This close reading assessment features 8 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 3). 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, discern the tone of an excerpt in context, analyze details to draw reasoned inferences, 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.
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.
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.
More specifically, questions pertain to the following:
- 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 simile and metaphor
- Analyzing an excerpt to discern tone in context
- Analyzing textual details to discern and articulate their significance to the plot
- Articulating ideas with clarity and precision