Shakespeare: Delineating Arguments in Primary and Secondary Sources

3 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT visually display, present, and clarify information through the use of technology and research to strengthen answers to a question about Shakespeare.

Big Idea

Where are thou Shakespeare? Using primary and secondary sources to understand the life of a comedian.

Lesson Introduction

Who is William Shakespeare? Is he real? Does he go by a pseudo name? This unit introduces students to the world of Shakespeare and his obsessions with love, humor, and conflict. Students may not have any knowledge of Shakespeare since his presence emerges initially in high school literature. However, students will get a glimpse of Shakespeare, his life, and his take on love in the romantic comedy of Midsummer Night’s Dream.


10 minutes

To hook students into this lesson, the following question is on the whiteboard

 What comes to mind when you hear the name Shakespeare?

Since there is ONLY one answer (Romeo and Juliet) that students have for this question, I will allow them to shout it out in class. Since students only know of one Shakespearean text, studying this play will wet thier feet on his styles, likes, and dislikes about life. 

Guided Practice

10 minutes

Instead of teaching students about Shakespeare, they will research information about his life with a partner. I will spend this time going over the Shakespeare Group Project instruction, expectations, and grading rubric. I will end by answering initial questions students may have about this particular research assignment.

Independent Practice

80 minutes

Prior to reading a play written by Shakespeare, students will spend today researching the characteristics of comedies and the impact Shakespeare had on this dramatic genre. Students will have these links to start their search on Shakespeare's life.

Students have two class periods to research everything about the life of Shakespeare. Students can present information in various ways. Since this research is all about the life of Shakespeare, students can create anything as a tribute to the life of this legendary man.

Wrap-up: Presenting Shakespeare Projects

30 minutes

Students were asked to hold off presenting information about Shakespeare until the end of the unit. However, I posted student work samples of Shakespeare so peers could see what information was discovered and written about this playwright. See a student project here! Since I did not create a rubric for this activity, no markings will be seen on student work sample(s).