Shakespeare's Julius Caesar: Close Read for Act 1, Scene 1

This close reading assessment features 10 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Act 1, Scene 1). By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations, examine word choices to discern meaning, draw logical inferences about the significance of given details, analyze details to draw reasoned inferences, apply knowledge of literary devices with emphasis on metaphor, and articulate ideas in writing with clarity and precision. An answer key with detailed rationale for each correct option is included, as are Word Document and PDF versions of the assessment.

This resource aligns well to Academic Literacy Project teaching principles. These worksheets serve well as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode language and pose/respond to questions relating to plot, broad topics, and character development, demonstrating an ability to analyze how complex characters transform and advance the plot and themes by applying logic and citing compelling, meaningful textual evidence. They will also evaluate their peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to advance claims, clarifying or challenging unclear ideas. Using this resource for structured guidance, students, ultimately, will present information, conclusions, and supporting textual evidence clearly, concisely, and appropriately, thereby helping their peers – and teacher – comprehend their thinking.

In addition to helping students gain deeper understanding of the material and greater confidence in their ability to read and comprehend complex texts, this resource was designed to prepare students for ACT-style questioning.

Specifically, questions pertain to the following:

  • Using the context of a passage to discern aspects of the author’s craft (the incorporation of trade-related puns among commoners)
  • Analyzing character statements and behaviors to draw logical inferences about character development and motivations
  • Analyzing complex vocabulary and phrasing in context to determine meaning and intended effect
  • Applying knowledge of literary devices to the text with an emphasis on metaphor and hyperbole
  • Analyzing text to determine its primary purpose
  • Understanding historical context
  • Analyzing textual details to discern and articulate their significance to the plot
  • Articulating ideas with clarity and precision
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Created: Dec 14, 2019

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