The Secondary English Coffee Shop

One of my favorite units to teach is Romeo & Juliet – it’s a simple introduction to Shakespeare for my 10th graders and it’s really so much fun to tease out the absurdity of everything. My students lose their minds over their ages, their hurry and their mis-steps. My students appear to have a preconceived idea that it’s a mushy love tale and I really like only to dispel their ideas.

One of the first activities I really do is a Pre-Reading Graphic Organizer which will get the students debating some of the topics and styles that come up in the play. The questions on the organizer are thought-provoking and generate some fantastic discussions with my students. I’ve students focus on it individually and then discuss in small groups before sharing with the whole class. The questions also start to hint at a few of the conflicts and challenges that the characters will face in the play. Grab a FREE duplicate HERE! I get a kick out of memes and there are a few fantastic ones out there for Romeo & Juliet.

  • Examples: Fark and Spin Thicket
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A quick Google search will yield many results – I printing them out and put them up around my classroom. I bring in the memes as they relate to elements of the play as we are reading – we discuss their meaning, why the meme works well and then I add it to my collection on my wall structure. My students really got into it this season and started looking for them online too! You will want to have students create their own?

I hated doing endless analysis questions as students reading the play in my own grade 10 season. As a instructor I am very away aware of this memory and needed to come up with a way for students to respond to the text, show their understanding and also provide some creativity. My Romeo & Juliet – Graphic Organizers for just about any Act / Scene allow students to work in pairs, small groupings or to respond to the written text independently.

I don’t use them for every scene but a few used for key moments or occasions in the play can be considered a helpful way to monitor pupil learning and pupil understanding. Using these organizers allows students to demonstrate their understanding multiple ways – by doodling, adding estimates, finding figurative vocabulary, looking at character qualities and more! I ask my students to summarize or comment on each take action on a sizable sticky notice and we add it to an evergrowing wall display.

I make each action a different type of summary – here’s what I did with this year’s students. I made a header for each Act to post around the available room with our sticky notes. I post these around the available room and my students love to read what others have written. It’s a great visual reminder of our progress through the play as well.

Other ideas for scene or take action summaries include having students “Tweet” three responses about a scene, create an Instagram post of an integral event within an act or picture or to distribute a “Snap” with a “Snapchat” template. A quick do some searching online shall produce blank templates for sociable press systems you can use as leave slips, summaries and more!

Keeping track of characters can be complicated for some students and I love to have a visual reminder on the wall structure of who everyone is and exactly how they hook up to each other. I use a couple of Romeo & Juliet Character Cards which color coded to help students differentiate between your Montagues, the Capulets and natural heroes. I post large ones (word wall size) on one of my whiteboards so that we can add details like connections, character attributes, and occasions are we’re reading.

The kids love it when I add a gravestone to a character following the character’s death! I also use small size character cards so that students can complete a personality map (usually in a group). I give students chart paper, glue, experienced pens and the character cards and let them figure out how they think all the personas should be arranged.

It’s a great and practical way for students to talk about connections, relationships, character features and more! 6. Have fun – chuckle -giggle! I really try to enjoy it all – it’s hard to consider it all so seriously and I find if I enjoy it so do my students!