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Inquiring Mind of the English Teacher Kind

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My goal is to share resources with other educators in an effort to facilitate their professional experiences, particularly for those new to the profession or the field of high school English.

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My goal is to share resources with other educators in an effort to facilitate their professional experiences, particularly for those new to the profession or the field of high school English.
Othello Close Reading Worksheet (Act 2, Scene 3)
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Othello Close Reading Worksheet (Act 2, Scene 3)

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This editable close reading exercise features 8 text-dependent, higher-order questions, helping students improve reading comprehension of Shakespeare’s Othello (Act 2, Scene 3) with emphasis on Iago’s manipulation of Roderigo, Cassio, and other Cypriots to advance his goals. By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations and development, analyze the craft of Shakespeare’s language for meaning, apply knowledge of literary devices such as metaphor, discern meaning from Shakespearean text, and make active reading visible. An answer key with detailed rationale for each correct option is included, as are Word Document, Google Document, and PDF versions of the assessment. This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode Shakespeare’s 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 the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning. 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: Analyzing text for meaning: Othello’s plan to make Cassio “full of quarrel and offense.” Defining complex vocabulary in context: caroused. Analyzing the effect of archaic vocabulary in context: potations. Analyzing archaic phrasing for meaning: pottle-deep. Analyzing complex phrasing for meaning: noble swelling spirits. Analyzing character motivations: “Have I tonight flustered with flowing cups.” Analyzing character motivations: “Now ’mongst this flock of drunkards / Am I to put our Cassio in some action / That may offend the isle.” Applying knowledge of literary devices (metaphor) and make inferences about characterization: “My boat sails freely, both with wind and steam.”
Othello Close Reading Worksheet (Act 3, Scene 3)
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Othello Close Reading Worksheet (Act 3, Scene 3)

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This editable close reading exercise features 13 text-dependent, higher-order questions, helping students improve comprehension of Shakespeare’s Othello (Act 3, Scene 3) with emphasis on Iago’s as an antagonist, attempting to persuade Othello that his wife is unfaithful. By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations, discern tone in context, analyze the craft of Shakespeare’s language for meaning, use textual evidence to support claims, and make active reading visible. An answer key with detailed rationale for each correct option is included, as are Word Document, Google Document, and PDF versions of the assessment. This resource aligns well to Adolescent Literacy Project teaching principles. I recommend using these worksheets as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode Shakespeare’s 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 the role of facilitator, I observe my students becoming more consistently engaged with the novel and taking greater ownership of their learning. 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 to the following Common Core Standards: RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.2, RL.9-10.3, RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.5, RL.9-10.10, RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.2, RL.11-12.3, RL.11-12.4, RL.11-12.5, RL.11-12.10, W.9-10.4, W.9-10.9, W.9-10.9a, W.9-10.10, W.11-12.4, W.11-12.9, W.11-12.10, SL.9-10.1, SL.9-10.1a, SL.9-10.1b, SL.9-10.1c, SL.9-10.1d, SL.9-10.3, SL.9-10.4, SL.9-10.6, SL.11-12.1, SL.11-12.1a, SL.11-12.1b, SL.11-12.1c, SL.11-12.1d, SL.11-12.3, SL.11-12.4, SL.11-12.6, L.9-10.3, L.9-10.4, L.9-10.4a, L.9-10.4c, L.9-10.4d, L.9-10.5, L.9-10.5a, L.9-10.5b, L.9-10.6, L.11-12.3, L.11-12.4, L.11-12.4a, L.11-12.4c, L.11-12.5, L.11-12.5a, L.11-12.5b, L.11-12.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.3, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.5, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.9, CCRA.W.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.3, CCRA.SL.4, CCRA.SL.6, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.4, CCRA.L.5, CCRA.L.6, L.11-12.4d. Questions on this close reading assessment pertain to the following:
Romeo & Juliet Quiz (Act 1)
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Romeo & Juliet Quiz (Act 1)

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This editable 13-question assessment measures general comprehension and holds students accountable for the assigned reading of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet (Act 1). An answer key is included, as are Word Document, Google Document, and PDF versions of the quiz. Specifically, this quiz covers the following key plot details and concepts: The purpose of a chorus A character known as a peace-maker The reason for street-fighting in Verona Prince Escalus’s declaration Romeo’s cause for sadness Lord Capulet’s attitude toward marrying off Juliet Benvolio’s encouragement (to Romeo) Juliet’s attitude toward marriage Mercutio’s treatment of Romeo A foreshadowing fear Tybalt’s temperament Lord Capulet’s reaction to Romeo’s presence at the party The revelation of Juliet’s true identity
"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell Close Reading Quiz
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"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell Close Reading Quiz

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Support the development of high school close reading skills with this assessment on the short story “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. A variety of question types facilitates the process of analyzing character motivations, applying knowledge of literary devices, citing relevant and compelling textual evidence to support claims, and more. To accommodate traditional classroom and distance learning settings, the resource is delivered as a PDF and a Word Document, which may easily be uploaded to Google Drive and converted to a Google Doc. An answer key and copy of the public domain text are included. This resource aligns well to Academic Literacy Project teaching principles and may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. By engaging in this exercise, students will… Articulate what is stated in the text explicitly and implicitly Identify point of view and setting Analyze how complex characters think, interact, and behave Cite textual evidence in support of claims Articulate the function of a particular excerpt Write with clarity and precision Explore character motivations and intentions Examine cause-and-effect relationships Apply knowledge of literary devices including situational irony Articulate autobiographical parallels Infer the message that the narrator’s inaction would have sent to the community
"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs - Introductory PowerPoint Presentation
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"The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs - Introductory PowerPoint Presentation

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This 18-slide introductory PowerPoint was designed to facilitate classroom discussion and promote reading comprehension. The following elements are included in the presentation: - Initiating questions to help students make personal connections and increase student interest in the text. - An emphasis on relevant literary terminology, including suspense, mood, setting, and foreshadowing. Relevant textual details support these literary devices. - Several analytical questions about characters, motivations, situational irony, and theme. Concise, potential student replies are also included.
Shakespeare's Macbeth Act 1 Reading Comprehension Quiz and Key
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Shakespeare's Macbeth Act 1 Reading Comprehension Quiz and Key

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Conveniently measure general reading comprehension and hold students accountable for Act 1 of Shakespeare’s Macbeth with this automatically graded quiz. Materials are delivered in Word Doc and PDF formats. By taking this assessment, students will demonstrate knowledge of the following: The opening scene Characterization of Norway’s king The fate of the Thane of Cawdor Macbeth’s new title The witches’ prophecy Banquo’s presence The news Malcolm shares with his father King Duncan’s declared successor Lady Macbeth’s concerns about her husband Lady Macbeth’s ambition Lady Macbeth’s influence on her husband Details concerning the plot to kill King Duncan
Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Act 1 Scene 3 Close Reading
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Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Act 1 Scene 3 Close Reading

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This close reading assessment features high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (Act 1, Scene 3). By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations, examine word choices to discern meaning, analyze details to draw reasoned inferences, apply knowledge of literary devices with emphasis on situational irony, 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 worksheet serves 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: Comparing and contrasting two characters (Cassius and Casca) and referencing textual evidence in support of claims Analyzing a passage to discern and articulate its primary purpose(s) Analyzing complex vocabulary and phrasing in context to determine meaning in context Analyzing the author’s craft by applying and articulating knowledge of situational irony to the text Drawing reasonable inferences based on character statements in context Analyzing text to draw reasonable inferences on character motivations Writing ideas with clarity and precision
Close Reading of "Rapunzel" by the Brothers Grimm (Fairy Tale for High School)
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Close Reading of "Rapunzel" by the Brothers Grimm (Fairy Tale for High School)

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This editable 14-question close reading worksheet promotes active reading strategies, facilitating general reading comprehension and higher-order analysis of a Grimms’ fairy tale: “Rapunzel.” By completing this activity, high school students will demonstrate general plot recall and active engagement with the text via making annotations and answering high-order questions. The resource may also serve as an assessment tool that holds students accountable for assigned independent or group reading of this short story. The resource is delivered in Word Document and Google Document. An answer key is provided, as is a copy of the narrative, which is in the public domain. “Rapunzel” a 1,440-word text, has an estimated Lexile measure of 1100-1200, making it an appropriate addition to any short story or fantasy unit at the middle school level. It may also be suitable for struggling readers in a high school setting. This resource aligns well to Academic Literacy Project teaching principles and may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. Questions pertain to the following: Identifying what the text states explicitly as well as implicitly Exploring character motivations, whether explicitly stated in the text or implied through character actions, and articulating responses clearly Analyzing character interactions to discern character motivations and intent Demonstrating understanding of the narrative’s suspenseful tone Analyzing the authors’ craft, paying special attention to diction, in order to discern logical inferences Applying knowledge of literary devices to the text, identifying and explaining examples of situational irony and dramatic irony to the text Defining complex words in context, taking into consideration denotative definitions and connotative associations and using reference materials as needed Responding clearly, concisely, and accurately to analytical questioning
Analyzing Author's Craft - "Cinderella" by the Brothers Grimm
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Analyzing Author's Craft - "Cinderella" by the Brothers Grimm

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Help high school students develop a greater understanding of how the Brothers Grimm used descriptive language, characterization, exaggeration, and various literary devices to establish a mood in “Cinderella” that is consistent with the conventions of fairy tale writing. This resource, which is delivered in Word Doc and PDF formats, serves well for an independent learning opportunity, as well as for small-group discussions. Through such discussions, students may evaluate peers’ reasoning and use of rhetoric to support claims, clarifying or challenging ideas as needed. An answer key and copy of the public domain short story are included.
Shakespeare's  Macbeth Close Reading of Act 2 Scene 3
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Shakespeare's Macbeth Close Reading of Act 2 Scene 3

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This close reading assessment features 8 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Act 2, Scene 3) with emphasis on analyzing the porter’s darkly comedic remarks. By engaging in this exercise, students will identify the purpose of a particular excerpt, analyze character motivations and development, examine word choice to discern meaning, draw logical inferences about the significance of given details, apply knowledge of literary devices, and more. An answer key with detailed rationale for each correct option is included, as are Word Document and PDF versions of the assessment. This resource may serve well as the basis for small-group discussions. Through these discussions, students decode Shakespeare’s 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 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 helps prepare students for ACT reading question types. Specifically, questions pertain to the following: Drawing logical inferences based on the porter’s comments Applying knowledge of literary devices to the text (situational irony) and articulating how a given detail is an example of irony Applying knowledge of literary devices to the text (allusion) Discerning the most appropriate description of tone in context Analyzing and articulating the similarities among characters described Analyzing a passage to discern its primary function Defining unfamiliar words and phrases in context, taking into consideration denotative definitions and connotative associations Using specialized reference materials to define words and phrases, taking into consideration both denotative and connotative meanings Writing with clarity and precision
Shakespeare's The Tempest Close Reading Quiz for Act 2 Scene 2
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Shakespeare's The Tempest Close Reading Quiz for Act 2 Scene 2

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Promote high school close reading skills and textual analysis of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Act 2, scene 2) in the classroom and in distance learning contexts. A variety of high-order question types facilitates the process of analyzing character motivations, examining how word choices influence a reader’s interpretations, applying knowledge of literary devices, and articulating ideas in writing with clarity and precision. Materials are delivered in Word Doc and PDF formats. More specifically, students will be able to: Articulate what the text says explicitly and implicitly Write with clarity and precision Cite specific, relevant textual evidence in support of a claim or idea Identify several functions of a particular excerpt Articulate what Caliban assumes about the reason for Trinculo’s appearance Analyze how complex characters interact Identify the means by which Stephano and Trinculo derive some of their courage Articulate the conditions under which Caliban will revere Stephano and Trinculo Articulate how Stephano came into possession of a cask of wine Explain the significance of a particular excerpt Isolate a true statement among a set of falsehoods Articulate what Caliban’s singing reveals about his psychological state Apply knowledge of situational irony to the text Discern the overall tone of the scene
Shakespeare's The Tempest Close Reading Quiz for Act 3 Scene 2
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Shakespeare's The Tempest Close Reading Quiz for Act 3 Scene 2

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Support high school close reading skills and textual analysis of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Act 3, scene 2) in the classroom and in distance learning settings. A variety of high-order question types facilitates the process of analyzing character motivations, examining how word choices influence a reader’s interpretations, applying knowledge of literary devices, and articulating ideas in writing with clarity and precision. Materials are delivered in Word Doc and PDF formats. More specifically, students will be able to: Articulate what the text says explicitly and implicitly Write with clarity and precision Cite specific, relevant textual evidence in support of a claim or idea Discern the most accurate statement among four options in context Explore character motivations Articulate how Caliban entices Stefano to participate in his plot Articulate how Ariel complicates matters for Trinculo specifically Determine the part of speech of a given word in context Articulate what causes Stefano and Trinculo to be afraid Analyze the author’s intent Analyze how language contributes to the development of characterization Articulate how Caliban is presented as a multidimensional character
Shakespeare's The Tempest Act 1 Reading Comprehension Quiz and Key
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Shakespeare's The Tempest Act 1 Reading Comprehension Quiz and Key

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Conveniently measure general reading comprehension and hold students accountable for Act 1 of Shakespeare’s The Tempest with this automatically graded quiz. Materials are delivered in Word Doc and PDF formats. By taking this assessment, students will demonstrate knowledge of the following: The purpose of King Alonso’s travels The calmest character in the midst of a terrible storm Prospero’s former title The relationship between Prospero and Miranda Prospero’s intentions Prospero’s studies The relationship between Prospero and Antonio Ariel’s function Ferdinand’s sadness The characterization of Sycorax Interactions between Prospero and Ariel The first interaction between Ferdinand and Miranda Prospero’s feelings toward Ferdinand
To Kill a Mockingbird Close Reading Worksheet - Chapter 15
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To Kill a Mockingbird Close Reading Worksheet - Chapter 15

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Support the development of close reading skills and analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (chapter 15) with this assessment delivered in Word Document and PDF formats. An answer key is included. This resource may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. Copyright restrictions prohibit the inclusion of the complete chapter, so the purchaser is responsible for providing students with access to the novel. More specifically, students will be able to: Articulate what the text states explicitly and implicitly Explain the significance of a given detail Write with clarity, logic, and precision Cite relevant textual evidence in support of claims Identify the factors that contributed to the “placid week” preceding the mob incident Analyze what the fact that “Jem would struggle…through the speeches of Henry W. Grady” suggests about his character development Analyze how complex characters interact Explore the shift in tone once Scout approaches Mr. Cunningham Demonstrate understanding of the literary device paradox Analyze Mr. Underwood’s values set Articulate a significant misunderstanding Atticus has about his own community Explore how Atticus demonstrates courage Identify and explain an example of dramatic irony
Romeo & Juliet Close Reading Worksheet - Act 2, Scene 5
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Romeo & Juliet Close Reading Worksheet - Act 2, Scene 5

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Promote high school close reading skills and analysis of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with this worksheet on Act 2, scene 5, with emphasis on the interaction between Juliet and the Nurse. A differentiated version is also included. By engaging in this exercise, students will make engagement with the text visible through annotations, read to apply knowledge of literary devices, develop their vocabulary, and identify what the text says explicitly and implicitly. They will also demonstrate a greater understanding of Juliet’s youthful impatience and irrationality. An answer key with sample annotations is included. Materials are delivered in Word Document and PDF formats. Questions and stems are written at an estimated Lexile Measure of 900-1000 with a mean sentence length of 13.24 words, according to the online Free Lexile Analyzer. The differentiated option is written to accommodate struggling readers and has an estimated Lexile Measure of 700-800 with a mean sentence length of 10.19 words. This resource may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. More specifically, this item covers the following: Defining vocabulary in context: lame. Developing deeper understanding of character: Juliet’s irrational philosophy on love. Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “Had she affections and warm youthful blood, / She would be as swift in motion as a ball…” Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “But old folks, many feign as they were dead-- / Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.” Drawing inferences about character motivations: why the Nurse appears dejected upon returning to Juliet. Determining tone within an excerpt: “How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath / To say to me that thou art out of breath? / The excuse that thou dost make in this delay / Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.” Understanding characterization: Juliet’s impatience with the Nurse’s delay in relaying details. Understanding vocabulary in context: simple. Discerning meaning from what the text explicitly states: “He is not the flower of courtesy…”
To Kill a Mockingbird Close Reading Worksheet - Chapter 11
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To Kill a Mockingbird Close Reading Worksheet - Chapter 11

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Support the development of close reading skills and analysis of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (chapter 11) with this assessment delivered in Word Document and PDF formats. An answer key is included. This resource may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. Copyright restrictions prohibit the inclusion of the complete chapter, so the purchaser is responsible for providing students with access to the novel. By engaging in this exercise, students will: Discern the most accurate interpretation of Mrs. Dubose’s criticisms of Atticus Discern the most accurate interpretation of Mrs. Dubose’s criticisms of the Finch family more broadly Analyze the author’s craft to draw a logical inference about Jem’s internal state Apply knowledge of situational irony to the text Discern the meaning of complex vocabulary and phrases in context, taking into consideration both denotative definitions and connotative associations Identify what the text says both explicitly and implicitly about Jessie Isolate factual statements from false statements Draw personal connections to Jem, using logical reasoning to make inferences about his concerns Argue whether Jem feels guilty for his treatment of Scout Cite relevant textual evidence in support of claims Write with clarity, logic, and precision
Romeo & Juliet Close Reading Worksheet - Act 2, Scene 2
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Romeo & Juliet Close Reading Worksheet - Act 2, Scene 2

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Promote high school close reading skills and analysis of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet with this worksheet on Act 2, scene 2, which emphasizes the introductory soliloquies. By engaging in this exercise, students will read to identify what the text says explicitly and implicitly, apply knowledge of literary devices, interpret figurative expressions, and make engagement with the text visible through annotation. An answer key with sample annotations is included. Materials are delivered in Word Document and PDF formats. This resource may serve 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 comprehend their thinking. More specifically, this item covers the following: Interpreting metaphorical expressions: “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? / It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!” Interpreting metaphorical expressions: “Arise, fair son, and kill the envious moon.” Interpreting metaphorical expressions: “…the envious moon, Who is already sick and pale with grief / That thou her maid art far more fair than she” Interpreting metaphorical expressions: “Her vestal livery is but sick and green, / And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.” Understanding and applying literary devices (internal conflict): “Her eye discourses; I will answer it. / I am too bold; ’tis not to me she speaks.” Interpreting metaphorical expressions: “Two of the fairest stars in all of heaven, / Having some business, do entreat her eyes / To twinkle in their spheres till they return.” Interpreting fanciful language: “airy region.” Understanding and applying literary devices (dramatic irony). Identifying textual evidence in support of a claim: Juliet has strong romantic feelings for Romeo. Investigating a question and identifying textual evidence: the central conflict that jeopardizes the relationship between Romeo and Juliet. Discerning meaning: “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose…” Understanding and applying literary devices (dynamic character).
"The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe - Quiz & Key
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"The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe - Quiz & Key

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This editable 12-question assessment measures comprehension and holds students accountable for reading “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe. Questions are aligned to Common Core standards for reading literature, language, and writing for the ninth and tenth grade levels. An answer key is included, as are Word Document, Google Document, and PDF versions of the quiz. Questions pertain to the following: Point of view The narrator’s first cat The “immediate purpose” of the narrative Neglect and ill-use of animals The characterization of the wife The narrator’s fate The setting The murder of the first cat Irritating qualities of the second cat The death of the wife Concealment of the body The narrator’s undoing
Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Close Reading for Act 1, Scene 2
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Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Close Reading for Act 1, Scene 2

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This close reading assessment features 11 text-dependent, high-order questions to promote improved reading comprehension and analysis of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (Act 1, Scene 2). By engaging in this exercise, students will analyze character motivations, examine word choices to discern meaning, analyze details to draw reasoned inferences, apply knowledge of literary devices, 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 and may serve 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 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: Comparing and contrasting two characters in the text Discerning what the text says both explicitly and implicitly Analyzing the plot to discern Portia’s dominant internal conflict Analyzing figurative language to discern meaning as it relates to comparing a hare with young people Applying knowledge of situational irony to the text Defining complex words and phrases in context, taking into consideration denotative definitions and connotative associations Analyzing an excerpt to discern tone in context Analyzing Portia’s dialogue to draw reasonable inferences about her motivations Analyzing how Portia and Nerissa interact to explain the nature of their relationship Writing with clarity, logic, and precision Citing textual evidence in support of claims