to organize your notebook as follows:  1) cover letter, 2) final drafts of your documents, 2) an appendix for any additional documents.  If your critical introduction has been substantively revised, include the earlier draft with with my sheet of comments.  I do not need to see earlier drafts of other assignments.  Note:  The cover letter is your self-reflection on the work that you have done on your lesson plan this semester.