Materials Review 3 for 11th grade/English III

Materials Review 3 for 11th grade/English III

I would use this as a introductory activity to a Shakespeare text or unit for an 11th grade English III class. (The Common Core State Standards require that students study one Shakespeare play each year of high school.) This activity helps to achieve the following Common Core State Standards:

  1. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1b: Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
  2. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
  3. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5: Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


I would use this in a way to “break the ice” for students before delving into what is dreaded by high school and college students alike – Shakespeare. This activity is a simple game where students would use their own knowledge to figure out whether the line is from a Shakespearean play or a modern rap song. I would have the class do this all together so they can use not only their knowledge but learn from their classmates as well. By making this a class activity, there only needs to be access to one computer and the class will be practicing communication and discussion skills to come to a consensus together. Students will be activating their prior knowledge of language and the Elizabethan time period to analyze the words to correctly categorize the snippets of text. I think this is a fun and engaging activity for students to do before they start with Shakespeare to show them that they can actually understand the text. Millions of high school kids all over the country listen to rap music with complex lyrics, double entendres, sexual innuendo, metaphor and figurative language (all of these are also conventions of Shakespeare’s work) every day, so I think this is a way to use something they’re familiar with to scaffold their learning and build their confidence up before starting on something more difficult. 

As a result of this activity, students should…..

  • Know: that they can understand Shakespeare’s work just as easily as they can the music they listen to on their own time
  • Understand: the similarities between the music and art that they see/listen to and that of Shakespeare, that Shakespeare’s work isn’t indecipherable jabber but has a relevance even to today’s world
  • Do: work together as a class to discuss the elements of the language and democratically come to an agreement, think of Shakespeare like something they are already familiar with, be more familiar with the style of Shakespearean language

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