Personalities in Othello
Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/Goldman/Othello/Contentspage.htm
in Othello is designed to enable students to gain a unique
understanding of the characters in William Shakespeare's play Othello.
Through a variety of activities, students learn that the major characters
are not what they seem or present themselves to be. Activities consist
of online research as well as deconstructing poetry, all for the purpose
of gaining a greater insight into the characters.
then assigned roles and spend about a week of in-class time preparing
to perform scenes from the play. They are expected to block the scene,
prepare costumes and props, and memorize their lines. Although not
every student has the role of Othello, Desdemona, Emilia, or Iago,
because they are working together, they all benefit from the knowledge
they have gained. Students are graded individually on blocking, memorization,
ability to stay in character, performance, props, and costumes.
the general skills and strategies and the stylistic and rhetorical
aspects of the writing process; employ grammatical and mechanical
conventions in written compositions; and gather information for research
purposes. They use the general skills and strategies of the reading
use reading skills and strategies to understand
and interpret a variety of literary and informational texts. They
utilize listening and speaking strategies for different purposes,
and use viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret
Required materials include a computer with Internet connection
and printer, along with copies of William Shakespeare's Othello.
This unit is suitable
for 10th grade students and older.
Although many students read the
plays of William Shakespeare, they often read the lines without fully
understanding them or the characters' motives. There is nothing more
valuable, insightful, and rewarding than their acting out the various
roles. Shakespeare’s characters are complex, but they are based
on human nature and, when analyzed, students come to see similarities
between them and people in their own lives. Uncovering Personalities
in Othello enables students to approach the study of Shakespeare
in a different way, giving them an opportunity to get inside the characters'
heads and then show their understanding through acting.
have read Shakespeare before and already completed Othello before starting this unit.
About the teacher:
Denise Goldman has been teaching English for six years. She is
a member of the New York City Writing Project and a recipient of an
Impact II grant. She received her master's degree in English Education
from NYU in 1999.