Riddle me this, JC …

Just how well do you know Julius Caesar?

Some time ago, I mentioned that I’d decided to write a scheme of work for Julius Caesar for our place. And I had a LOT of fun working on it whilst school was closed, but never posted anything about it …

I’m by no means finished, because when school reopened, like many teachers I found myself running even faster than usual to stand still. For the non-teachers amongst you, my experience, broadly repeated amongst colleagues, is that WE STAFF have done the heavy lifting, and absorbed the majority of the changes to school life during the pandemic: this is partly because we want to normalise student education as much as possible, partly also because as adults we are more willing – and able – to accommodate change and new ways of working. Example: don’t let anyone tell you that UK students are effectively working in bubbles, or following procedures such as one-way systems, mask-wearing and hand-washing. The significant minority of poorly-behaved students are acting as if Covid was a joke to scare tiny children, and endangering whole school communities with their idiocies. Not least teachers who are, ahem, advanced in years and in BMI ..

Either way, the resource runs to 40-50 pages at the moment, and my deadline is Easter, so … the most fiddly bit, and the least fun bit, is incidentally the box ticking (literally) and other assorted BS that goes into writing school-compliant lesson plans to accompany the resources.

By way of a small update, a showing off, and perhaps a spur to get myself moving again, here’s an extract. My work this year has increasingly been influenced by ideas like ‘dual-coding‘ and the astonishingly simple yet effective ideas and designs of Oliver Caviglioli. There’s also an element of gamification in lots of my post-lockdown stuff – again, backed up by what I might call CPD (even if my employers wouldn’t stump up for it). I think you can see all these things here.

The basic premise is that at Year 9 (the last one before their GCSE exam course), they don’t need to read the entire text, but they do need to know how to handle the narrative and Shakespeare’s language. There are various other issues I wanted to address, which I’ll look at in another post, but for now, the simple fact is that there was a pre-reading homework which gives them my own tailored synopsis of the play, a scattering of relevant quotations, and these icons scattered throughout.

The resource, again for reasons which I’ll explore elsewhere, should be self-explanatory. You are, dear reader, in many ways, a guinea-pig. How well can you reorder, summarise and indeed quote from the play using only these icons?

Do please let me know how you get on 🙂

Author: Boar's Head, Eastcheap

Hyperactive English Teacher and Tutor; Shakespeare-obsessed 'Villainous abominable misleader of youth'; 'old white-bearded Satan'; Friend of the Orangutan

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