Much Ado About Nothing

A quick overview: First period went over outlining for a PASS writing test prompt. Second period continued working on their review of Much Ado About Nothing. Fourth period went through IV.1 and IV.2 of Romeo and Juliet. Seventh period had a review of nouns and pronouns. Additionally, first and seventh spent some time writing in their journals.

  • First period: finish outline and write second draft by Friday.
  • Second period: complete second draft.
  • Fourth period: journal entry.
  • Seventh period: none.

First, fourth, and seventh periods had a quick practice PASS test today. We’ll be having them in first and seventh periods periodically until the actual test in March. (Fourth period took a break from Romeo and Juliet because of Monday’s impending quiz on act three.)

Second period almost completed watching Much Ado About Nothing. We’ll finish up Tuesday and begin our work on the reviews.

  • First and seventh periods:
    • complete outline for PASS writing assignment;
    • write second draft based on that outline.
  • Second period: none.
  • Fourth period:
    • study for act III quiz (Tuesday)
    • read IV.i and write a paragraph about the subtext from one of the following characters:
      • Paris
      • Friar Laurence
      • Juliet
    • read IV.ii and write a paragraph about the subtext from one of the following characters:
      • Capulet
      • Juliet

First period finished up pronouns. We went through the final groups very quickly: my goal is only to have them be able to recognize them in sentences, not necessarily to identify the type of pronouns.

Seventh period is about 20 minute behind first period.

Second period began watching Much Ado About Nothing and taking notes for the film review. We’ll finish it up tomorrow and Friday.

Fourth period finished act three. We’ll have a quiz Tuesday and spend some time tomorrow reviewing.

  • First, second, and seventh periods: journal.
  • Fourth period: review act three to determine which passages we discussed in depth and might, therefore, appear on the quiz.

First and seventh periods worked on reflexive and intensive pronouns. First period completed everything; seventh period needs to work on practice exercises.

Additionally, first and seventh periods were assigned journals. First, second, and seventh periods are now working on identical journal assignments. The requirements are simple:

  1. Write daily.
  2. Write deeply (always ask “Why” and go a little deeper than “I had a test in math today. I think I failed.”)
  3. Avoid slang.

There are no length guidelines. It’s a question of quality over quantity.

Second period looked at how to write a review. They’ll be writing a review of Much Ado About Nothing after they watch it.

Fourth period went over the study guide for III.i through III.iii. We finished up watching III.iv. I’ve instructed students to go back and read the portions of the play we didn’t act out in class.

  • First and second period: journal entries.
  • Second period:
    • journal entries;
    • prepare for presentations (tomorrow).
  • Fourth:
    • read sample answer;
    • review III.i through III.iv;
    • answer discussion questions.

First and seventh periods went over the tests from Friday. The results were good: somewhere in the mid-80s for both classes. Additionally, first period began working on reflexive and intensive pronouns (tomorrow’s topic).

Second period had rehearsal time for their major Shakespeare acting project. Tomorrow we’ll be working on the rehearsals a bit more tomorrow, as well as going over the format for a review. The presentations will be Wednesday. Thursday and Friday we will watch the film version of Much Ado About Nothing.

Fourth period had a quiz on act two from Romeo and Juliet. We also watched a BBC performance of III.ii.

  • First and seventh: none.
  • Second:
    • review Much Ado About Nothing lines;
    • write in your journals.
  • Fourth:

First and seventh periods completed tests on their Bluford books. Next week we’ll be using their essay responses to look at the PASS rubric and use of detail.

Second period determined their groups and scenes for the major project for Much Ado About Nothing.

Fourth period completed III.i in class. We’ll be having the quiz on act two Monday; students will need to have III-i through III.iv read by class Wednesday.

  • First and seventh periods: none.
  • Second period: practice lines (work on memorization).
  • Fourth period: study for act two quiz on Monday.

Fourth period began working on tableau vivants (Wikipedia) for act three, scene one. We’ll be presenting them tomorrow. We have heavy homework coming up this weekend, though: three scenes from act three (two, three, and four).

First and seventh periods continued with the parts of speech review, going over personal pronouns today.

Second period finished Much Ado About Nothing and began dividing up  scenes for the major project.

  • First and seventh period: study for test on Bluford books tomorrow.
  • Second: none.
  • Fourth: continue planning tableau vivant.

First and seventh period completed the allotted time for the Bluford literature circle. We’ll be having a test on Friday.

Second period finished reading/acting Much Ado About Nothing. We’ll be starting the project — memorizing and acting a scene from the play — at the end of class tomorrow.

Fourth period finished act two from Romeo and Juliet. We’ll be having a quiz on act two on Monday.

  • First and seventh period: complete book (if you have not already).
  • Second period: none (journal).
  • Fourth period:
    • questions 8 and 11 from act two summary;
    • “Writing Assignment” in journal.

First and seventh periods continued the Bluford project. Tomorrow will be the last do to complete the required work. We will have a test on Friday.

Second period completed act IV of Much Ado About Nothing. I have put online the rubric for the culminating project, which we will probably start later this week.

Fourth period worked on the study guide through II.iv. We’ll finish up the act tomorrow.

  • First and seventh periods: finish your book (tomorrow is the last day you will have to do the classwork for the various units).
  • Second period: continue writing in your journal.
  • Fourth period: complete the second infinitives activity.

It’s Friday: let’s make it short and to the point.


  • First and seventh period: complete your book (we will have a test Friday).
  • Second period: none.
  • Fourth period:
    • read II.iv;
    • work on online infinitives lesson (available late Saturday afternoon);
    • make sure study guide is up to date.

First and seventh periods began a slow overview of the eight parts of speech, beginning with nouns today. We’ve neglected grammar this year, and now we’re going to remedy that. We’re continuing with the literature circles tomorrow.

Second period went over act three from Much Ado About Nothing. We’ll finish the play by the end of next week.

Fourth period finished Romeo and Juliet II.ii. We’ll slowly begin picking up the pace: we’ve become more comfortable with the text, and I’ve decided we’ll do some of it through home readings.

(New pictures of second and fourth periods at the gallery.)

  • First and seventh periods: continue reading your book (you’ll need to have all the work completed next Wednesday).
  • Second period: complete the study guide for act three.
  • Fourth period: answer the essay question on the R&J discussion forum.

First and seventh periods continued with the Bluford literature circles. Because of less-than-stellar performance Friday, seventh period continued the project by working alone.

Second period is almost done with the second act of Much Ado About Nothing.

Fourth period began the secene from R&J: act 2, scene 2 — the balcony scene. We’ll finish up Wednesday by watching a version of the balcony scene after we’ve blocked out and performed our own version.

  • First and seventh periods: we need to be done with the first six chapters of the Bluford books by the end of tomorrow’s lesson: read as necessary.
  • Second period: revise study guide questions for act two.
  • Fourth period:
    • finish reading II.ii at home;
    • complete act I review activity (if not completed already) for reduced credit.

Advancing yesterday’s improvement: first and seventh period were to complete the first unit for their literature circles. While most students in first period completed the work, many in seventh period chose to spend their class time engaging in less productive activities. Therefore, the majority of seventh period will take a break from the literature circle format and return to full class activities.

Second and fourth periods are continuing with the Bard: Second period completed its first reading of Much Ado About Nothing‘s second act. Fourth period completed the prologue to act two.

  • First and seventh periods: depends on group decisions.
  • Second period: complete study guide for act two.
  • Fourth period:
    • read II.ii;
    • go through the first act summary activity (treat it as a quiz: closed book, closed cell phone, closed everything — open mind).

First and seventh periods are still working on literature circles. We’re about to finish the first group of chapters and activities. We’ll be focusing on determining a text’s main idea as we work.

Second period continued with Much Ado About Nothing. We began the second act today, though we didn’t quite finish it. We also went through a quick, unplanned review of perspectiving, using Billy Collins’ “Forgetfulness.”

Fourth period began act two from Romeo and Juliet.

  • First and seventh periods: depends on the groups’ decisions.
  • Second period: none.
  • Fourth period: practice the prologue for act two.

Two of the four classes are now working on Shakespeare: second period (Much Ado About Nothing) and fourth period (Romeo and Juliet).

Second period finished up act I.

I also added a new assignment to second period’s plate: journals. The requirements:

  1. Write daily.
  2. Write about “Why” questions: Don’t simply write, “I went to school and had a math test. I don’t think I did well on it.” Explain why you think that.

I will check five of the entries and expect four of them to have the deeper “why” element.

Fourth period spent much of the period going over PSAT results with guideance. We finished up questions for I.v and will give the scene one last reading tomorrow before starting the second act.

  • First and seventh periods: literature circle decision.
  • Second period:
    • finish Act I questions;
    • begin journal (suggested topic: questions and thoughts about Much Ado About Nothing).
  • Fourth period: re-read parts.