Why ROMEO AND JULIET? While some works of literature have worn out their welcome in American classrooms, this play has earned its keep. This glorious tragedy, written fairly early in William Shakespeare’s career, can be mined for teaching across the language arts areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening. Use it to teach aspects of drama (plot, characterization, irony, setting and theme) and poetry (rhythm, rhyme, metaphor, simile, personification, apostrophe, oxymoron and hyperbole, at least). ROMEO AND JULIET is also a rich field for writing opportunities for students as they learn to analyze elements of drama and poetry, and to paraphrase Shakespeare’s language into that of today.
The title of this guide is, of course, facetious. ROMEO AND JULIET: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE is, however, the result of years of teaching Shakespeare to students of all ability levels. The guide is flexible and adaptable, and makes teaching and studying Shakespearean text playful and enjoyable.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE contains sections covering:
• Language (Shakespearean syntax and figurative language);
• Sound (rhythm and rhyme);
• Location (finding your place in Shakespearean text);
• Vocabulary (verbs only!);
• A handout of terms for students to know and use;
• Act-by-act notes for teachers;
• Act-by-act reviews for students via word searches, vocabulary games, a characterization game, a quiz with closed- and open-book sections, plus teacher keys for all;
• A video guide for Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film, with key;
• Options for essays (with a scoring rubric for teacher use) and projects.
In addition, ROMEO AND JULIET: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE:
• Is formatted in Word to allow for your own changes and additions;
• Can be printed out on 8 ½” x 11” paper and 3” x 5” index cards to fit neatly into a 2-inch binder.
One note: The line references in THE ULTIMATE GUIDE refer to the Folger Shakespeare Library’s edition of 1992 (Pocket Press/Washington Square Books). Since line references vary from edition to edition, you may wish to edit student handouts before copying and distributing. If a little searching does not distract your students, you won’t need to do anything at all.
Teacher-designed and classroom-tested, ROMEO AND JULIET: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE is the reliable guide for both new and veteran teachers.