Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Devon Erlich 

As we approach the Shakespearean tragedy, we are going to not only study the dramatic terms utilized, but also the ways in which characters are persuaded. The essential question, “What makes a person persuasive?” will lead us through the reading of Julius Caesar when looking at the actions of all of the characters. We will discuss their use of ethos, logos, and pathos to persuade others, and we will also look at each character’s understanding of his audience. While we will study and practice persuasive techniques in advertising, writing, and speech, we will also focus on the audience’s perception of the persuader through the question, “When should we follow the guidance of others and when should we follow our own conscience?” As young adults, it is important for students to consider the process of decision-making and the weight of decisions. Hopefully, the students will come away from this unit with an appreciation for Shakespeare and an understanding of Julius Caesar. However, they should also be able to use the persuasive techniques used throughout the play in the classroom and in their own lives. Finally, as effective persuaders, the students should also be more conscious decision makers.

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