Lesson #2: Human Nature and Human Societies

Subject: English— Drama: Twelve Angry Men
Title: Lesson 2—Human Nature and Human Societies
Grade: ENG 3C1
Time Frame: 75-150 minutes

Curricular Expectations:

  • Oral Communication:
    • Listening to Understand: (1.4) identify the important information and ideas in oral texts, including increasingly complex texts, in a variety of ways; (1.7) analyse oral texts, including increasingly complex texts, focusing on the ways in which they communicate information, ideas, issues, and themes and influence the listener’s/viewers response.
    • Speaking to Communicate: (2.1) communicate orally for a variety of purposes, using language appropriate for intended audience; (2.2) demonstrate an understanding of a variety of interpersonal speaking strategies and adapt them to suit the purpose, situation, and audience; (2.4) use appropriate words, phrases, and terminology, and several different stylistic devices, to communicate and engage their intended audience; (2.5) identify a variety of vocal strategies, including tone, pace, and volume, and use them appropriately and with sensitivity to audience needs and cultural differences.
  • Reading and Literature Studies:
    • Reading for Meaning: (1.3) identify the most important ideas and supporting details in texts; (1.6) analyse texts in terms of the information, ideas, issues, and themes they explore, exampling how various aspects of the texts contribute to the presentation or development of these elements; (1.7) evaluate the effectiveness of texts, using evidence from the text to support their opinions; (1.8) identify and analyse the perspectives and/or biases evident in texts, and comment on any questions they may raise about beliefs, values, identity, and power.
  • Writing:
    • Developing and Organizing Content: (1.2) generate, expand, explore, and focus ideas for potential writing tasks, using a variety of strategies and print, electronic, and other resources; (1.3) locate and select information to appropriately support ideas for writing; (1.4) identify, sort, and order main ideas and supporting details for writing tasks, using a variety of strategies and organizational patterns suited to the content and the purpose of writing;
  • Media Studies:
    • Creating Media Texts: (3.4) produce media texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques.

Lesson Expectations:
  • Students will analyze dramatic plot structure, determining how character in action and words contribute to climactic outcomes;
  • Students will produce blogs and participate in discussion forums, comparing characters in the play to citizens in a democracy;
  • Students will compose a profile, examining the words and actions of dramatic characters, inferring patterns of human behaviour, attitudes, and values, and create a tangible representation profile of that character throughout the unit.

Anticipatory Set: (10 minutes)
Hat Trick:
Groups Formed and Tasks Explained
-The teacher passes a hat around, containing numbers 1-12, plus additional numbers 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 for larger classes. The number a student draws will correspond to the juror that each will read aloud in role and analyze.
Procedure/Instructional Sequence: (50 minutes)
Reading Aloud in Role
ACT I (p. 5-26)
-The teacher hands out the copies of the text and students read the teleplay aloud in role, guided and informed by the playwright’s “Description of Characters”
Making Inferences
- Students are asked to infer the back stories of jurors, including some or all of the following: physical appearance, telling mannerisms, occupations, fears, desires, values, attitudes, and significant experiences and choices
Discussion Forum and
Blog Writing
-Students are asked to collaborate with their group members, posting their observations and inferences about their particular juror on a Discussion Forum or blog on the wikispaces class website, or the teacher can create a class Ning site that allows for blogging and social networking.

-During the reading of the play and after viewing the film adaptations, each group (through blogs, discussion forums, in-class discussions) performs these tasks:

1. Compose a profile of their juror, based on their words and actions, that includes some or all of the following: his physical appearance, mannerisms, occupation, fears, desires, values, attitudes, and significant choices;
2. Analyse and explain what their juror contributes to the dramatic development of the play’s/film’s storyline and plot;
3. Analyse and explain what their juror reveals about human nature and behaviour; and
4. Apply how their juror contributes to important themes in the play/film, such as the workings and tensions inherent in human society, democracy, and leadership.


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Create Facebook Page for Juror
-The teacher hands out the activity “Creating a Facebook Profile for Your Juror” and explains the ongoing activity to the class.

-Students will create and produce a tangible Facebook profile throughout the course of the unit.
-Students (either independently or in small groups, depending on class size) will keep an ongoing log that explores their juror in-depth as the play progresses, updating status with “guilty” or “not guilty” as the deliberation continues.
-At the end of the play students will put together their Facebook profile on Bristol board and submit.
-The teacher shows exemplars of different levels, explaining the differences between them in regards to expectations.
-The teacher reviews the assessment rubric and entertains any questions.
-The teacher reviews the daily reflection log and the class negotiates a due date for the project.

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