Making Curriculum Pop

Hi everyone,

I am a student teacher who will be teaching "Julius Caesar" to a 10th grade Honors class in 3 weeks. Have any of you had any success with making this dry history play a bit more exciting for students? If so, please share, your ideas and suggestions are MOST appreciated!


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I'm about to start student teaching and we're starting with Julius Caeser. I see that you posted this in August. I'm just wondering how teaching the play went and if there were any activities in particular that students enjoyed.
Thanks for your help.
Lisa, thank you for writing - were you able to see all the old posts? You're the second page of posts - do you see the

Those buttons at the bottom let you scroll back - I THINK there is some backstory there (can't remember) but we'll see if Allison has some additional info for us!


Thanks, Ryan. I did do some reading and exploring of links. I was just wondering if there was anything the students really responded to. I'm going to be teaching in a very rural area with little technology. Only about half the students are bound for four-year college, so I really need to help them get into it. Fortunately, I love this play.
Cool, I was just double checking :) Yeah, it is a fun play - keep us posted:)
Hi Lisa! My experience teaching "Caesar" was not super exciting. I ended up sticking closely to the original teaching method my cooperating teacher used - plus, the students were honors students, so they didn't need a lot of extra fluff to help them understand the play. I did, however, come up with a fun activity that I got to do with one class at the end of the unit. I used clips on YouTube from HBO's "Rome" and the Marlon Brando version of "Julius Caesar," as well as a clip featuring William Shatner rapping the Mark Antony monologue. We watched the clips, then I gave students time to fill in the worksheet. We discussed the clips in order to help students consider how the filming/acting in the clips made them different. Attached is the worksheet for the clips, which asked students to compare the clips, and a Wordle I made comparing Brutus to Antony.
Thanks so much, Allison. This looks great.
Allison, thank you also for sharing!! Can you direct us to the Shatner clip? Pleeeasseee :)
EXCELLENT! Thank you!!!

I have taught Caesar off and on for 20 years. Although it is dry, my students like it. I use the idea of power in politics to grab them. This is a good year for that. I also introduce the rhetorical triangle and rhetorical devices in this unit. The students find the rhetorical elements in the funeral speeches. I have also put Caesar on trial for tyranny. The kids really liked doing a trial because they could act as various characters in the book and we could prove once and for all if Caesar deserved to die.

I don't have any Pop in my lessons yet. This play gets overlooked when it comes to cultural references. I do use the Brando version of the play. I like to show parts before we read the play so the kids can hear how the lines should be spoken and what the characters and setting looked like.

Jeana, it is so great to see folks adding to these older (yet essential) questions. I dunno if you had a chance to watch the HBO/BBC2 mini-series 'Rome.' I REALLY wish they had continued the show. That said the episode when they killed Caesar might be a fun companion (preview it) - here is a clip from the last episode of Season 1.



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