Objective: Who are Brutus and Cassius? What is their relationship like?

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“Julius Caesar” Lesson Plan #1: Friendship

90 minute period

Objective: Who are Brutus and Cassius? What is their relationship like?

Do Now: What do you act like/talk like around your best friend? How is your behavior different than when you’re around people you sort of know?

  1. Do Now/Share out, for the friend one, try to really flesh out what distinguishes best friend behavior (examples: honest, calm, humorous, free-spoken, relaxed, fewer boundaries).

  2. (Briefly tell students that Brutus and Cassius are supposedly best friends). Read 1.2.25-84 speaker to speaker, don’t stop for comprehension yet.

  3. In groups, answer the following (looking back at lines 25-84):

    1. Does Cassius trust Brutus? How do you know?

    2. What does Cassius think is wrong with Brutus?

    3. How does Brutus respond? Do you think he’s being honest? Why?

    4. How is their friendship changing?

  4. Share out answers.

  5. In groups of four, students will write a one page mini-play about Brutus and Cassius’ friendship BEFORE the play begins – tell students to be creative and make inferences (educated guesses) about how they became friends, how their relationship might have been different, the kinds of things they did together, etc.

  6. Students will then act-out and film their mini-plays. We will watch them as a class during the next class period.

“Julius Caesar” Lesson Plan #2: Spies!

90 minute period

Objective: In what ways is Cassius persuasive?

Do Now: Read through Cassius’ speech on pages 7 and 8 (Act 1.Scene 2. Lines 136-162). Circle all END punctuatlion marks (. ! ? ; : --) put these on the board

  1. Read through Cassius’ speech aloud going around the room (thought to thought – punctuation mark to punctuation mark)

  2. Read through the speech again going around the circle, remind kids to pay attention, know who they go after, pick up quickly and don’t stop at the end of a line, just at end punctuation!!!

  3. In groups: 2 minutes: Identify ALL rhetorical questions in the speech (underline them).

  4. Share out, assign each group ONE of the rhetorical questions. With the assigned rhetorical question, answer the following:

    1. What is he literally asking?

    2. Why is he asking this question?

    3. How does this make his speech more persuasive?

  5. Watch BBC Shakespeare: Julius Caesar (on Amazon) 7:45-24:00.

    1. As students watch, they should pretend they are a secret spy hired by Julius Caesar to listen in on the conversation. They should think about what they would report back to Caesar about the conversation.

    2. Stop every once and a while to be sure kids get that Cassius is trying to persuade Brutus to help “ruin” Caesar and Brutus is very unsure.

This lesson plan uses the following film adaptation of “Julius Caesar,” which is unfortunately not available on Youtube, but it is very inexpensive on Amazon (it’s free if you are a Prime member):


“Julius Caesar” Lesson Plan #3: Prodigies/Animation

Objective: What are the prodigies? How do they help us understand the play?

Do Now: In groups, read Act I, Scene 3, lines 1-39 (when Cicero exits) and figure out what Casca saw in his dream. Together, in your groups, plan how to act out his dream (not the whole scene). Practice at least five times before performing.

  1. Do Now/Share Out (each group performs).

  2. Discussion: What do we think were the most effective ways of acting out his dream? How do we visualize his dream? How would we represent it through drawing?

  3. We watch the first portion of the BBC version of “Julius Caesar,” just to get an idea of how the tone and mood of the text can be represented through animation. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoWknaC082w)

  4. Students have the rest of the period to create their own artistic interpretation of Casca’s dream.

“Julius Caesar” Lesson Plan #4: Marc Antony’s Funeral Oration

90 minute period

Objective: Is Marc Antony’s funeral oration effective? How and why?

Do Now: 1. Re-read Marc Antony’s funeral oration (Act 3. Scene 2. Lines 72-106).

2. Write down the following definitions: irony - the use of words to convey a meaning that is the opposite of its literal meaning. Rhetoric - (in writing or speech) the undue use of exaggeration or display; bombast.

  1. Read through Marc Antony’s funeral oration aloud going through the room (line by line).

  2. Students will underline where they find examples of Marc Antony using irony. Then, in groups, they will briefly discuss his use of rhetoric.

  3. Students will watch Marlon Brando give Marc Antony’s funeral oration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb8lzYi-sLw)

  4. Students will watch Youtube clip from “The Cosby Show” of Theo and Cockroach performing their version of Antony’s funeral oration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-2NmLTdSq8&feature=player_embedded).

  5. If students want, they can watch one of the many clips on Youtube of alternate version of Mark Antony’s funeral oration in order to give them ideas.

  6. In pairs, students will re-write Marc Antony’s funeral oration in their own words.

  7. Each pair will perform their version in front of a camera (teacher will film each group separately in the hall).

  8. As a whole class, we will watch the work of each group.

  9. If time permits, we will discuss what aspects of each speech proved strongest, and most persuasive. How did they correctly mimic the important aspects of Antony’s original speech?

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