Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Emotions

Julius Caesar

Chelsee Wilson | Published: May 25th, 2022 by K20 Center

Summary

How do you persuade others? How did the characters in Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" use ethos, pathos, and logos to sway the minds of the Roman people? This lesson explores the three modes of persuasion and invites students to analyze and notate the speeches in Shakespeare's tragedy for ethos, pathos, and logos. Students will need some working knowledge of the modes of persuasion prior to beginning this lesson. To go more in-depth regarding speeches and oratory, consider teaching the "Speak up! Four Categories of Speeches" lesson before (or after) this one.  This lesson includes optional modifications for distance learning. Resources for use in Google Classroom are included.

Essential Question(s)

In what ways are ideas communicated orally? How do we persuade others? 

Snapshot

Engage

Students participate in a Honeycomb Harvest activity to categorize statements according to their mode of persuasion—logos, ethos, or pathos.

Explore

Students watch three short commercials and determine what mode of persuasion is used to sell each product.

Explain

Students use the Why-Lighting or Categorical Highlighting strategy to analyze speeches from the Shakespeare's Julius Caesar for modal evidence.

Extend

Students complete CERs (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) over one of the provided speeches and identify the modes of persuasion used.

Evaluate

Students turn in their CERs as formative assessments.

Materials

  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) handout (attached; one per student)

  • Honeycomb Harvest cards (attached; one set per two students)

  • I Notice, I Wonder handout (attached; one per student)

  • Julius Caesar Speech 1 handout (attached; one for every three students)

  • Julius Caesar Speech 2 handout (attached; one for every three students)

  • Julius Caesar Speech 3 handout (attached; one for every three students)

  • Teacher's Guide for Julius Caesar Speeches 1-3 (attached; optional)

  • Internet access

Engage

Begin by putting students in pairs. Give each pair a set of the prepared Honeycomb Harvest strategy cards. Display slide three. Ask each pair to sort and connect the honeycombs as they see fit.

After each pair has created their "honeycombs," combine pairs into groups of four. Display slide four. Ask each group to compare and contrast their connections and justify their reasoning for their groupings and connections.

Once groups have discussed their justifications, ask a few groups to share with the class.

Explore

Next, give each student a copy of the attached I Notice, I Wonder handout. Show slide five. Tell students that they are going to watch three short commercials. As they watch each commercial, they should to take notes via the I Notice, I Wonder strategy—writing down their observations ("I Notice") and questions ("I Wonder").

Display slide six. Using the links on the slide (or here) or the embedded video below, show students the first commercial with former NFL football player Brett Favre.

Display slide seven and invite students to share their observations, allowing time for response. Next, ask students to share their questions, and allow time for replies. Then, ask students which of the three appeals—logos, ethos, or pathos—was used in the commercial.

Next, display slide eight. Using the links on the slide (or here) or the embedded video below, show students the second commercial for the World Wildlife Fund.

Display slide nine. Invite students to share their observations, allowing time for response. Next, ask students to share their questions, and allow time for replies. Then, ask students which of the three appeals—logos, ethos, or pathos—was used in the commercial.

Next, display slide 10. Using the links on the slide (or here) or the embedded video below, show students the third commercial about "light" soups.

Display slide 11. Invite students to share their observations, allowing time for response. Next, ask students to share their questions, and allow time for replies. Then, ask students which of the three appeals—logos, ethos, or pathos—was used in the commercial.

Explain

Display slide 13 or slide 14, depending on your preferred strategy. Explain to students that they will be reading one of three speeches from Julius Caesar and, using the Why-Lighting or Categorical Highlighting strategy, find and label examples of ethos, pathos, and logos. Ask students to explain whether they consider each highlighted portion to be logos, ethos, or pathos, and why.

Number students off from 1-3. Assign and pass out one of the three attached Julius Caesar Speech handouts to each student, with the speech number corresponding to each student's assigned number. Have students use the Jigsaw strategy to study and share their ideas with their groups.

Once students have finishing highlighting and annotating their assigned speeches, display slide 15. Ask for volunteers to share with a heterogeneous group to discuss what they highlighted, how they labeled it, and their justification or reasoning for doing so. Give time for each student to share out.

Ask students to share out an example of each of the three modes of persuasion and their reasoning or justification for labeling it as such.

Extend

Display slide 16, and pass out a copy of the attached CER (Claim, Evidence, Reasoning) handout to each student.

Invite students to, using the Claim, Evidence, Reasoning strategy, write their own claims about the death of Julius Caesar and ultimately persuade the citizens to join with Brutus and Cassius or with Mark Antony and the triumvirate. The evidence students use must be from the text of the play.

Evaluate

Have students turn in their CER handouts as formative assessments for the lesson.

Resources