Exploring Othello in a 10th Grade Classroom

Travis Bristol
New York City, NY

This site documents the teaching of Travis Bristol in a unit on Othello that takes place in December and January of the 2006-07 school year. This unit reflects the variety of goals he tries to keep in mind at any one time, including work on grammar, essay writing, the analysis of texts, and what Travis calls "life skills" like getting students comfortable speaking in front of groups. The class meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for 90 minutes, including grammar lessons on Mondays and journal writing every Wednesday. The unit begins with an introduction to Shakespeare, a focus on the analysis and discussion of a scene almost every day, includes an emphasis on getting students to translate passages into their own vernacular and to make connections to related issues in their own lives like inter-racial dating, and culminates with a final essay and group performances. (read full overview)

A separate website documents a discussion of Shelley's Ode to the West Wind from a poetry unit later in the year.

Handouts, Assignments, and Student Work

Classroom Videos
December 5
January 18

After-Class Interviews
December 5
December 7
January 18


End of Year Interview

Printable PDF of This Page

Timeline for Unit on Othello

About this website: This website has been created for the purpose of exploring the practice of teaching. It has grown out of work that Thomas Hatch and colleagues started with the Knowledge Media Lab at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and is being continued at NCREST: The National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools and Teaching, based at Teachers College, Columbia University. This website was designed and produced by Thomas Hatch and Pamela Gutman.