Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Unit Plan

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been part of the whirlwind world of teaching middle school for 20 years. She has a Master of Education degree in instructional design.

Teaching 'Julius Caesar' to your high school students can seem like a daunting task. This unit plan will guide you through the historical context of the play, as well as characters, themes, and plot. It wraps up with summative assessment options.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar is a tragedy filled with themes of power, betrayal, and violence, as well as dynamic characters and a complex plot. This unit plan will help you guide your high school students through the historical context, the basics of tragedy, and some information about William Shakespeare. There are resources provided to help them analyze the language, characters, and theme of the play. To wrap up the unit, summative assessment options are also provided.

Before Reading

From the language to the themes, Julius Caesar can be a lot to digest for high schoolers. Get them ready for the novel by exploring historical context, tragedy and Shakespeare.

Historical Context

Provide students with substantial historical context in order to help them understand the events and characters of this work. Use this Julius Caesar Lesson Plan and this Ancient Rome Lesson Plan to lay the groundwork for text comprehension. In addition, consider having students create a timeline of events based on their study of Rome and Julius Caesar. This timeline will help them track events in the play and link them to historical context.


Use this Tragedy in Literature Lesson Plan to introduce students to the concept and characteristics of a tragedy. Ask them to discuss how they think this play will qualify as a tragedy and revisit their predictions at the end of the unit.

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