Performing Act 4, Scene 1 in order to Better Understand Relationships

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SWBAT apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, by performing Act 4, Scene 1.

Big Idea

Let's get moving and act out this scene.

Getting Started

5 minutes

Today is a half day, so classes are shortened to 45 minutes. I want to maximize the time we have today to focus on Act 4, scene 1, so we will quickly check that everyone did their homework. They were asked to translate the beginning of the scene and to think about emotions of the characters. This will help in our scene performances today. Anyone without the homework won't be able to participate today, and they can use the time to complete the assignment for late credit.

Pairing Up to Practice

15 minutes

Students will use their homework from last night to help them prepare to perform the beginning of Act 4, scene 1. They are going to perform the lines as they think they should be said, taking into account intonation, action, and body language (L.9-10.3 and L.9-10.5). They will have 15 minutes to make decisions and practice the lines (SL.9-10.1b and SL.9-10.1c).


We have completed a few activities this week to prepare us for this exercise, including the flash mob of the Balcony scene, a review of dramatic irony, and a analysis of Juliet's cryptic language (L.9-10.4a). As they work, I will circulate among the groups, trying to help them plan their scene. I will ask questions like:

  • How does Paris feel when he sees Juliet? What does that feeling sound like?
  • How does Juliet respond to his advances? What does it sound like? What does it look like?


Ultimately, we are reading a play and it's really wonderful to get students up in front of the class. When it's done well, it brings new meaning to the play. I think it's hard to ask students to both figure out the language and act at the same time, but at this point, they are much better at translating the lines and they are comfortable enough to read while considering intonation and motive.

Ready, Set, Action

20 minutes

Each group will present their scene. Take a look at an example.


This is a fun excerpt to act out because body language is so important. Paris is trying to get closer to Juliet and expects that she will be as excited to see him as he is to see her. Juliet is distant and even passive aggressive. It's fun to watch one student edge closer to another, only to watch the second student turn his/her back. Students understand it when they see it and when they act it out themselves.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

Before class ends, I want to take a few minutes to talk about how they knew how to say their lines: how did they know that Paris was being friendly, while Juliet was acting distant? Then I will ask that they identify the words led to their belief? I will encourage students to cite specifics from the text in their explanation (RL.9-10.4 and RL.9-10.1).