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Macbeth Lesson 6

Anne Mooney
Analysis in Writing: Writing about Feminism in Macbeth
I. Setting the Stage: What are your measureable objectives and assessment?
A. Curriculum Framework Standards: Which MA Curriculum Frameworks address
your topic content and objectives?
RL.8.A. Analyze a work of fiction, poetry, or drama using a variety of critical lenses
(e.g.,formal, psychological, historical, sociological, feminist).
W.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis,
reflection, and research.
L.6. Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and
phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career
readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when
considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression

Generative Topic: What is the focal concept or skill of the lesson?

o Analysis in Writing: Writing about Feminism in a Text

C. Measurable Objectives: What do you want students to know and be able to do?
o Students will be able to analyze parts of a scene from Macbeth using feminist theory.
o Students will be able to draw evidence from the chapters about feminism they read
previously and from Macbeth.
o Students will be able to use accurately the following terms in their writing: feminism,
gender roles, and feminine and/or masculine.
D. End of Lesson Assessment: How are you going to assess students understanding?
o Once student complete their writing (either by the end of class or for homework), the
teacher will collect the writing assignment for a medium-stakes formative assessment
(students will be aware of the stakes before writing begins).
II. Content of the Lesson
A. Content and Skills: What do you know about what you are planning to teach? o
Map or outline the underlying principles, concepts, skills, or strategies that you will teach
in an organized fashion
o Key Terms:
Feminist (Gender Studies) Theory:
o Assumes that there is a historical bias against women (Burke 188)
o Focuses on systems or rules and the roles that govern or affect men and women,
including language.
Feminism: Focuses on systems or rules and the roles that govern or affect men and
women, including language (Burke 188). Explores the ways in which gender roles
affect society and literature (Tyson).

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Gender: Differences in masculinity and femininity; these are cultural roles we take
on; the culturally created and passed on idea of what it means to be a woman and a
man. (Bonnycastle 189)
Feminine: Associated with being a woman; characteristics include feeling emotions,
compliance, passivity, liking the arts (among others things). (Bonnycastle 188)
Masculine: Associated with being a man; characteristics include aggressiveness,
rational thinking, leading, liking science (among other things). (Bonnycastle 188)
Claim: something one states of asserts is true, but must support (Burke 88).
Act 1, Scene 7 of Macbeth. This has already been read with the students; the teacher
has helped students do close readings of the txt before this in order to help them
understand Shakespeares language, the plot of this scene, and the implications of this
scene to the overall play. This scene is a particularly useful scene to analyze using
feminist theory. Lady Macbeth exerts a great deal of power over Macbeth in this scene,
and her statement that shed kill her own baby breaks the traditional gender role of a
Chapter 14, Feminist Literary Criticism, In Search of Authority: An Introductory
Guide to Literary Theory 2nd ed.
Bonnycastle explains the big issues that feminist theory is concerned with. He goes
over the different genders, their characteristics, and their roles in society. He also
explains how these issues can be seen in literary text and also in the world. This
chapter will be given to the students in my unit plan; it is written in a way that I
believe 12th grade honors students would be able to handle.
Chapter 4 (sections), Feminist Criticism, Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly
Guide 3rd ed.
Sections: Traditional Gender Roles (p. 81-87), A Summary of Feminist
Premises (p. 87-88), Getting Beyond Patriarchy (p.88-91), Gender Studies and
Feminism (p.103-112), Feminism and Literature (p.112-114), and Some
Questions Feminist Critics Ask About Literary Texts (p.114-115)
Tyson explains the big issues that feminist theory is concerned with. She also
discusses big terms in feminist theory like patriarchy, privilege, sexism, and gender
roles. She provides a look at feminism as a way to read both literature and the world.
Sections of this chapter will be given to the students to read; although some of the
language is complex, I believe it is still attainable by 12th grade honors students.
The skills that students will need in order to complete this lesson include:
o Ability to understand Shakespeares language (skill developed prior to this
o Ability to use feminist theory to read the scenethe teacher will model
this by filling out a graphic organizer as a class.
o Ability to quote directly from the text in order to support something the
student is saying.
o Ability to use evidence to explain that claim.
o Ability to explain the evidence provided and why it is used.


Rationale: Why teach the lesson?

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Frey and Fisher, in their article, "A Formative Assessment System for Writing
Improvement, say that teachers should create a formative assessment system that
leads up to a summative assessment. The formative assessment system that they
suggest is not merely different formative assessment each day to test student
knowledge, but rather formative assessments created with the overall units purpose
in mind in order to teach and train the skills that students will need to do well on the
summative assessment. Furthermore, they say, formative assessment is a process,
not any particular test (67). This lesson provides students with a formative
assessment that will directly prepare them for their summative assessment. By
completing this formative assessment, students will demonstrate where they are
making any errors, and therefore, the teacher can determine where to proceed with
teaching and if she needs to reteach (perhaps in a different way).
Furthermore, in The Frameworks for Success in Postsecondary Writing, the
Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA) argue that critical thinking is an
important skill students need in order to be successful writers in the college
classroom. By having students analyze the text through a specific frame and asking
them to provide evidence for their thinking, they are critically thinking about this
scene in relation to feminist theory. Also by applying feminism to Macbeth (and
thinking critically about the world through a feminist lens) students are presenting
opnenness a habits of mind according to the WPA; they are demonstrating an
ability to think about the world in a new and different way, which is crucial to their
success in both college and professional life.
Preparation for the Procedures:
Materials: What materials, resources, and technology will you need?
o Teacher will need 28 copies of the writing assignment to hand out to students and the
rubric for that writing.
o Teacher will need 2 copies of sentence starters and conclusion frame worksheet for the
ELL student and the student with autism.
Sequence of Teaching-Procedures
A. Beginning of the Lesson: How will you immediately engage all of your students in the
content? (15 minutes)
o Teacher will pass out the writing assignment and the rubric. Teacher will give the ELL
student and the student with autism the sentence starter worksheet.
o Teacher will read the writing assignment for students and ask them if they have any
o Teacher will read through criteria for a 3 and 4 on the rubric with students and will ask
students if they have any questions.
o Teacher will ask students to take out their graphic organizers created in the last classes
and their texts.
o Students will get laptops and bring them back to their desk.

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

B. Middle of Lesson: What are your students doing (e.g., speaking, writing, drawing,
performing, documenting, observing) to explore the content? (40 minutes)
o Students will begin writing their papers. They are encouraged to first create an outline
or web organizer to get their ideas formulated.
o Teacher will project the in-text citation format for each text on the board for students
to reference in their writing.
o Teacher will conference with students in pairs (2-4 minutes) to see if they have any
other questions and give them any guidance if necessary.
o Students will continue to write.
C. Extension and Enrichment Activities during Class Time: How will you extend the
learning of students who finish tasks early?
o If students finish early, they are encouraged to go back to the rubric and look though
their paper to see if there are any places they can improve.
D. End of Lesson: How will you help all students process the experience? (5 minutes)
o Students will put their computers away and answer the following exit slip: Tell me
one thing you found difficult about using evidence in your paper.

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Appendix A
Supplementary Materials: Graphic Organizers (Passed out and completed in
lessons 3-5)

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure A.1: In Search of Authority Graphic Organizer

Chapter 14, Feminist Literary Criticism from: In Search of Authority: An
Introductory Guide to Literary Theory 2nd ed.

What is the central

Both explain and give 1
quote from the text to
support what you say.

Give 2 examples of
how the central
problem arises in
language, literature, and

Give 2 examples from

the text of how the
author says you can look
at gender issues in
individual works of

Who is feminine and

who is masculine? Who
can be feminine and/or
masculine? Give a
quote to support your

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Answer the following

questions after reading
the whole chapter:
Remember to provide
evidence (and page
numbers) from the text
for your answers.

1. What does the author suggest the typical roles of men and
women are? Hint: what are the traits that are examined in a
list. Talk about at least 2 things on that list and explain if you
have experienced this or seen this happen to someone else.
Example: I think boys are told to be aggressive and girls
told be to passive because my brother is allowed to fight with
other people and wrestle, but if I do, my mom yells at me.
2. Does someone have to be a female to be feminine and a male
to be masculine? Explain and use a direct quote.
3. What is sexism? Can you think of any characters in texts we
have read that have experienced sexism? Example: Jordan
Baker experiences sexism because she isnt taken as
seriously as a golfer because shes a woman.
4. Think about the gender issues that are discussed about
individual texts. Can you think of any possible gender issues
in Macbeth?

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure A.2: Critical Theory Today Graphic Organizer

Chapter 4 (sections), Feminist Criticism, Critical Theory Today: A User-Friendly Guide 3rd
Sections: Traditional Gender Roles (p. 81-87), A Summary of Feminist
Premises (p. 87-88), Gender Studies and Feminism (p.103-112), and Some
Questions Feminist Critics Ask About Literary Texts (p.114-115)

How does this text

define patriarchy and
Please provide a direct

What are the traditional

gender roles?
Give at least 2 pieces of
evidence from the text.

What is the difference

between sex and
Provide a page number
and/or quote.

What are the main

topics of gender studies?
Provide direct quotes.

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Can you be both

masculine and
Provide evidence from
the text for your answer.

Pick one of the

questions provided in
the Some Questions
Feminist Critics Ask
About Literary Texts
section that you believe
would be especially
good for using with
Macbeth. Give a brief
explanation of why you
think it would be useful
with the play.

Answer the following

questions on a separate
sheet of paper.
Be sure to include
evidence (and page
numbers) from the text
in your answers.

1. Do you think that gender roles are still prevalent today?

Explain using real-life experiences.
2. How do you see gender roles playing out in Macbeth? Do
you think Lady Macbeth conforms to gender roles or not?

Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure A.3: Macbeth Graphic Organizer

Reading Macbeth through a feminist approach.

Using a the list on p.

188, describe the
characteristics of
Macbeth and Lady
Is one more masculine
than the other? Is one
more feminine than

Do either of these
characters break the
traditional gender roles
as discussed in Critical
Theory Today?
Explain with evidence.

Who has the power in

this scene? Does this
person exert that power
over the other character?
Explain with evidence.

Does this scene

reinforce (support) or
undermine (not support,
do the opposite)
patriarchal beliefs?
Explain with evidence.


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Appendix B
Supplementary Materials: Writing Assignment


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure B.1: Writing Assignment Handout

Using Evidence to Support a Claim
Medium-Stakes Writing Assignment

Write a paper that explores the following thesis statement (claim): The gender roles in this scene
are not traditional.
Find evidence to support this claim from both the chapters on feminism (use your graphic
organizers!) and Act 1, scene 7 of Macbeth (use your graphic organizer!). Explain the claim and
make sure you explain the evidence you use to support the claim (demonstrate how it supports
your claim). Look at the attached rubric for more details.
Be sure to include the following terms in your paper in some way and make sure you explain
them: feminism, gender roles, and feminine and/or masculine.
In your introductory paragraph, please include 2-3 sentences explaining that you are using
feminist theory to analyze this scene and explain what feminism means.
Page length: 1.5-2 pages double-spaced.
Due: By next class period (first thing)


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure B.2: (Differentiated) Writing Assistance Handout

Sentence Starters:
Thesis sentence-- In act 1, scene 7, Shakespeare presents nontraditional gender roles through
Lady Macbeth and Macbeth.
Introduction to evidence from chapters-- In chapter (#), (Stephen Bonnycastle/Lois Tyson)
says, _______ (# of page).
Introduction to Macbeth evidenceShakespeare does this when _____ (1, 7, line number).
This is demonstrated when _____ (1, 7, line number).

Conclusion Frame:
Through the relationship between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Shakespeare questions the
traditional gender roles of the time. ______Then you will summarize your analysis/
argument_______. The gender roles portrayed in Shakespeares Macbeth lead to an interesting
representation of relationships, especially when read with a feminist approach.


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure B.3: Writing Assignment Rubric


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Appendix C
Supplementary Materials: Closing Material


Mooney, Macbeth Lesson 6

Figure C.1: Closing Response

Exit Slip

Tell me one thing you found difficult about using evidence in your paper.