SD Teacher's Curriculum Bank
Key Word Search
Home Full Unit of Study Listing Advanced Search Submit a New Unit
Unit Components
School District:Irene
Unit of Study Title:Understanding Shakespeare
Grade Level:9-12
Time Frame:2 weeks
Key Words:Shakespeare
Unit Designer:Rhonda Huisman
Unit Designer
Date Added:6/11/2002 3:09:29 PM
Date Last Revised:6/27/2002 1:19:19 PM
Topic Area:Communications/Language Arts
Peer Reviewer:Renee Walton
Peer Reviewer E-mail:Renee.

Brief Summary of Unit: Students will explore the biography and literature of William Shakespeare, discovering language and writing style, interpretation of text, and evolution of language including idioms, expressions, and vocabulary. Activities include a web quest, vocabulary quiz, daily journaling, KWHL chart, group work, and a board game development. Students will then be able to apply this knowledge to reading of an entire text by Shakespeare with a reasonable amount of understanding.
Students will Understand: How has the English language and our culture been affected by classical literature?

Link to Standards #1

Communications/Language Arts
Students will read at increasing levels of complexity for various purposes.
Students will write effectively for different audiences and specific purposes.
Students will use critical listening and viewing skills in various situations and for a variety of purposes.
Students will speak effectively in a variety of formal and informal situations.

Indicator:SD Content Standard Indicators:
Indicator 1: Students will use various reading cues/strategies to comprehend text, e.g., context, semantic, syntactic, and graphophonic cues.
Indicator 2: Students will evaluate patterns of organization, literary elements, and literary devices within various texts.
Indicator 3: Students will interpret and respond to a diversity of works representative of a variety of cultures and time periods.
Indicator 4: Students will access, synthesize, and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
9-12 Benchmarks:
a.use various cues/strategies to connect with text, predict message of text, and validate understanding of text.
b.analyze when a specific cue or strategy can be used most effectively to read for comprehension or to interpret specific materials.
c.use prior knowledge and experience to interpret, evaluate, and construct meaning from various texts.
9-12 Benchmarks:
a.analyze various literary works to understand how authors reflect or present different perspectives.
b.analyze a variety of literary works to validate and/or reconsider personal perspectives and interpretations.
c.utilize personal criteria and selection process to defend or justify the choice of specific reading materials.
Other Content Standards:9-12 Benchmarks:
a.access and use multiple information sources for a variety of purposes, e.g., Internet, CD-ROM, print materials, video materials, library.
b.evaluate the validity and reliability of various technical and functional materials.
c.compile and synthesize information to make reasonable and informed decisions

Other Components
Essential Questions to Guide this Unit and Focus Teaching and Learning: How has the English language changed over time? What is the effect of Shakespeare’s writing on language? On culture? How can I use information from a variety of sources to help in understanding literature?
Key Knowledge and Skills Students will Acquire: Students will be able to identify parts of speech and sentence structure/sequence.
Students will be able to identify figures of speech and expressions, and determine how these have changed over time.
Students will be able to use different resources such as the Internet and reference materials to research word origins and meanings, biographical information, culture, and historical factors.
Students will be able to work in a group effectively.
Assessment Plan: Formative: daily journals, KWHL chart, group work, researching, note taking

Summative: writing a formal business letter, vocabulary quiz, Web Quest project, unit test.
Learning Activities: The students will begin the unit by using a KWHL chart (What do they know about Shakespeare?). This can be done as a small group activity, but could be adapted to a trivia-type game. Students will research word etymology, expressions, etc. using a Web-quest (see note below) in a small group, which the final activity being a completed “Scavenger Hunt” of terms and biographical information about Shakespeare. Students will also be interpreting excerpts from several of Shakespeare’s plays and poems, through notes, group discussions, reference materials, and quizzes. The students will also be developing a proposal for a board game by writing a letter and devising marketing for the proposed game. Students will also be tested over all the materials covered in the unit.

Notes:Resources for this unit include:,, (this has a vocabulary list included—Web quest activity will be based somewhat on this site. I have obtained Amy Ulen’s permission to use the materials from her site) (this site offers a product that will interpret portions of text as you type it in—I have not tried it yet but am considering purchasing it). There are various other websites available for researching texts and interpretation of Shakespeare’s works.
I would suggest using a group-evaluation sheet, guidelines and topics for journaling, and ideas for implementing different learning styles into this unit (multiple intelligences), found at I will be including these links on my website.

Internet Resource Link:

Adapted from the the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by
Design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA. 1998.

SD Teacher's Curriculum Bank Disclaimer