Shakespeare's play about madness and family is an established favourite for senior students. This 48-page unit of work has been tested successfully with a mixed-ability class and provides material for a full 10-week school term.
This unit focuses on close textual analysis. There is a mixture of tasks which gets students writing analytically, personally, and creatively, helping them to build up their own unique interpretation of the work, and eventually to express this in a formal essay.
There is a brief, student-friendly explanation of what a close reading actually is and how to perform it, followed by a sample close reading of the opening passage.
Each scene has a single-page task sheet comprising three higher-order tasks: a close reading of a nominated passage, an extended response to develop interpretative thinking, and a choice of creative writing tasks which springboard from the language and ideas in the chapter.
Ten senior-level essay questions offer a choice of arguments about character, theme, language, and context, and a sample essay discusses the following question:
King Lear is enduringly relevant because it shows us that when we suffer from distorted perception we need others’ care, not their exploitation.
Does this satisfactorily explain the relevance of the play?