In the article which you can download below, I argue that Othello's tragedy can be seen as residing in his subscription to pernicious racial and gender ideologies. What I have tried to do in this article is bring together traditional approaches - Othello as tragedy - and more recent approaches which focus on representations of race and gender.
Othello is one of Shakespeare's greatest and most complex plays. Its representations of race and ethncity are especially fruitful areas of analysis. Below you can download a set of notes on the representation of race and ethnicity in Othello.
Many poems and stories begin by creating a mystery or a puzzle which the reader has to solve by reading the rest of the text. Students need to be made aware of this literary convention and to see it as a form of game which the reader has to play in order to gain meaning and pleasure from the text. 'How Gilbert Died' is a useful vehicle for teaching this literary convention. 'How Gilbert Died' is a poem about the death of an Australian bushranger, written by Australia's most popular poet A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson. Below you can download a lesson plan for the poem, a copy of the poem itself and a set of teachers notes.
' The Monkey's Paw' is a classic horror story which both challenges and entertains students. Below you can download a lesson plan for 'The Monkey's Paw' and a copy of the story. There is also an amazing number of video versions of the story available on YouTube. Two of the better ones are 'The Monkey's Paw' and 'The Curse of the Monkey's Paw'.
Looking for a narrative poem which will engage students in Years 7 to 10? 'Flannan Isle' is based on an incident in 1900 when three men mysteriously disappeared without trace from a lighthouse off the coast of Scotland.
Told from the point of view of one of the discoverers of the disappearance, this 'spooky' poem is open-ended, leaving it up to the reader to come up with a solution to the mystery. Great for generating discussion and teaching the skill of inferential reading.
Below you can download a lesson plan for 'Flannan Isle', teachers background notes and a copy of the poem itself.
Managing student behaviour while writing on the whiteboard can sometimes be a challenge for teachers. Every time you take your eyes off the students, some take it as a signal to have a chat or misbehave.
I saw a clever solution to this problem while observing a student teacher today. The teacher put some headings on the board before the lesson. But when it came to adding points arising from student contributions under the headings, the teacher orchestrated the discussion while using a student as her scribe to add the points to the board. This allowed the teacher to keep her eyes on the class more of the time and thus manage behaviour more effectively.
It also added a nice extra touch of student participation to the lesson.
I doubt if she's the first teacher to use this tactic, but it was the first time I'd seen it used. Definitely worth trying.