Last week I worked with a student after he took a test for his English class. He had two prompts to choose from to write an essay about Julius Caesar. He quickly chose the prompt that required him to write an essay describing why the characters of Julius Caesar were easy to relate to or not. I asked him his opinion and he replied, “They’re easy to relate to because Caesar was conceited…like Kanye.” I was so impressed with this response, his ability to connect the text to the world, that I immediately knew where we were going with the essay. Throughout the class period, we created an outline for his essay, in which he related the three major characters to examples in popular culture and examples in his own life. It was remarkable to see a high school student so readily relate to Shakespeare. We ran with the essay and by the end of the class period, he had written half of his essay already!

Contributed by Kristina Albarello