Students Analyze Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet for Characterization, Tone and Mood.

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SWBAT use textual evidence to determine the meaning of characters words and phrases in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. SWBAT analyze words impact on meaning and tone.

Big Idea

Young love is unpredictable. Is love worth dying for?


10 minutes

The purpose of the activator is to activate students' prior knowledge through the use of the Word Splash strategy designed to activate their prior learning of the main characters. 

Word Splash

I will project the names of these characters on the board: Romeo Montague, Juliet Capulet, Tybalt, Paris, Mercuito.  Students either pair up or individually think and write down one or two traits for each character.  I will then use the Ball-Toss Cold Call technique to select a few students to give answers to the questions.

Building Knowledge

20 minutes

Next I use a power point presentation to instruct/model how specific word choices can impact meaning, and tone of the text.  I project the play's Prologue on a screen and first ask studetns to identify words that connote "love and togetherness."  Next I ask them to identify "hateful, fighting, or suffering" words.  We follow this by a brief discussion of the impact these words have on the tone and meaning of the text.

Each student is then given a Collaboration Rubric for Self-Assessment and Peer Feedback.  We review the category's, and point system for collaboration as required in common core standard SL.9-10.1.   Flexible grouping is essential in a mixed ability classroom. Some students will choose to work independently for their own personal reasons. 

Student Learning Activity

35 minutes

This lesson is tiered R&J Tired Quote Chart in process according to the readiness of the student. Students are grouped into two tiers according to readiness in the understanding of the literature read required by standard RL.9-10.10.  The groups should be no larger than 2-3 students. The goal is to allow learners to advance from their existing skill and knowledge levels by connecting new skills and knowledge to those the learners currently possess. 


 Tier 1: Students who have great difficulty understanding Shakespearean text and/or are determined to be struggling readers will be given the Modern Text Chart which has character quotes from the modern text version to analyze meaning and tone. Students are asked to refer to the text and site evidence to support their interpretations RL.9-10.1.

 Tier 2: Students who work at grade level or above in terms of depth of understanding will work in groups who will answer questions using the Original Text Chart which has character quotes from the original text version to analyze meaning and tone.  Students are asked to refer to the text (page given on chart) and site evidence to support their interpretations RL.9-10.1.

I will model answering the first question on the Modern and Old Text Chart by facilitating a short group discussion on words impact on meaning and tone.  I include the text page because the object is to analyze tone and mood versus research text. For many students looking through the text for examples would be frustrating and inhibit their engagement. 

Depending on which tier they are working with, students are next given either Factual and Analysis Questions questions and Factual Experts Answer Sheets to be answered.


10 minutes

Students are now asked to write at least one thing they learned on KWL chart.

Collaboration Rubric: I then ask each student to complete their rubric either with peer feedback or self-assessment. Collect rubrics and during the week we'll review strengths and areas of needed improvement with students and groups.