Drafting Arguments Based on the Dramatic Tension in Romeo and Juliet

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SWBAT write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive texts, using valid reasoning and relevant evidence by analyzing juxtapositions in Romeo and Juliet.

Big Idea

Romeo and Juliet is intense. What can we conclude from the intensity and tension?

Getting Started

5 minutes

At the beginning of class, students will put their homework on their desks, so I can take a quick check to make sure everyone has it before we discuss it (SL.9-10.1). This is part of a routine that they know well, since it is basically daily procedure. I like to acknowledge students who come to class with completed work, but it is also a time where students can quickly explain when they don't have their homework, for whatever reason.


Their homework was to work on a Dramatic Tension worksheet, which we will discuss and develop during class today.

Writing Arguments

50 minutes

We are going to work through the dramatic tension worksheet section by section, focusing on building strong arguments (W.9-10.1). My students completed the first half this worksheet after act 2, but they struggled with it the first time around. I'm hoping that they will understand it more this time. However, we are working through it together, in case that isn't what happened. Plus, we will return to this worksheet at the end of the play, so working through parts we don't fully understand now will help us in the long run.


For each section, students will share their evidence and the argument they developed based on that evidence. There is no "right answer" to these questions; the arguments may be varied and diverse, but as long they they are supported with accurate evidence, they should work (RL.9-10.1). Take a look at what I mean: dramatic tension worksheets.


I use this worksheet because it helps students connect the text to human nature and societal impacts. Their arguments could easily be turned into a full essay, but we won't be doing that. Instead, I'm using this worksheet for two reasons. It is practice for thesis building and it helps students see the play as more than just a love story. It is much more complex.

Wrapping Up

5 minutes

For homework, students will read Act 4, scene 4 and characterize Capulet's mood in a paragraph, using evidence from the text to support their analysis.