Common Core Standards & Shakespeare

globe ros & orlandoAccording to blogger “Shakespeare Teacher,” Shakespeare’s works are central to new Common Core standards:

And, far from being lost in the informational-text shuffle, Shakespeare now becomes the man of the hour. As the only author explicitly required by the Common Core, Shakespeare must be taught in grades 11 and 12 (see page 38, right column, Standards 4 and 7). Shakespeare is also included in the recommended texts for grades 9 and 10 (see page 58, left column, center). And Shakespeare is not excluded for younger students either, as the standards outline only the minimum of what must be taught in each grade.

Common Core Standards

Grade 9-10

  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work (e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare).

Grade 11-12

  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas 

    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7 Analyze multiple interpretations of a story, drama, or poem (e.g., recorded or live production of a play or recorded novel or poetry), evaluating how each version interprets the source text. (Include at least one play by Shakespeare and one play by an American dramatist.)

Further Reading:

Shaffer, Ralph E. “Reading Shakespeare: Something is rotten in Common Core.” Chicago Tribune Opinion. Jan. 2, 2014. Web.

Turchi, Laura and Ayanna Thompson. “Shakespeare and the Common Core: An Opportunity to Reboot.” Phi Delta Kappan. Sep. 2013, Vol. 95 Issue 1, p.32-36.

“Students won’t meet Common Core goals if we continue simply to require plot summaries, character reductions, and recited platitudes about a given play’s universal themes.” –Turchi and Thompson

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