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Essential questions

Is this play sexist or is it merely a product of its times?
Is a work like this relevant today?
Is the play universal?


William Shakespeare
"Kate is less powerful, less wealthy, less cheerful, less in the playwright’s confidence-less everything than Petruchio. When the conflict with women is stressed but unequal, as it is here, we are surely justified in leveling the charge of sexism." (Linda Bamber, 1984)

I found that by focusing this unit on the very controversy that might have prevented me from teaching the play I increased the educational value of it for my students and myself. It was interesting to read the play with a group of modern teenagers while thinking about the idea of sexism, a source of righteous indignation for them. The unit plan uses many techniques adapted from the Folger Library, an invaluable resource in the teaching of any of Shakespeare’s works to teenagers. It incorporates lessons on teaching the plot and characters in addition to several projects that allow the teacher to assess the level of engagement with the essential questions. The culminating performance project requires students to translate a scene from the play into more modern times and in so doing check that the themes and situations fit with modern audiences sensibilities.

Does this play translate across time?
Therefore is it sexist?
Or are we?

Essential Question
Lesson Plan
Content Standards
NETS Standards
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Teacher Commentary

Urban Dreams
OUSD Curriculum Unit
Taming of the Shrew
by William Shakespeare
Subject: English/ELD
Grade Level: 10th

Lesson Plan Author: Sydney King
School: Skyline High School
Organization: OUSD