Poem A Day:

“I Wonder” by Kanye West- I used edited lyrics and a radio-edit for this one. We listened to it at the beginning of class, while students were walking in, and then I told them we would flip the script today and listen to it at the end of class in order to analyze its connection to Macbeth.


We reviewed a few key terms and characters and history behind the play, briefly. The students were assigned reading roles (my kiddos are pretty into acting things out, so they all volunteered enthusiastically).

Active Engagement:

Students acted out Act I scenes 2-4. I am using Folger’s Macbeth- only the Shakespeare text. I act as the translator- so I do not like to use any translations of the text.

What is the point of reading Shakespeare, if you aren’t going to read Shakespeare?

This means that I stop students frequently, and have them try to guess what certain lines mean, or phrases, and then I also interpret for them. This is my fourth time teaching the text, so it gets easier and easier.

Today I assigned one student (a volunteer) to track all of the references to “stars” and “darkness and light”.

After reading/acting/talking, and CHECKING FOR UNDERSTANDING (I like to have kids put their heads down and raise their hands and show me on their fingers their level of understanding on a scale of 1 to 5- this is a routine we have used all year so they know how) we watched the first 18 minutes of Great Performance’s 2010 rendition of Macbeth starring Patrick Stewart. It is super creepy, and weird, and the kids really enjoy it. We watch through Act I scene 4, so students can see what they just read, performed and produced by professionals, uninterrupted.



I checked for understanding again, and after watching, they are all on board.

Then we listened to “I Wonder” and students pointed out the similarities between Kanye and Macbeth- classic.


Let the drama begin!

I am very excited to teach Shakespeare’s Macbeth this quarter!

Image result for macbeth

This unit is designed to be

  • engaging
  • entertaining
  • meaningful

Students will hopefully learn/understand/explore

  • how Shakespeare’s stories have influenced our culture
  • how Shakespeare developed themes of ambition, fate vs free will, and cruelty’s relationship to masculinity
  • the diversity of the various film and stage representations of Macbeth

I taught this play once, several years ago (2012 in Newtown, CT). The students I taught back then still keep in touch with me, and still have fond memories of experiencing this play.

This content for this unit is primarily centered around the play. Still, many of the lessons can be used with lots of Shakespeare plays, or any type of drama. Certainly, the unit will involve close reading strategies that are engaging and can be used when reading any type of media.

As always, feel free to use whatever you want, however you want, and share it with whoever you want.
Happy Learning!