Unit 3

Exploring Loyalty: William Shakespeareís Julius Caesar



English II††††

Unit Length and Description:


Nine weeks


Students will explore the ideas of ambition and failure, and good and evil. They will learn that conflicts serve as the basis of a textís meaning and that distinguishing the internal and external conflicts of a story reveal the conflicting motivations of complex characters. Students will come to understand how complex characters advance a plot and develop a theme, reflecting real life in which conflicting motivations propel humans to act in different ways.


This unit will focus on craft and structure and integration of knowledge and ideas.Writing will be predominately narrative with some focus on informative/explanatory and argumentative.




Reading Literature:

Skill(s): integrating and evaluating diverse formats of media

  • The students can:
    • analyze the representation of a subject or key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment.


Skill(s): analyzing two or more literary texts/authorís claims

  • The students can:
    • analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work.


Reading Informational Texts:


Skill(s): integrating and evaluating diverse formats of media

  • The students can:
    • analyze various accounts of a story told in different mediums, determining which details are emphasized in each account.


Skill(s): delineating/evaluating arguments/claims

  • The students can:
    • delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.


Skill(s): analyzing two or more informational texts

  • The students can:
    • analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.




Skill(s): narrative writing

  • The students can:
    • write narratives to develop real or imagines experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences by:
      • engaging and orienting the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; creating smooth progression of experiences or events,
      • using narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines to develop experiences, events, and/or characters,
      • using a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole,
      • using precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters, and
      • providing a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolves over the course of the narrative.


Skill(s): gathering information and assessing credibility

  • The students can:
    • search for and collect credible, useful information from a range of established sources, including print and digital, observations and interviews, evaluating a sourceís value based on its authority and relevance to the question students are trying to answer or the problem they are trying to solve, and
    • incorporate the information from their sources into their paper or report, selecting and arranging this information to maintain the flow of text and its ideas and citing all their sources correctly according to the established format so they avoid plagiarism.


Skill(s): drawing evidence to support analysis, reflection, or research.

  • The students can:
    • gather evidence from literary or informational texts to back up studentsí claims or explanations when analyzing, reflecting on, or researching a topic or text, and
    • collect evidence for their ideas to analyze and assess the arguments and claims the author makes, evaluating the validity and relevance of the authorís reasoning and evidence to determine if any of the claims are false or if the reasoning is fallacious.


Speaking and Listening


Skill(s): presenting information

  • The students can:
    • present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.


Skill(s): using technology

  • The students can:
    • make strategic use of digital media in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence to add interest.


Skill(s): adapting speech

  • The students can:
    • adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.




Skill(s): determining or clarifying definitions of words with multiple


  • The students can:
    • determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies by:

a)   using context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase,

b)   identifying and correctly using patterns of word changes to indicate different meanings or parts of speech,

c)   consulting general and specialized reference materials, both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its etymology, and

d)   verifying the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase.


Skill(s): demonstrating understanding of figurative language

  • The students can:
    • demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning by

a)   interpreting figures of speech in context and analyzing their role in the text, and

b)   analyzing nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.


Enduring Understandings:


         Different people have different views of loyalty.

         In drama, especially tragedies, there are many elements that drive the story forward.

         Reading classical drama allows us to have a better understanding of other cultures as well as how our own has developed over time.

         Manipulation and deceit can cause a person to deny his or her conscience.

         Ambition and power, when combined, may cause a person to become dangerous.


Essential Questions:


         How do we display loyalty in our daily lives?

         What dramatic elements contribute to tragedies?

         How have Greek and Roman culture and literature influenced our own culture and literature?

         How does manipulation and/or deceit affect oneís decision making?

         How much power and ambition is too much?