Reflection: Rigor Determining Who's to Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death (Day 1 of 2) - Section 3: Critical Essay


I once had an administrator visit my classroom and tell me after class that the vocab words I chose for my students were "too easy." It didn't bother me too much because I found it quite easy to decide that the administrator was simply out of touch. But reading essays together, like we read today, reminds me that it's easy to lose touch with what 15 years know and don't know. I am often surprised by the words they know and those they have never heard before. For instance, in the first paragraph of her essay, Kerschen uses the word "warranted," a word that students had trouble deciphering. Words like "impetuous" and "nuances" also tripped them up. While more students had heard these words, they have never seen them in writing and therefore did not know how they were spelled. Working through these confusing parts was valuable time: they learned something new and I was reminded of how important these moments are. And it reinforced what I already knew: I create vocab lists for the students in front of me, not from some idea of what 15 years old "should" know. 

  New words
  Rigor: New words
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Determining Who's to Blame for Romeo and Juliet's Death (Day 1 of 2)

Unit 18: Romeo and Juliet Act 5: Theme Analysis, Comparing Text to Film, and Analytical Writing
Lesson 3 of 8

Objective: SWBAT develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience by prepping for an upcoming essay. SWBAT analyze how the author unfolds a series of ideas and the connections that are drawn between them by reading and annotating a Kerschen's essay.

Big Idea: Romeo drank the poison, but is he to blame?

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