The Merchant of Venice Anticipation Guide by fiw10869


									                                      The Merchant of Venice
                                           Anticipation Guide
Before you begin reading The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, take a moment to look
over these statements. Decide whether you agree or disagree and put an “A” or a “D” in the space
provided under the column “Your Thoughts.” Write two to three sentences after the statement
describing why you agree or disagree. You will have 10 minutes to finish this part of the assignment
before we move on to the next column. If you finish before the 10 minutes are up, please begin
reading the play while you wait.

 Your            Your     Shakespeare’s
Thoughts      Predictions   Thoughts
                                                Don’t rely on outward appearances when making judgments.
  _____          _____            _____         Why?____________________________________________
                                                Justice is always blind. Why?_________________________
  _____          _____            _____         _________________________________________________
                                                A brotherly love between two friends can be just as strong as
  _____          _____            _____         an intimate love between a man and a woman. Why?______
                                                You can break a promise as long as you have a good excuse.
  _____          _____            _____         Why? ___________________________________________
                                                Love is blind. Why? ________________________________
  _____          _____            _____         _________________________________________________
                                                Stereotypes are often right. Why? _____________________
  _____          _____            _____         _________________________________________________
                                                An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth is a good motto to
  _____          _____            _____         live by. Why? ___________________________________

In the next column, we will work together as a class to decide whether we think Shakespeare will agree
or disagree with these statements in his play. What might Shakespeare say through his characters?
What might the characters do in the play? These are questions to ask while making predictions. Not
everyone in the class needs to agree on an answer. We will go through them together and discuss our
reasons, but everyone is free to write whether they think Shakespeare would agree or disagree with this
statement according to the events and dialogue in his play.

The last column will be saved for the end. We will look at it again after we have finished reading the
play and we will decide whether Shakespeare gave evidence either for or against these statements.

  Please hang on to these sheets and do not lose them! You will want to refer to them while you
                     read and especially after you have read the whole play.

Jennifer Merrill, BYU Eng 378 Sec 1; June 1, 2005
Anticipation Guide for
                                         “The Merchant of Venice”
Purpose: This reading strategy allows students to make predictions about the play before they read it.
It requires them to make judgments about themes that will be found throughout the play and decide
how they believe Shakespeare will treat these themes in the play.

Rationale: This strategy must be done before reading the play to prepare students for a higher level of
thinking about the concepts that will be presented. This activity will prepare students to be more
engaged in the play because they have already considered the themes that will be presented and will
initiate a type of conversation between them and Shakespeare as they read. They will refer to this
exercise throughout the reading and especially at the end to see if Shakespeare treats these themes as
they believed he would.

Time: 30 minutes

First Step: Distribute a copy of the handout provided to everyone in the class. Read the instructions
together (whether you read them to the class or have a student read them is up to you). Tell the
students they have 10 minutes to write whether they agree or disagree with the statement (putting an
“A” or a “D” respectively in the space provided) and to provide a brief two to three sentence
explanation of why they agree or disagree.

Second Step: Allow the students to work quietly. You may want to play some appropriate
instrumental music, like the soundtrack to the motion picture The Merchant of Venice. This music is
very renaissance in theme with some modern undertones and will set the mood for the play they are
about to read.

Third Step: Warn the students when they have 5 minutes left so they can pace themselves. Warn
them again when they have a minute so they can finish their thoughts. After the ten minutes are up,
take another ten minutes to go through each statement and ask for volunteers to share what they wrote.
This will stimulate a good discussion, but beware of heated arguments. Help the students learn the
value of articulating their feelings well, being able to back up what they said with good reasons and

Fourth Step: After discussing differences in responses, take 8 – 10 minutes going through the
statements and deciding whether Shakespeare would agree or disagree in his play, The Merchant of
Venice. Explain that we will go through these together, but not everyone has to write the same answer.
The class will go through them together, but everyone writes what they think. Explain that they need
to hang on to these handouts and refer to them as they read the play to see whether their predictions
were right or not. These sheets will be turned in after the play is read.

Assessment: Assess the students according to their participation in the discussion and whether they
are following along as the class writes down their thoughts and predictions. You may want to ask the
students who are not participating to share their thoughts to make sure they understand the concepts.
When this unit is done and the play has been read, assessment can be done further by looking at their
handouts and evaluating their responses.

Jennifer Merrill, BYU Eng 378 Sec 1; June 1, 2005

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