Reading to Identify with Juliet and Creating Book Trailers for Independent Reading Texts

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SWBAT analyze how complex characters develop over the course of a text and interact with each other by working to identify with Juliet and the situation. SWBAT provide an objective summary of the text by creating movie trailers for their outside reading choices.

Big Idea

I have what you want. How are you going to get it?

Getting Started

10 minutes

We will begin class today with a quick write (W.9-10.10). The topic is getting what you want. Students can either list strategies they would use to get what they want or they can focus on one strategy and explain why it works. I will try to provide context for the question by giving examples: your friend has a secret you want to know, you're trying to get money/curfew extension from your parents, you want a night without homework from me. What would you do? After writing, we will compile our ideas on the board to revisit after reading the scene.


The quick write prepares us for today's scene. The Nurse has information that Juliet wants. She tries a few strategies that will probably match up with ours. I have approached this scene in a number of ways, so that students get a sense of both characters. In the past, I have brought in donuts and made students work to get one by convincing me, except they can't use a strategy that anyone else used. I've also pretended to have information they want-- about a school dance, another teacher-- and I almost give it to them, but then don't. Both of these pre-reading strategies were a lot of fun (and I will probably do something similar again), but students are reluctant to be mean to me, threaten me, blackmail me in order to get what they want, which affects the list of strategies in the end. The format I used today was less exciting, but produced a more meaningful list of strategies. Here's the list. 

Reading Act 2 scene 5

20 minutes

In this scene, Juliet anxiously waits for the Nurse to return with news from Romeo. When the Nurse finally returns, she makes Juliet work for the information and enjoys the teasing. We will pause intermittently to discuss Juliet's strategies and their relationship. She tries everything from flattery to insults and the Nurse relishes in all of it, before she finally shares the plan with Juliet (RL.9-10.3).


All students know what Juliet feels like right now: frustrated, desperate even. Helping them connect their emotions to hers helps them understand the scene on a deeper level. She is no longer just a silly girl, but someone a little like they are. 

Book Trailers

20 minutes

Half way through class, we will transfer our attention from Romeo and Juliet to our outside read projects. I'm really excited about this project, but more importantly, my students are excited about it too.


Students will be making book trailers using iMovie (RL.9-10.2), which we will show during a Viewing Party at the end of the project. Today, we will watch a few examples of book trailers, including this one for Ready Player One, which I made with a colleague to promote our summer reading assignment (more on that next week).


We will also go over the rubric and the purpose of a trailer: to persuade your audience to read the book. Does the trailer for Ready Player One make you interested in the book? Why? How does technology help us tell a story and articulate an argument? (W.9-10.4 and W.9-10.6) This conversation will help students approach their own book trailers.

Wrapping Up

10 minutes

Before we start building the book trailers on the computer, students will complete this storyboard template for homework. We will review this storyboard example for the trailer we just watched (W.9-10.5).


The storyboard focuses students on the book, so that when they start building, they do not get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of options. Additionally, this prep work helps me to help the students because it provides a visual and a sense of what they envision for their own project.