Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lesson Plan: Discovering Meaning in a Text

Here is a lesson plan I wrote for Shakespeare class.  We are reading "As You Like It".  I want to show the kids that they already possess tools that will help them interpret the text.

1.  What do you know of grammar? (Talk about nouns/verbs
These two parts of speech can help us discover the meaning of a text.)

2.  Using what we know about nouns and verbs, let's figure out these sentences from today's reading:

"Your virtues, gentle master, are sanctified and holy traitors to you." 

(Virtues are traitors. The rest of the sentence is Adam's praise of Orlando.)

My master is of churlish disposition and little recks to find the way to heaven by doing deeds of hospitality.” 

(Master is churlish. The rest is an example of his churlishness. “Churlish” is an adjective that describes Master, but we do not have to know that to see that it follows “Master is...”)

3.  Here is part of a sentence from the Declaration of Independence. It even works for our governing documents!

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes...” 

(Prudence will dictate. Governments should [not] be changed.  The rest of the words enhance or change the meaning of the sentence.  It is easier to see the changes when we highlight the main nouns and verbs.)

4.  Briefly introduce selection to be read.

5.  Read and narrate. 

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