Students will be able to identify Casca’s omens and how they foreshadow future events in Julius Caesar.
Students will be able to synthesize research to generate a thesis statement and outline of their research paper on Ancient Rome.
When my high school building was built, they chose, for whatever reason, to not put individual telephones in the classroom. While this does encourage exercise – I have to walk down the hall to visit with a colleague – it does make private communication difficult. All communication is done via the PA system in each room. For example, when a student is called to sign out for whatever reason, rather than a discreet phone call or even a delivered pass, it’s “BEEP Mrs. H?” “Yes?” “Can Johnny Smith be sent to the office to sign out?” “I guess.” “Thank you.” VERY disruptive. Anyway, if I need assistance, I have a button on the wall. If I push it, a little window pops up on the receptionist’s computer in the main office and she’ll call to see what I need. If I push it five times quickly, a red “emergency” window pops up.
Anyway, I’ve had no need yet to use this button, but apparently today, somehow, it got “stuck”. I swear I didn’t touch it, and none of my students were behind my desk. About halfway through my first periods rather stirring rendition of Casca’s omens (slave’s hand on fire, owl during daylight, lion in the street, and the like), a student office worker appears at my door to tell me my button is stuck. Apparently the front office had been listening to my class’s performance on speakerphone for the better part of the last ten minutes. As mortified as my students were, at least it was an exciting, learner-focused lesson. That’s what we’re going for, lessons with less teacher talk and more student initiative. I guess they got it unstuck, but it reminded me to take care what I say…you never know who might be watching…? Or just stay away from the fickle button.
Also, I’m trying to get my students off of “Jesus syndrome.” I’ve dubbed it that in my head because often their answers to questions sound rote and repetitive, often like how my Pre-K Sunday School class answers every question with “Jesus!” “Who helps us when we’re hurt?” “Jesus!” “Who did God give the ten commandments to?” “Jesus!” You get the drift. My sophomores’ answers tend to go along the lines of, “He didn’t like him!” “How did Casca feel about Caesar?” “He didn’t like him!” “How did the Roman people respond when Caesar refused the crown?” “They didn’t like him!” Most of the time they’re wrong, or not completely wrong but they just don’t go deep enough. We’re pushing the bar a little at a time. “He didn’t like him” may have worked for To Kill a Mockingbird (followed with, obviously, “because he’s black!” no matter which character we were talking about), but Shakespeare is a little more nuanced than that. Slowly but surely.