This close reading assessment features 9 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 3, Scene 2). Hamlet’s philosophy on performing arts and appreciation for Horatio’s emotional regulation are emphasized in the selected passage. By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations, examine word choice 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 about autobiographical parallel, 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.
More specifically, questions pertain to the following:
- Citing textual evidence in support of a claim
- Analyzing character behaviors to draw logical inferences about character development and motivations
- Analyze complex vocabulary and phrasing in context to determine meaning and intended effect
- Analyze an excerpt to discern tone in context
- Analyze dialogue to draw well informed inferences about Shakespeare’s philosophy on the purposes of dramatic performances