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Bespoke ELA

The Bespoke ELA Classroom is an online resource center for secondary curriculum solutions. I've always had a connection to the written word through songwriting, screenwriting, and teaching English. I started Bespoke ELA after teaching high school for 10+ years in Dallas, Chicago, and New York City because I wanted to share skills-driven resources with other teachers to meet the needs of students from all walks of life. In my spare time, a little girl and two pups like to call me "mom."

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The Bespoke ELA Classroom is an online resource center for secondary curriculum solutions. I've always had a connection to the written word through songwriting, screenwriting, and teaching English. I started Bespoke ELA after teaching high school for 10+ years in Dallas, Chicago, and New York City because I wanted to share skills-driven resources with other teachers to meet the needs of students from all walks of life. In my spare time, a little girl and two pups like to call me "mom."
"The Pardoner's Tale" Discussion Questions

"The Pardoner's Tale" Discussion Questions

This question set was RECENTLY UPDATED in 2018! This discussion activity contains level one (plot), level two (interpretation), and level three (universal) questions and also asks students to create their own questions for each level. There are 20 questions total that will take students to a deeper level analysis of Chaucer's story. This is an excellent way to get students involved with the "Pardoner's Tale" in an interactive way that makes the story relevant to today's world.
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Famous Love Letters: A Close Reading & Creative Lesson for Valentine's Day

Famous Love Letters: A Close Reading & Creative Lesson for Valentine's Day

Check out BespokeClassroom.com for more products and ideas for teaching secondary English Language Arts! Product Description This lesson by Bespoke ELA is a great lesson to use in February to celebrate Valentine's Day in a unique and creative way that is sure to engage students! Task: To analyze how famous love letters use language, literary and rhetorical devices, and imagery to convey a message about love. Enduring Understandings: Students will understand how language, literary and rhetorical devices, and imagery affect a letter's meaning. Students will learn about famous people from history through the lens of their relationships and love letters. Students will understand how to construct an argument backed by evidence. Students will understand how to use language, literary and rhetorical devices, and imagery to create a message in the format of a letter. Materials: Copies of Famous Love Letters "Famous Love Letters" Debate Activity "Love Letter Task Cards" Construction paper, markers, stickers, etc. to decorate love letters Common Core Standards R1-6, 9-11/ W1,2,4,5,10,11/ SL1,2,4,6/ L1-6 Procedure: The "Famous Love Letters" activity by Bespoke ELA is an activity in which students will read famous love letters and make observations about how the writers use language, literary and rhetorical devices, and imagery to convey messages about love. In this lesson, students are to: 1. Research the relationship of the famous person who wrote the letter, read each love letter, and then answer the three close reading questions for each one. Consider splitting the class into groups to read and discuss each letter. There are a total of TEN love letters included in this lesson, but you may pick and choose which ones you would like to use with your students. 2. Synthesize their findings by debating which love letter is the most effective in communicating its message about love. Students will fill out the "Famous Love Letters" Debate Guide for their selected love letter and discuss their selections with the class. 3. Use the "Love Letter Task Cards" to write their own love letters and write an explication paragraph in which they explain how they use devices to communicate a thematic message about love. After writing their own original love letters, students can give them to a friend, or you may opt to have students do a "blind swap" in class. As an extension activity, students can analyze the language, literary devices, and imagery of their classmates' love letters. Consider providing craft supplies for your students to decorate their love letters, and they can hang them around the room or display them on a bulletin board to celebrate Valentine's Day during the month of February.
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Shakespearean Sonnet Explication Assignment, Sample, & Rubric

Shakespearean Sonnet Explication Assignment, Sample, & Rubric

Product Description This lesson by Bespoke ELA contains an assignment for explicating a Shakespearean sonnet. It's tailored specifically for Shakespearean sonnets rather than poems in general. The Shakespearean Sonnet Explication Assignment includes: 1. Explication Essay Assignment 2. Explication Rubric 3. Sample Explication Essay of "Sonnet 18" 4. Sonnet Analysis Guide/ Explication Preparation Guide Use this assignment as a summative assessment for your next Shakespearean sonnet unit. It's a great way to assess both reading and writing skills using Shakespeare's sonnets! Pair this with the Bespoke ELA Pop Sonnet Assignment to engage students with Shakespeare's work! Click here! Common Core Standards R1-6, 11/ W1-2, 4-5, 10/ L1-6
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Shakespeare Pop Sonnets: A Creative Writing Activity

Shakespeare Pop Sonnets: A Creative Writing Activity

Lesson Plan Enduring Understandings To make connections between Shakespeare's style and modern music To use figurative language to communiate a theme To experiment with Shakespeare's language and English sonnet form To understand how the parts of an English sonnet are organized to create a central message To understand how tone shift impacts the thematic message in poetry To create an original English sonnet around a central theme Common Core Skills R1-6, 9, 11/ W 1-2/ 4-5 (6), 10-11/ SL 1, 4/ L 1-6 Procedure This activity assumes that students have prior knowledge and experience with Shakespearean sonnets. Students will first need to have a basic understanding of English sonnet form and Shakespeare's language. I would recommend this activity at the end of a Shakespearean sonnet unit. The pop sonnet began as an internet sensation and went on to become a popular book. The author had the idea to "Shakespearify" modern pop songs and morph them into sonnets. The result? A whole new level of depth for (mostly) simple songs with simple themes. Shakespeare would have been proud because this was Shakespeare's process-- to take simple ideas such as love and give them more complexity and sophistication. In this activity, students will explore pop sonnets via the (now famous) pop sonnet blog where it all started. They will then set out to select their very own pop songs to morph into Shakespearean sonnets. Students may choose to do this activity in pairs-- depending upon the level of the class. After crafting their own pop sonnets, students will then answer a series of questions that takes them through explaining and analyzing their original poems. Consider having students publish their pop sonnets online (via individual or class blogs) along with the original song lyrics and their analyses. Another fun and interactive way for students to share their pop sonnets is to have a read aloud in which the class tries to guess the title of the original song that inspired the sonnet. Differentiation Crafting a Shakespearean sonnet can be quite tricky due to the rhyme scheme and meter. Consider having students try one or the other, not both. Another option would be to give students an assortment of pop sonnets from the blog and have them analyze one of those in lieu of writing their own sonnets.
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Screenplay UNIT: Screenwriting in Secondary ELA-- From Script to Trailer

Screenplay UNIT: Screenwriting in Secondary ELA-- From Script to Trailer

Product Description One of the things I really enjoy is reading and writing screenplays. In this unit by Bespoke ELA, I have put together some of the key lessons that I've learned about script writing in a format that is user-friendly to secondary ELA students. Screenplay writing is a high-interest type of writing because all students love movies. For this project, students will create their own original screenplay concepts, write a character sketch and plot treatment, craft a ten-page screenplay sequence, create a trailer, and pitch their film ideas to the class. The entire spectrum of this project targets various skills from reading to writing to speaking to listening-- and students will HAVE A BLAST doing it! At the end of the unit, you can hold your very own "ELA ACADEMY AWARDS" ceremony and give out "Academy Awards Certificates" to the winning groups and students! The lessons included in this unit are as follows: 1. Screenplay Project Assignment 2. Famous Movie Match Game 3. What is a Screenplay?— Introduction Power Point 4. Types of Movies/ Genres—power point 5. Movie Brainstorming Activities 6. The Logline—Power Point 7. Crafting the Logline Worksheet 8. Screenplay Concept Teacher Approval Form 9. The Elements of Character—Power Point 10. Character Sketch Assignment & Example with Rubric 11. Intro. to Screenplay Format—3-Act Structure & Types of Drama—Power Point 12. Elements of a Film Treatment—Power Point 13. Film Treatment Assignment & Example with Rubric 14. Famous Script Analysis Activity 15. Intro. to Script Format—Power Point 16. Script Format Analysis—Analyzing Excerpt from Just Drive 17. A Guide to CeltX 18. Script Assignment & Rubric 19. Sequence Structure—The Anatomy of a Sequence 20. Sequence Structure Revision Activity 21. Subtext: Action & Dialogue 22. Screenplay Sequence Submission & Feedback Form 23. Assigning Roles—Movie Jobs 24. Movie Trailer Analysis 25. Film Planning Guide—Handout 26. Movie Trailer Assignment, Rubric, & Outline 27. What is a Screenplay Pitch? 28. The Art of the Pitch-- Screenplay Pitch Samples & Observations 29. Screenplay Pitch Assignment, Sample, & Rubric 30. Class Feedback Forms & Group Self-Assessment Form 31. ELA Academy Awards Certificates Scriptwriting is something I truly enjoy, and this project was a work of love. Students will read sample excerpts from screenplays (including one of MINE), and model their new ideas after them. Exposing students to screenplay writing will open their eyes to the filmmaking process and help them garner a whole new respect the moves they love.
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Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation: A Rhetorical Analysis Activity

Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamation: A Rhetorical Analysis Activity

Product Description In this Thanksgiving activity by Bespoke ELA, students will study Lincoln's Thanksgiving Proclamations in order to assess the relationship between language and persuasion while targeting the Common Core. First, students will read an editorial from The New York Times in order to understand better the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Thanksgiving. Then, they will analyze the rhetoric of Lincoln's two Thanksgiving Proclamations-- from 1863 and 1864. Thanksgiving became a national holiday as the result of the Civil War. While other presidents had called for a day of "thanksgiving," it was not nationalized as an American holiday until Lincoln saw the need to unite the nation as our country was being ravaged by war. The article from The New York Times also reveals how Thanksgiving had nothing to do with pilgrims and Indians but later became intertwined with the "Founders Day Celebration" of New England. Originally, Thanksgiving came from our leaders' desire to recognize progress in our country. This activity is an excellent Thanksgiving activity that targets non-fiction Common Core skills while also targeting close reading skills and rhetorical analysis. As a final step in this activity, students will write their very own Thanksgiving Proclamations including rhetorical devices and appeals to entreat their audience to adopt Thanksgiving using their own reasons to be thankful. Great activity for grades 9-12, including Honors and Advanced Placement. Answer Keys Included
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Creative Project: TEN Screenplay Brainstorming Guides for Secondary ELA

Creative Project: TEN Screenplay Brainstorming Guides for Secondary ELA

Product Description This product contains TEN brainstorming guides for students to brainstorm new movie ideas and concepts. You can find these brainstorming guides as part of the Bespoke ELA Screenplay Unit, sold separately HERE. These brainstorming guides will put movie writing at your students' fingertips. Screenplay writing is a high-interest type of writing because all students love movies. It's a great way to target COMMON CORE skills while tapping into student interests. In this product packet, you will find the following "lenses" through which to brainstorm new movie ideas: 1. Traditional Plot Generator 2. When Two Worlds Collide 3. The BLANK from Hell 4. Odd Couples 5. Fish out of Water 6. Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Myths, Legends, and Updated Stories 7. Lesser-Known Facts 8. "True" Stories 9. Unintended Consequences 10. Extreme Measures Even if you don't have your students complete the entire screenplay unit, these brainstorming exercises will help students think outside the box to create something new! Pair this activity with a literary analysis activity, and students can go forwards and backwards through the writing process-- construct art and take art apart. The Screenplay Unit by Bespoke ELA is a great project for second semester-- especially after standardized testing. Students can put into action all they have learned about story!
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Poetry Bundle: 20 Short Poems to Teach Rhetorical Relationships & Explication

Poetry Bundle: 20 Short Poems to Teach Rhetorical Relationships & Explication

This product by Bespoke ELA contains 20 short poems to analyze for the four, basic rhetorical relationships: juxtaposition, contrast, shift, and repetition. All literary devices can be categorized into these four basic relationships. A simile is a type of juxtaposition; antithesis is a type of repetition and contrast. But instead of focusing on these specific terms, these mini-lessons aim to teach students how to analyze poetry using the terms juxtaposition, contrast, shift, and repetition. For each poem, students will: 1. Make observations. 2. Identify and analyze the four rhetorical relationships. 3. Connect the rhetorical relationships to THEME. 4. Write their own original poems inspired by the model poem. 5. Write an explication of their own original poems. Students will be inspired by the poetry prompts included for each of the 20 short poems. It's amazing how much depth students can get out of such short poems. They will enjoy the challenge of unlocking the thematic meaning of these poems as well as the process of creating their own original poems. Students can respond to activities in their journals or Writer's Notebooks and then select a poem to explicate for a formal essay assignment, OR opt to have students complete a portfolio in which they include a series of their own original poems along with explications of them. These mini-lessons come with several flexible options to easily integrate into your curriculum. This bundle is suitable for grades 8-12.
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30 MENTOR SENTENCES for Literary & Rhetorical Devices with Writing Revision

30 MENTOR SENTENCES for Literary & Rhetorical Devices with Writing Revision

This product is a POWER POINT that contains 30 MENTOR SENTENCES from famous classic writers to model key literary terms, rhetorical devices, and syntactical structures for students. For each sentence, students are to: 1. Copy the sentence. 2. Make observations about the sentence. 3. Imitate the sentence. 4. Learn about literary devices. 5. Answer questions about how the devices are used for rhetorical and literary effect. 6. Revise an essay with a new sentence modeled after that of the famous writer. 7. Reflect back on the new added sentence. 8. Share with a partner. These MENTOR SENTENCE activities will take students through the process of not only using literary and rhetorical devices in action but will integrate them into writing workshop as mini-lessons for making their writing more powerful. This POWER POINT is fully editable and is suitable for Advanced Placement and modifiable for other levels of HIGH SCHOOL English. ========================== Devices included in this set include: Parallel Structure Antithesis Anaphora Asyndeton Parataxis Polysyndeton Paradox Irony Chiasmus Balanced Sentence Epistrophe Rule of Three Tricolon Analogy Personification Metaphor Simile Metonymy Synecdoche Loose Sentence Hypotaxis Apostrophe Allusion Alliteration Consonance Assonance Rhetorical Question Litotes The Dash Hyperbole Understatement Semi-colon Colon Repetition Contrast Periodic Sentence Simple Sentence Amplification Antimetabole Anadiplosis Balanced Sentence Zeugma Epithet Epanalepsis PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS ZIP FILE CONTAINS THREE VERSIONS OF THIS PRODUCT. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO EMBED FONTS INTO POWER POINT WITH MAC, SO I HAVE INCLUDED A .PDF VERSION AND AN UNEDITABLE .PNG VERSION (ON POWER POINT) THAT YOU CAN USE TO PRESERVE THE ORIGINAL FONTS AS DESIGNED. THIS FILE ALSO INCLUDES THE ORIGINAL POWER POINT THAT IS EDITABLE BUT WILL OPEN WITH DEFAULT FONTS FOR POWER POINT UNLESS YOU OWN THE SAME FONTS AS IN THE PRESENTATION.
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Adjectives Vocabulary List for Describing Characters

Adjectives Vocabulary List for Describing Characters

A central part of literary analysis involves analyzing the characters of a piece of literature. I have found that character analysis serves as an excellent means of increasing students' vocabulary. Here, I have compiled a list of adjectives (many of them SAT-level words) that can be used to describe a character. Students can select words from this list and use them to analyze and describe characters either in discussion or in writing. This list will help students to push beyond their current vocabulary by introducing them to new words that will not only help their analysis in class but simultaneously prepare them for the SAT! Words on this list have been categorized according to a common meaning, which will help students take risks in identifying potential new words and taking risks with new vocabulary. Note-- This is an excellent tool for English Language Learners as well!
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BEOWULF:  Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension

BEOWULF: Graphic Organizers for Reading Comprehension

These graphic organizers are a nice supplementary item for a Beowulf unit. They give basic definitions of epic conventions, epic hero traits, archetypes, and major characters from the poem and allow space for students to write in textual evidence plus explanations for these items as they find them in the text. These are excellent tools to keep students organized when analyzing key concepts in the poem-- great for students of all levels! Thorough answer keys included with textual evidence and explanations! Graphic Organizer #1: Epic Conventions Graphic Organizer #2: Traits of the Epic Hero Graphic Organizer #3: Main Characters Graphic Organizer #4: Archetypes These items are included in my MEGA BEOWULF BUNDLE (25 lessons and activities with answer keys!). You can find the ENTIRE BUNDLE in our store, sold separately.
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Shakespearean Tragedy and Aristotle's Poetics: Close Reading, Debate, & MORE

Shakespearean Tragedy and Aristotle's Poetics: Close Reading, Debate, & MORE

Task: To analyze Shakespeare’s work in terms of Aristotle’s literary theories from Poetics Objectives: To develop criteria for analyzing literary elements To support analysis with textual evidence To use rhetorical skills for constructing and supporting oral and written arguments To construct an effective argument supported with logical reasoning and textual evidence To apply literary theories to other texts To close read a text for main ideas Common Core Standards: R1, 3, 6, 11/ W1, 2, 4, 10/ SL 1, 3, 4, 6/ L1-3 Instructions: Aristotle’s literary theories have helped to set the precedent for what determines “high quality” literature. Writers either follow his methods, or they rebel against them. While it is not known if Shakespeare read or studied Aristotle’s Poetics, it is a fascinating study to apply Aristotle’s theories to Shakespeare’s work in order to observe how Shakespeare innovated new concepts for drama. In this unit, students will: Complete the pre-reading strategy in order to define key terms found in Aristotle’s Poetics. Close read excerpts from Poetics and answer comprehension/discussion questions for each section. Note that students may answer the questions in terms of one, single Shakespearean tragedy but may reference any other plays they may have read. Map out the plot of at least one Shakespearean Tragedy and identify examples of key terms from Aristotle’s Poetics. Debate whether or not Shakespeare follows Aristotle’s literary theories. Synthesize their conclusions in a post-debate writeup. This unit contains SIX excerpts from Aristotle’s Poetics for students to close read. Each excerpt contains a few close reading/ discussion questions in order to both comprehend Aristotle’s main ideas as well as apply them to Shakespeare’s works. There are a few different ways to use these excerpts in your classes: 1. Have students read all six excerpts and discuss the questions included in each one. 2. Divide students into groups and assign each group 1-2 excerpts to close read. 3. Students can then present their findings to the class, and the whole class can discuss the application questions included. 4. Use the “Overview of Aristotle’s Poetics” handout included here and have students close read only a couple of the excerpts instead of all six. For the remaining activities, students can focus on a single Shakespearean tragedy of your choice, or allow students to use evidence from multiple plays as best fits your curriculum reading list, their reading experiences, and level of course difficulty. This is an excellent addition to any Shakespeare unit and will deepen the complexity of students' interaction with tragedy.
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Imagists vs. Romantics: A Poetry Lesson to Facilitate Style Analysis

Imagists vs. Romantics: A Poetry Lesson to Facilitate Style Analysis

Task Teacher Page To analyze writing style by comparing and contrasting two different styles of poetry Objectives • To use close reading annotation skills to assist poetry analysis •To identify and analyze literary elements and techniques in poetry in order to arrive at a thematic interpretation • To craft valid, logical arguments supported by strong, relevant textual evidence • To work collaboratively in a group in order to produce a high-quality product • To classify poems by style • To understand the differences in style of the Imagists and Romantics • To revise poems in the style of the Imagists and the Romantics • To construct a well-formed, logical,and thorough style analysis essay of two poems • To compare/contrast styles of poetry Common core objectives L1-6, 9, 11/ W1-2, 4-6, 10-11/ SL1, 4, 6/ L1-6 Poems included Romantics “Romance” by Edgar Allan Poe “The World is Too Much with us” by Wordsworth “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron Imagists “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound “Oread” by H.D. "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams Procedure This lesson includes three poem pairings. The poems are not necessarily thematically related. Each pair of poems contains one Romantic poem and one Imagist poem. They are juxtaposed so that students can compare their styles side-by-side. Students are to read and annotate each pair of poems, one set at a time, and then complete the follow-up discussion questions and writing task. Students will compare and contrast the style of Romantic poets and Imagist poets and then write their own original poems in the style of either the Romantics or the Imagists. They will then write a style analysis essay in which they compare and contrast the traits of the Romantics vs. the Imagists. ------------------------------------------------- This lesson makes a great addition to any poetry unit in the secondary ELA classroom!
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Winter Poetry Unit with Annotations, Sample Explication Essays, & More!!

Winter Poetry Unit with Annotations, Sample Explication Essays, & More!!

I was feeling inspired by the winter and started researching classic poems about the season. What I came to realize is that winter is a polarizing season-- people either love it or hate it-- and writers reflect this in their work. Winter is complex. While the snow and ice bring much beauty, that beauty represents death and destruction. And so, many writers have found winter (as well as spring) to be powerful tools in symbolizing both positive and negative thematic claims. In this unit, I have included TEN poems by classic authors that involve winter in some respect. Some poems use winter to symbolize absence, others age, and still others unity. Five of these poems have a more positive representation of winter while the remaining five have a more negative representation of winter-- however, this is debatable! And that is exactly what students are going to do! Students are to: 1. Annotate the poems using the TPCASTT chart included. 2. Categorize the poems as either having a positive view of winter or a negative view of winter. 3. Debate the view of winter in one or more poems. 4. Write an explication essay on a winter poem of their choice-- sample essays, assignment, and rubric included! 5. Create a group presentation in which they compare/contrast two winter poems of their choice-- assignment and rubric included! 6. Write their own original winter poem along with an explication paragraph in which they explain how they communicate their thematic claim through selected literary devices-- assignment, student sample, and rubric included! This unit is modifiable for students of all levels and can also be shortened into a few days or extended into a few weeks. Teachers can choose which poems and activities to complete with their classes and really delve into this season that brings unity amidst destruction. I have also included my annotation notes for ALL TEN POEMS!!! Use these to guide discussions or to modify lessons for your students. Please note that my annotations do not represent the only possible interpretations of these poems and that my classification of poems is highly debatable!! Common Core Standards are included on the assignment sheets throughout this packet! This is a great unit to target nearly 100% of the Common Core!!
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BEOWULF Creative Writing Assignments

BEOWULF Creative Writing Assignments

Included here are three popular creative writing assignments to accompany a unit on Beowulf. Beowulf Kenning Activity a. In this activity, students try their hand at creating modern-day kennings to share with the class. Students have fun being creative with kennings! Anglo-Saxon Boast Writing Assignment a. This assignment asks students to create a poetic boast modeled after that of Beowulf in the epic poem. Students must integrate devices such as hyperbole, alliteration, and kennings into a boast about their accomplishments. Then, students are to write a paragraph explanation of the role boasting plays in the poem using at least two quotations from the text. Students have great fun sharing their boasts and also comparing/ contrasting theirs to that of Beowulf's. This is a great activity to get students involved in the poem in an interactive way! Beowulf Comic Book Project a. This Beowulf project uses the structure of the comic book to assess student understanding of the literary elements in Beowulf, Anglo-Saxon culture, and reading/writing/collaboration skills. Included here is the project assignment along with a Common Core aligned rubric. This is a great project to tap into student motivation in a fun, collaborative, engaging way that will simultaneously target reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills. All three creative writing tasks are included in my MEGA BEOWULF BUNDLE (25 activities and lessons with answer keys included!) You can find the ENTIRE bundle in our store, sold separately. BUNDLE AND SAVE!
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Macbeth Visual Art Journals for Text-to-Text Connections

Macbeth Visual Art Journals for Text-to-Text Connections

This from Bespoke ELA contains a series of paintings and photographs that all relate in some way to Shakespeare's play Macbeth. The Power Point begins with four guiding questions that students will answer for each work of art in order to make connections between the visual image and the play. I hand-selected these images because they illuminate a thematic idea from the play and/or character traits of key players in Macbeth. These images are excellent resources to use as bell-ringer focus activities OR as springboards for discussion and the writing process. All images are labeled for REUSE.
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Macbeth Essay Packet Including Sample Essay and Outline

Macbeth Essay Packet Including Sample Essay and Outline

This packet is designed to support the writing process for a Macbeth literary analysis essay. INCLUDED: Macbeth Topics & Themes List Brainstorm Guide Commentary Brainstorming Outline Form Sample Outline Sample Essay Rubric Task To write an essay analyzing how literary elements and techniques create thematic meaning in a text Objectives • To use the writing process in order to produce a publishable essay draft • To construct a logical argument supported by textual evidence and sound reasoning • To edit/revise essay writing for academic vocabulary and style • To select textual evidence that effectively supports and demonstrates the argumentative claim • To analyze how a theme is developed across a text through literary elements and techniques
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Beowulf Reading & Discussion Questions with THOROUGH ANSWER KEYS INCLUDED

Beowulf Reading & Discussion Questions with THOROUGH ANSWER KEYS INCLUDED

These Beowulf question sets take students through a close reading of the major parts of the poem and account not only for plot but also comprehension and interpretation as well. These questions also provide excellent discussion topics for small groups or the whole class. They can also serve as study guides for an objective-based test on the epic poem. Answer keys included with extended analysis and textual evidence to take your class discussion to a deeper level! These questions can also be found in my MEGA BEOWULF BUNDLE with 25 lessons and activities/ 108 pages including answer keys! You can find the ENTIRE BUNDLE in our store sold separately.
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Macbeth- Topics & Themes List

Macbeth- Topics & Themes List

This product contains a list of topics and related themes for Shakespeare's play Macbeth. Use this list of themes and topics as a springboard for discussions and essays. After students have completed a piece of literature, I have them compile a Topics/Themes list that they keep in their Writer's Notebooks. To do this, they first brainstorm a list of topics and then convert them into theme statements. Then, we share the list as a class. Afterwards, students then select a theme to use as the thematic claim in a literary analysis essay. I do this in lieu of giving my students essay prompts because it taps into their motivation by allowing them the freedom to choose their own essay topics based upon their own interpretations of the piece of literature. It's also an excellent strategy for enabling a more organic writing process. Use this document as a key, or differentiate this activity by giving students the list and allowing them to select a theme for an essay. The Topics/Themes list a versatile tool that is sure to enrich students' interaction with the play.
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Macbeth Debate Activity: Constructing Oral and Written Arguments

Macbeth Debate Activity: Constructing Oral and Written Arguments

In this set of debate activities by Bespoke ELA, students will participate in a series of debates in response to "yes/no" questions about Shakespeare's play Macbeth. There are 10 debate questions in all. Students will collect evidence to support both sides of the argument and then debate a side with their peers in order to practice constructing logical arguments supported by textual evidence. Each debate chart is followed by an argumentative writing assignment as a culmination of the class debate. The teacher page included gives some suggestions for how to run a debate in your classroom, and I have also included my Debate Guide & Rubric for scoring your students' participation. These debate activities are excellent starter activities for an essay on Macbeth. Use them to facilitate the writing process and/or have students create "oral argument" presentations in which they share their interpretations with the class.
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Analyzing Character Motivation:  A Literary Analysis Mini-lesson

Analyzing Character Motivation: A Literary Analysis Mini-lesson

This listing is for a characterization activity entitled "Motivation Machine" in which students analyze how a character's motivations reveal character traits. This mini-lesson is part of the Mega Characterization Bundle of over 15 characterization mini-lessons that get your students working with all literary devices and techniques. You can find it listed separately in our store. Bundle and save over $15.00! For this mini-lesson: "Motivation Machine" Task To analyze the relationship between character motivation and plot Objectives To develop criteria for analyzing character To assess comprehension of character development across a text To support analysis with textual evidence Common Core Standards R1-3, 6, 11/ W1-4, 10-11/ L1-3 Instructions In this set of activities, students will look at the relationship between character motivation and plot in order to observe how the protagonist’s desires create or drive the plot of the story. The “Motivation Machine” lead activity asks students to consider plot points that are organized according to character decisions. The questions on the “Motivation Machine” Activity follow the typical character motivation pattern as follows: 1. The character has a problem—wants something but cannot get it. 2. The character worsens the problem by making a mistake. 3. The character has to deal with the worsened problem and faces obstacles. 4. The character either solves the problem and gets what he/she wants or does not. After students complete the “Motivation Machine” activity, they can then complete the three follow-up activities: “Motivation Machine” Silent Swap “Motivation Machine” Consequences Chart “Motivation Machine” Analytical Paragraph In the Silent Swap, students swap the “Motivation Machine” activity three times and answer reflection questions independently in order to compare/contrast other students’ character analysis with their own. In the “Motivation Machine” Consequences Chart, students consider the cause/ effect relationship of a character’s motivation. In the Analytical Paragraph, students synthesize their findings into a writing task that responds to the question: “How does the protagonist’s motivation affect the plot of the story?” This activity will enable students to grasp how the protagonist creates the action of a story according to what he/she wants.
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